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It Seems Like I Pee a Lot, Is That a Problem?

Everyone urinates or pees several times during the day, but for some people, the urge to go to the bathroom occurs too frequently. In general, frequent urination is described as needing to go more often than you’d like, and is usually defined as needing to urinate more than eight times a day.

Sometimes, there’s an obvious reason for frequent urination, such as drinking more water than usual. But needing to pee can also indicate other issues like the onset of diabetes, urinary tract infections, bladder cancer, overactive bladder or an enlarged prostate.

Who’s Affected? 

Male doctor going over results with male patient

Frequent urination can affect men and women, and can occur during the day or at night. It can be inconvenient—interrupting work and leisure activities as well as sleep. In addition to the need to “go,” you also may notice foul-smelling urine, burning with urination, a slowing stream, increasing nighttime urination or even blood in the urine. 

Frequent urination is not the same as urinary incontinence. With incontinence, you are unable to control your bladder and may urinate involuntarily. Although you may have frequent urination along with incontinence, these are two separate issues.

What’s Causing It?

If you are urinating more frequently than you think you should, make an appointment with your primary care physician. They will ask you about your health history, perform a physical exam and do a urinalysis, which tests a sample of your urine for the presence of disorders. Additional tests may include an ultrasound to check the kidneys, an X-ray or CT scan to check the abdomen and pelvis, neurological tests for nerve disorders and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Is There a Treatment?

The treatment of frequent urination is determined by the cause. It could be as simple as a lifestyle change, such as not drinking fluids late in the day or decreasing the intake of caffeine, which can make you urinate more often. It could be doing Kegel exercises to strengthen the bladder muscles. 

You might need medicine or further testing. Your doctor may refer you to a urologist if the frequent urination can be attributed to problems with the bladder, prostate or kidneys. Urologists also can prescribe medicines and provide surgical treatment.

If frequent urination is interrupting your activities, talk with your doctor to find out the cause. By addressing it, you can stop the inconvenience and ensure that any underlying condition is detected.

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