Frequent urination is the need to pass urine many times during the day, the night, or both. You may feel as though you need to go again soon after you empty your bladder. And you may pass only small amounts of urine each time you use the toilet.
Frequent urination can affect your sleep, work and overall well-being. Waking up more than once each night to pass urine is called nocturia.
Frequent urination may happen when there's a problem with part of the urinary tract. The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys; the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder, which are called the ureters; the bladder; and the tube where urine exits the body, called the urethra.
You may pass urine more often than usual because of:
- Infection, disease, injury or irritation of the bladder.
- A condition that causes your body to make more urine.
- Changes in muscles, nerves or other tissues that affect how the bladder works.
- Certain cancer treatments.
- Things you drink or medicines you take that cause your body to make more urine.
Frequent urination often happens along with other urinary signs and symptoms, such as:
- Feeling pain or discomfort when you pass urine.
- Having a strong urge to pass urine.
- Having trouble passing urine.
- Leaking urine.
- Passing urine that's an unusual color.
Possible causes of frequent urination
Certain urinary tract conditions may lead to frequent urination:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Bladder cancer
- Bladder stones
- Interstitial cystitis (also called painful bladder syndrome)
- Kidney changes that affect how well the kidneys work.
- Kidney infection (also called pyelonephritis)
- Overactive bladder
- Prostatitis (infection or inflammation of the prostate)
- Urethral stricture (narrowing of the urethra)
- Urinary incontinence
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Other causes of frequent urination include:
- Anterior vaginal prolapse (cystocele)
- Diabetes insipidus
- Diuretics (water retention relievers)
- Drinking alcohol or caffeine.
- Having too much fluid in a day.
- Radiation treatment affecting the pelvis or lower abdomen
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
When to see a doctor
Check in with your health care provider if:
- There's no obvious reason for your frequent urination, such as drinking more total fluids, alcohol or caffeine.
- The problem disrupts your sleep or everyday activities.
- You have other urinary problems or symptoms that worry you.
If you have any of these symptoms along with frequent urination, seek care right away:
- Blood in your urine.
- Red or dark brown urine.
- Pain when you pass urine.
- Pain in your side, lower belly or groin.
- Trouble passing urine or emptying your bladder.
- A strong urge to pass urine.
- Loss of bladder control.
Last Updated May 19, 2023