Consistently being on the lookout for the nearest public bathroom or company restroom when out on the job or out of the house can be a huge setback for any woman. Frequent urination is something some women might write off as a small bladder or simply a result of increased fluid intake.
However, when you take a closer look at what causes frequent urination in females, you’ll soon discover that this problem can be a result of more severe problems like an overactive bladder and urinary tract infection.
Luckily, there are available urinary incontinence treatments, and with the help of Dr. Andrew H. Krinsky, you’ll be able to get a clearer picture of your condition and the steps you may be able to take to resolve or cope with these issues.
What is Frequent Urination in Women?
On average, a female bladder can hold up around 500 milliliters of liquid, but the urge to urinate might settle when the bladder is filled with 200 to 350 milliliters of fluid. In some cases, frequent urination in women might be a result of having a small bladder, especially if the person had previously undergone certain surgical procedures, experienced specific urologic problems, or underwent radiation.
Experts say that you may have an overactive bladder when you visit the bathroom on over eight occasions every day. Women urinating at night at the same pace may also have a too active bladder, but it might also point to another different condition. Sometimes, the cause of frequent urination in women could be traced back to an infection. In these cases, the symptoms may subside when the infection manages to clear up.
What Causes Frequent Urination in Women?
Here are the main causes of urination problems in women:
An Overactive Bladder
As already mentioned above, frequent urination may be a clear sign of OAB or an overactive bladder. Experts say that it’s a leading cause of urination problems when there’s no infection present, with around 33 million patients dealing with chronic OAB in the US alone. This type of frequent urination problem isn’t only reserved for women – it affects both sexes equally, but the sudden urge to urinate resulting from OAB is more persistent in female patients.
The most common causes of an overactive bladder include:
- Nerve damage
- Weak pelvic muscles
- Being overweight
- Medication use
- Excessive alcohol use
- Consuming too much caffeine
When it comes to treating this frequent urination problem, patients may take medication, take advantage of bladder retraining, or opt for different lifestyle changes.
Problems with frequent urination are the most present in type 2 diabetes as the condition can be a risk factor for OAB. Failing to manage blood sugar may result in excess glucose entering the urine. High glucose concentrations in the urine will also lead to more water in the bladder, filling faster.
What causes frequent urination in women when it’s not an overactive bladder or if there’s no infection? Experts will often say that inflammatory conditions may also lead to frequent urination problems. The inflammation of the bladder or interstitial cystitis is a condition that’s more common in women than in men, and apart from frequent urination, patients may also experience bladder pressure.
Experts aren’t exactly sure what causes this issue. Some believe that defects in the bladder’s tissue cause this problem along with an autoimmune condition when the immune system simply attacks the bladder.
Urinary Tract Infections
This is another leading cause of frequent urination in women. UTIs or urinary tract infections may also cause pain with urination or dysuria, along with the increased urge to pee because the bacteria in the bladder irritates the muscle itself.
Urinary problems of this nature are much more common in females because the bladder’s opening or the urethra is shorter than in the case of men. This allows different bacteria to reach the urinary tract more easily. As a result, women are around 30 times more likely to suffer from a UTI.
As mentioned already, this is one of the most common urination problems in females, with around half of women experiencing an infection at least once in their lifetime. There are cases when the infection’s acute, and with the proper treatment, the frequent urination urges go away rather quickly. However, recurrence isn’t uncommon. As a matter of fact, 80% of infection recurrences within a few months are mostly caused by bacteria that never really cleared in the first place.
Frequent urination in women may also be caused by a UTI that’s been contracted during pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, she has to deal with a slightly suppressed immune system, making her more vulnerable to various infections, including UTIs.
When urination problems in females appear during pregnancy, the soon-to-be mom should schedule an appointment with their OBGYN to help clear up the infection.
Frequent urination in women while pregnant might not directly point to infection right away, as urinating more frequently during pregnancy might be a byproduct of hormonal changes. During pregnancy, progesterone and relaxin concentrations are higher. The first hormone softens the cervix while the other increases ligament and muscle elasticity. Relaxin also increases the elasticity of the pelvic floor muscles that are surrounding the bladder.
These changes may cause urination problems in women, especially after the third trimester, when the uterus expands, cutting the bladder’s capacity significantly.
Also, frequent urination might also be the byproduct of pregnant women requiring more hydration to nourish the developing baby.
Frequent Urination in Women: Treatment Options
Fortunately, there are several treatment options for frequent urination. Every patient’s first step is to schedule an appointment with their healthcare provider to establish a proper diagnosis. Most probably, the doctor will recommend undergoing a urinalysis in order to rule out hematuria or infections.
Once the proper diagnosis has been made, the doctor will recommend the best course of action. Sometimes, they may be lifestyle changes, like tapering your fluid intake, cutting down on alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine. Experts may also recommend certain performing different pelvic floor exercises. If these don’t help, other medical interventions may be needed.
Visiting a Doctor
Schedule a consultation with your doctor when you’re experiencing an urge to urinate frequently accompanied by pain. These symptoms may point to a urinary tract infection. Also, reach out to your healthcare provider when you see blood in the urine.
Establishing the proper diagnosis will play a pivotal role in finding the best course of treatment as well. In some cases, medications and medical interventions are needed to treat the issue, while in others, a few small changes to your everyday routine may help you with incontinence.
The bottom line is that when the need to visit the bathroom manages to interfere with your everyday tasks and affects your quality of life, reach out to your doctor.
On that end, you can also reach out to our practice with your questions and concerns. Together with Dr. Krinsky, you can diagnose the root cause of the problem and receive the right treatment.