Frequent urination may not seem like a big deal until you are on a road trip or sitting through a long movie. But a change in your habits may indicate something happening inside your body. Dr. Indu Partha, MD, a specialist in internal medicine at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, offers a few helpful clues for deciphering your bathroom schedule.
How often is too often?
“When it starts to affect your quality of life, you are going too often,” advised Dr. Partha. “Most of the time, I only hear about someone’s struggle with frequent urination when the symptoms become too much to bear. You don’t need to wait for it to get that bad.” She went on to add that discomfort and incontinence can point to more worrisome causes. Although you may be embarrassed, you shouldn’t put off bringing up your symptoms with a doctor.
Possible causes behind frequent or painful urination?
- Drinking too much water
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Use of diuretic medication for unrelated conditions such as high blood pressure
- Too much caffeine
- Nerve injuries such as stroke or spinal cord injury
- Prostate issues, usually a result of age
- Overactive bladder
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Weakness in the pelvic floor muscles
- Interstitial cystitis
Is urinating painful?
“Discomfort during urination generally indicates some type of inflammation.” Dr. Partha added that inflammation is often linked to infections, like UTIs and STIs. Addressing these infections is vital, as the infections may grow if left untreated and could develop into something more serious.
Does the color of your urine matter?
The color of your urine can be as important (and telling) as how frequently you urinate. Urine color can be indicative of many things, including your level of hydration, possible infections and even the medications you are taking. For more information, check out this article: "What’s My Urine Color Saying?”
Isn’t this just part of getting older?
Yes, but mostly no. For men, prostate enlargement is something that happens with age and can lead to frequent urination. For women who have given birth, the pelvic floor muscles can weaken over time and lead to increased urinary frequency. But Dr. Partha explained that these conditions don’t apply to everyone as they age. It’s possible to age and maintain healthy control.
What to do
First things first, speak to a physician. Uncovering the underlying cause of your condition is the best way to find a solution and get you back to the lifestyle you’re used to. In the meantime, there are a lot of products and solutions that can help you feel comfortable and manage symptoms. Check out this blog post to learn more about products like patches, bed pads and more.
For more information regarding your urinary health, check out these helpful articles: