Frequent urination means needing to urinate more often than usual. Urgent urination is a sudden, strong urge to urinate, along with discomfort in your bladder.
A frequent need to urinate at night is called nocturia. Most people can sleep for 6 to 8 hours without having to urinate.
Common causes of these symptoms are:
Less common causes include:
Follow the advice of your health care provider to treat the cause of the problem. It may help to write down the times when you urinate and the amount of urine you produce. Bring this record to your visit with the health care provider.
In some cases, you may have problems controlling urine (incontinence) for a period of time. You may need to take steps to protect your clothing and bedding.
For nighttime urination, avoid drinking too much fluid before going to bed. Cut down on the amount of liquids you drink that contain alcohol or caffeine.
Call your health care provider right away if:
Also call your health care provider if:
Your health care provider will take a medical history and do a physical exam.
Tests that may be done include:
Treatment depends on the cause of the urgency and frequency. You may need to take antibiotics and medicine to ease your discomfort.
Urgent urination; Urinary frequency or urgency
Drake M, Abrams P. Overactive bladder. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 66.
Zeidel ML. Obstructive uropathy. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 125.
Lentz GM. Urogynecology. Physiology of micturition, voiding dysfunction, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, and painful bladder syndrome. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 21.
Updated by: Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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