What is frequent urination?

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Frequent urination: Overview

An urge to urinate frequently but usually passing only small amounts of urine is a common symptom of urinary problems, such as urinary tract infections. The bladder may become inflamed. This can cause the urge to urinate. You may try to urinate more often than usual to try to soothe that urge.

Frequent urination also may be caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or kidney stones. Or it may happen when something irritates the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body (urethra). It may also be a sign of diabetes.

The cause may be hard to find. You may need tests.

How can you care for frequent urination?

  • Drink extra water for the next day or two. This will help make the urine less concentrated. (If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.)
  • Avoid drinks that are carbonated or have caffeine. They can irritate the bladder.

For women:

  • Urinate right after you have sex.
  • After you go to the bathroom, wipe from front to back.
  • Avoid douches, bubble baths, and feminine hygiene sprays. And avoid other feminine hygiene products that have deodorants.

Frequent urination: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new symptoms, such as fever, nausea, or vomiting.
  • You have new or worse symptoms of a urinary problem. For example:
    • You have blood or pus in your urine.
    • You have chills or body aches.
    • It hurts to urinate.
    • You have groin or belly pain.
    • You have pain in your back just below your rib cage (the flank area).

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you feel thirstier than usual.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.