A frequent urge to urinate means you get the feeling more often than usual to pee. The frequency is more than average when it begins to interfere with your regular activities, causing discomfort. A frequent urge to urinate may be due to some lifestyle choices, such as drinking lots of fluids. But it is often a sign of ill health, such as a urinary tract infection.
You may feel the urge to urinate often for many reasons, such as if you:
- Have an infection that affects the urinary tract or an enlarged prostate.
- You are anxious or worried.
- Have diabetes.
- Are pregnant, especially when you are in the last trimester.
- Drink too much alcohol or drinks that contain caffeine or too much liquid generally.
- Are taking medicines that make your body lose water.
Frequent urination may be harmless, but to prevent complications such as disruptions of your daily activities, visit the nearest healthcare provider if you:
- Have to wake up more than three times to pee, or you can not wait till you get to the toilet before you pee.
- Feel pain while urinating. Or you have to strain before you pee.
- Notice a change in the colour of your urine to pink, or you see blood in your urine.
- Notice an abnormal discharge from your vagina or penis.
- Begin to have low abdominal pain or side pain.
- Have been losing weight and feel thirstier.
You can't prevent the urge to urinate, but you can treat the underlying condition. Adequate treatment can prevent complications and reduce the severity of the symptom.
- You may need to avoid drinks and beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine (e.g. coffee). Or keep your daily fluid intake between 2-3 litres unless your healthcare provider advises otherwise.
- Urinating before and after sex may reduce the risk of a urinary tract infection in women.
- You may try breathing exercises to calm yourself when you feel worried.
- You may wear adult diapers if you are unable to hold your urine when you feel the urge.
- You may take mild over the counter pain medicines like paracetamol if you feel pain while urinating.
- Your healthcare provider will recommend the appropriate treatment for the underlying illness that causes you to feel the urge to pee frequently (e.g. diabetes or urinary tract infections).
- Your healthcare provider may prescribe stronger pain medicines if you feel pain when urinating.
- Your healthcare provider may recommend some changes in your habits, such as quitting smoking.
Frequent urge to urinate can be discomforting and may also be a source of disruption to your sleep cycle and daily routines. In some cases, the condition is corrected or treatable by adjusting fluid intake. However, it could also be a warning sign of severe medical conditions. If you develop other symptoms with frequent urination, you must see your healthcare provider early to know the cause and get proper treatment.