Frequent urination

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Frequent urination, or urinary frequency, is the need to urinate more often than usual.[1] It is often, though not necessarily, associated with urinary incontinence and polyuria (large total volume of urine). However, in other cases, urinary frequency involves only normal volumes of urine overall.

A frequent need to urinate at night is called nocturia.[1] Frequent urination is strongly associated with frequent incidents of urinary urgency.


The normal number of times varies according to the age of the person. Among young children, urinating 8 to 14 times each day is typical. This decreases to 6 to 12 times per day for older children, and to 4 to 6 times per day among teenagers.[2]>


Frequent urination is a classic sign of urinary tract infection, where inflammation reduces the bladder's capacity to hold urine.[1] Other common causes are:

Other causes of polyuria may, less commonly, cause frequent urination.

Other causes of frequent urination by disturbance along the urinary tract include:

Less common causes include:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g MedlinePlus > Frequent or urgent urination Updated by: Scott M. Gilbert. Update Date: 5/22/2008
  2. ^ Gary Robert Fleisher, Stephen Ludwig, Fred M. Henretig. (2006) Textbook of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9780781750745. p. 663

Urinary frequency concerns a false need to urinate. Answering this urge does not completely alleviate the feeling even immediately after you urinate.

Sometimes the problem is E Coli bacteria that find their way into the bladder. Taking the wrong kind of antibiotic will worsen the infection. Nitrofuran is one antibiotic typically effective for bladder infections. At the same time, it wipes out good intestinal bacteria. Taking a pro-biotic product that is not cultured milk-based, helps alleviate this side effect.

Infections are thought to re-occur more easily when the entrance to the bladder entrance is short. This theory is not conclusively proven. If the bladder is structurally displaced, or prolapsed, it can lead to feelings of urgency. Sometimes the bladder does not completely empty or conversely it may become harder to control the flow of urine. Exercises and surgery are several techniques employed to help solve these problems. There can be pressure on the bladder causing urgency and control problems such as when a woman is pregnant that is temporary.

Many urologists think that urinary frequency is the result of a persistent infection that cannot be completely eradicated. Countering this view, it can be asked that if this is so, why so some people get this persistent infection while others do not. The bladder does not offer much place for bacteria to hide. Some say that the bladder is a sterile environment; this is a misconception. An infection is based not on the fact that bacteria are present, but that they are present in greater numbers than normal.

When there is no diagnosis, the patient may be told that they have interstitial cystitis. The definition of this relatively new term has been narrowing to include only those with visible irritation of the bladder walls; however observable irritation could reflect the degree to which the condition is being controlled at the time of observation, so this may not be a sufficiently fundamental characteristic for use in diagnosing the causal disease underlying a person's urinary frequency ailment.

According to a Wikipedia article, ulcers in the bladder can cause urgency problems. Polyps can form in the bladder, perhaps caused by irritation, or perhaps the polyps cause the irritation; in other words, what came first, the irritation or the polyps. Polyps of certain types can develop into cancer, so it is likely important for those with frequency problems to be checked for this.

Dogs can get urinary frequency. On the internet, searches for bladder frequency in dogs often yield websites selling products. One theorizes that diabetic dogs leaking sugar into the bladder can cause a frequency problem or it causes thirst, so the dog drinks more and then wants to eliminate more. Perhaps sugar leaking into the urine also fosters a microbial imbalance. Dogs with urinary frequency may urinate indoors, this being a particularly motivating factor for the pet industry to find solutions. Given there are different options for studying nonhuman animals versus people such as increased opportunity to conduct autopsies, and also given that there may be a different population of research scientists conducting this research, then perhaps this separately conducted effort has resulted in more ideas applicable also to humans. Those with access to these research papers could better comment.

Various foods can irritate the bladder, thereby causing a flare up. Cultured milk products such as cheese and yogurt and chocolate can be causes for some reason. Also tomatoes can be irritating. Lactobacillus bacteria in yogurt break down lactose, a sugar found in milk. This writer postulates that lactose helps the bladder, so bacteria in yogurt that break it down thereby harm the bladder. In support of this line of reasoning, another sugar, d-Mannose, is thought to be the active ingredient in cranberries that fights urinary tract infections. It is widely considered to be effective in helping those with bladder urgency problems. One theory is that this works by creating a flushable particulate suspension that bacteria preferentially grow on instead of the bladder walls. Another theory is that the d-Mannose causes the bladder walls to be resistance to attachment by invading bacteria such as e-coli. Yet another theory is that it forms a protective coating in the bladder, implying that it provides a physical barrier that separates the bacteria from direct contact with the bladder wall.