Frequent Urination

Frequent urination is when you urinate more often than usual. This may happen during the day or at night.

While the number of times a person urinates a day is highly variable, if a person needs to urinate more than seven times in a day and has only consumed 2 liters (68 fluid ounces, 4 pints, or 2 quarts) of fluid, this may indicate frequent urination.

Frequent urination may be accompanied by other symptoms and can be caused by several factors, including infection, caffeine, nerve issues, and some medications.

This article will discuss the symptoms of frequent urination, possible causes, treatment options, diagnosis, and when to see a healthcare provider.

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Symptoms of Frequent Urination

Every person is different, and what is considered a normal urine frequency varies between people.

The average person's urinary frequency is typically between six to seven times within 24 hours. A person can have a "normal" urinary frequency between four to 10 times a day, as long as the person is healthy and feels happy with that level of frequency.

If a person drinks roughly 2 liters of liquid daily and needs to urinate more than seven times a day, they may have a frequency issue. Those experiencing frequent urination may find they need to urinate more than usual and take many trips to the bathroom during the day or the night.

Having to urinate frequently during the night is called nocturia.

Causes of Frequent Urination

Numerous factors might cause frequent urination, and some are more common than others.

Common causes of frequent urination include:

In neurogenic bladder, nerves to the bladder (the organ that stores and releases urine) have been damaged due to illness or injury. This may cause the muscles in the bladder not to work properly. In some cases, the muscles are overactive and squeeze the bladder too frequently. This results in more frequent urination. It can be due to issues with the bladder muscle directly or may be related to spine issues.

A urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and then the bladder. This can cause an urge to urinate often, even if the bladder has just been emptied. It may also be accompanied by cloudy or bloody urine and pain with urination.

Caffeine is one of many potential bladder irritants. This can cause an increased urinary frequency.

An enlarged prostate can cause problems with the bladder. If the prostate is too big, it may block or irritate the bladder, causing increased urine frequency. This can sometimes cause urination every two to three hours.

Vaginitis causes the vagina or vulva (external genitalia) to become swollen or irritated. This can cause pain and the desire to urinate more frequently.

Other possible causes of frequent urination include:

  • Swelling or infection of the urethra (the tube through which urine passes from the bladder to the outside)
  • Anxiety
  • Pregnancy
  • Alcohol
  • Overactive bladder syndrome (urinary frequency and urgency)
  • Spine issues
  • Tumor in the pelvis
  • Bladder cancer
  • Interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder pain and discomfort)
  • Radiation therapy in the pelvis
  • Stroke (a blockage of blood flow or bleeding in the brain)
  • Diseases of the nervous system
  • Poorly controlled diabetes

What Medications Can Cause Frequent Urination

Some medicines may cause frequent urination.

Diuretics (water pills) are medications that promote increased production of urine in the kidneys. This can cause frequent urination and an overactive bladder or stress incontinence (leakage of urine when movement puts pressure on the bladder).

Sedatives or muscle relaxants like Valium (diazepam) can also cause frequent urination.

How to Treat Frequent Urination

Treating frequent urination is focused on treating the underlying cause. This will vary based on the problem. Some treatments and coping strategies include:

  • Frequent urination related to nerve problems may require lifestyle changes, drugs or surgery.
  • A UTI may require treatment with antibiotics.
  • An enlarged prostate may require surveillance, medication, or surgery.
  • Vaginitis may require treatment with medication in the form of a cream, tablet, or suppository.
  • If frequent urination is accompanied by incontinence, it may be helpful to protect clothes by wearing an incontinence pad. You may also protect bedding with a pad.
  • Avoiding too much fluid just before bed and avoiding alcohol and caffeine may also help.

There is a stepwise plan for managing overactive bladder with incontinence with frequency or urgency (urge incontinence). This includes dietary changes, medications such as Oxytrol (oxybutynin) or Gemtesa (vibegron), and other interventions.

Urge incontinence is different from stress incontinence (leakage, which occurs with coughing, sneezing, or heavy lifting) which has different management.

Are There Tests to Diagnose the Cause of Frequent Urination?

When determining the cause of frequent urination, a healthcare provider will begin by taking a complete medical history and conducting a physical exam.

They may order tests to assist them in their diagnosis. These may include:

  • Urine culture: A test that checks for and identifies microbes in urine
  • Urinalysis: A test that checks the chemical and cellular makeup of a urine sample
  • Cystoscopy: A surgical procedure that looks inside the urethra and bladder using a thin tube
  • Cystometry: A test that measures the pressure in the bladder
  • Gynecologic pelvic exam (visual and physical examination of the female pelvic organs) or ultrasound (uses sound waves to produce images)
  • Abdominal ultrasound

When to See a Healthcare Provider

See a healthcare provider whenever frequent urination is affecting your quality of life. The causes need specific treatment, so getting a diagnosis is the first step.

If you have frequent urination and any of the following symptoms, you should contact a healthcare provider immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Shaking
  • Pain in the back or side
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Incontinence (unintended release of urine)
  • Blood urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Symptoms that are interfering with your daily life


Frequent urination involves a person urinating more than they usually would. The average person urinates between four to 10 times a day, but this varies between people. A person who consumes 2 liters of water daily but urinates more than seven times may be dealing with frequent urination.

Frequent urination may be caused by infections, medications, nerve damage, or other medical problems. Treatment options vary depending on the cause but could involve lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.

A healthcare provider may use a variety of tests to identify the cause of frequent urination. Contact a healthcare provider immediately if you have frequent urination accompanied by vomiting, bloody or cloudy urine, or discharge from the penis or vagina.

A Word From Verywell

Needing to urinate frequently may be uncomfortable or even embarrassing. If you find yourself taking more trips to the bathroom than normal, don't hesitate to reach out to a healthcare provider. They will be able to help identify the cause of the frequent urination and help you treat it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What causes frequent urination?

    Causes of frequent urination include nerve problems, infections, caffeine intake, an enlarged prostate, medications, and pregnancy.

  • Can anxiety cause frequent urination?

    Anxiety is believed to be a possible cause of frequent urination.

  • How can I stop frequent urination?

    Treatment of frequent urination is based on the cause. It is important to see a healthcare provider to get a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. Possible treatment options include lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.

12 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  6. Urology Care Foundation. What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

  7. Planned Parenthood. Vaginitis.

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