7 reasons why you often feel the need to urinate and what you can do about it

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What if the frequent need to urinate is a constant problem? Dr. Babak Ashrafi from Superdrug Online Doctor has highlighted the possible causes.

Most people, especially as they get older, feel the need to urinate more frequently than usual at some point. While there is usually a simple explanation, such as too much fluid intake, some people have noticed the annoying feeling more frequently than normal.

What if the need to urinate a lot is a constant problem? Should you accept it, perhaps seeing it as an inevitable part of ageing, or should you have it checked out by a doctor?

“Patients often raise concerns about the increased frequency of urination, and it can be worrying,” says Dr. Babak Ashrafi of Superdrug Online Doctor, according to Pensionist. “It’s important to realise that an increase in urinary urgency can indicate several problems, so it’s advisable to seek advice from a health professional.”

Diabetes
Ashrafi says: “Diabetes can lead to increased urination due to increased blood sugar levels. The kidneys work to eliminate excess sugar through the urine, leading to increased thirst.” According to Diabetes UK, the urge to drink more fluids is due to the fact that the body can become dehydrated due to this process. So, if you’re suddenly urinating and are also very thirsty, checking your blood sugar levels is a good idea. Other signs of diabetes, Ashrafi adds, can include “unexpected weight loss and fatigue.”

Infections
Infections such as cystitis irritate the bladder and urethra, leading to a frequent and urgent need to urinate, Ashrafi explains. He says additional signs of cystitis can include pain or a burning sensation when urinating and cloudy or strong-smelling urine. Mild, brief urinary tract infections can sometimes go away independently, especially if you stay hydrated. But see a doctor if it’s the first time you’ve experienced these symptoms if they get worse or don’t go away after a few days, or if you notice an increase in pain and other worrying symptoms such as fever or general malaise. Anyone who notices blood in their urine should see their doctor.

Enlarged prostate
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is very common in men over 50, although it can occasionally affect younger men – and Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK) emphasises that it is not caused by cancer and does not increase the risk of developing the condition. It basically means that the prostate, a small, walnut-sized gland that lies between a man’s bladder and rectum, has become larger, which can make men feel like they need to urinate more often, especially at night. PCUK says around a third of men over 50 have urinary symptoms, and the most common cause is BPH. “An enlarged prostate can block the urethra, cause difficulty starting or stopping urination and lead to a weak urinary stream, which then contributes to an increase in the frequency of urination,” explains Ashrafi. The good news is that BPH can be managed; you don’t have to accept it. So seek advice from your doctor. They can also assess whether further tests should be carried out.

Menopause
Many women going through menopause report a more urgent need to urinate, and the NHS reports that around 70% of women say their urinary incontinence started after their last period. This is linked to a lack of oestrogen in the urinary tract and vagina. Ashrafi says: “The menopause causes hormonal changes that can affect the urinary system. An increased frequency of urination can accompany vaginal dryness, hot flushes, and mood swings.”

Gynaecological problems
“Gynaecological problems can be accompanied by a need to urinate,” says Ashrafi, adding: “Another cause of increased urination in women can be gynaecological problems such as pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding and discomfort during intercourse. These can lead to changes in bladder function and an increased urge to urinate.” Keep an eye on your symptoms and consult your doctor. You may need further tests to rule out possible underlying causes and advice on managing symptoms.

Pelvic floor problems
Weak or damaged muscles in the pelvic floor, the muscles that extend from the bottom of the pelvis, in both men and women can lead to increased urination. Ashrafi explains: “Problems with the pelvic floor, such as weakness or dysfunction, can lead to incontinence and difficulty controlling bowel movements. These problems can contribute to an increase in the frequency of urination.” This can be linked to childbirth, age and hormonal changes in women. But anyone can be affected – it can also follow an injury or other health issues, for example. The good news is that simple pelvic floor exercises have been shown to help. Speak to your doctor or physiotherapist for advice.

Ageing
Ashrafi says: “Ageing can lead to gradual changes in bladder function, resulting in reduced bladder expansion and weakened pelvic muscles, which can then contribute to increased frequency of urination.”

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