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Frequent urination in women

Woman sitting on her bed with a young children

Frequent urination describes the need to urinate more often than what’s ‘normal’ for you. This could mean passing more urine than usual, or repeatedly producing small amounts. There are a few reasons why women especially may experience frequent urination, including as a symptom of urinary tract infection (UTI), or because of being oestrogen deficient when going through the menopause.

But what is the ‘normal’ amount of times to go to the toilet? Well, the NHS advises it could mean going to the toilet anywhere between four to eight times a day and once in the night . It’s important to know what your ‘normal’ is, so you can notice any changes.

The amount of urine you pass can change on a day-to-day basis. It can be the result of taking in more fluids than is normal for you, or having these later in the day. It may be due to taking diuretics like caffeine, alcohol or certain medications that stimulate the production of urine.

Increased toilet visits may also be a sign of something else. To find out more about how both men and women may be affected, read our article all about the symptoms, signs and causes of frequent urination. If frequent urination begins to negatively impact your lifestyle or you are experiencing other symptoms including pain, fever, red or dark brown urine or loss of bladder control, you should consult your doctor.


What causes frequent urination in women?

While everyone’s urination varies day to day, experiencing a sudden increase in how often you're going to the bathroom may well be due to an infection; while frequent urination for an extended period of time could be a sign of another issue like overactive bladder, kidney disease, or diabetes . These different causes occur at different ages, with UTIs affecting younger women and older women in particular; type 2 diabetes peaking in the 40s; while overactive bladder occurs in middle age and older.

It’s estimated that 50-60% of women will experience at least one UTI in their lives and a third of women will experience one before the age of 24 that is severe enough to warrant antibiotics . For the unlucky women who have experienced this, one of the most noticeable symptoms is constantly needing to go to the toilet, but only passing small amounts of urine each time (sometimes coupled with other symptoms like feelings of pain, a burning sensation or traces of blood in the urine). 

Although men can have a UTI, women are more at risk than men. You can read more about how to prevent and get rid of a UTI in our article dedicated to Urinary Tract Infection in women.

Another cause of frequent urination is reduced oestrogen levels that occur around menopause. This can cause thinning of the lining of the urethra, making it more susceptible to bacteria that can irritate the bladder. Older women may also have weakened pelvic muscles surrounding this area because of aging and experiencing childbirth which may also result in frequent urination, although this can be improved with pelvic floor exercises to help women stay in control of their urine flow.

Women who are pregnant also experience increased toilet trips – it is one of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy, but also occurs late in pregnancy.


What can I do about my frequent urination?

As increased toilet trips can be a symptom of another issue, you should consult a doctor if you’re also experiencing fever, pain in your back or side, vomiting, chills, increased appetite or thirst, fatigue, bloody or cloudy urine, or unusual discharge.

Even if you have recovered from a mild UTI previously without medical intervention, some cases may require treatment with a course of antibiotics. Pay a visit to your doctor or nurse if you have not had a UTI before, your symptoms have come back after treatment or if your UTI hasn’t improved after a few days.

And if you do want more information on incontinence, TENA can offer the support you need:

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