Medicine for the Body and Soul

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Frequent Urination

Frequent urination means needing to urinate more often than usual. Urgent urination is a sudden, compelling 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. Middle aged and older men often wake to urinate once in the early morning hours.
Alternative Names
Urgent urination; Urinary frequency or urgency

Common Causes

Together, frequent and urgent urination are classic signs of a urinary tract infection. Since inflammation reduces the bladder’s capacity to hold urine, even small amounts of urine cause discomfort.

Diabetes, pregnancy, and prostate problems are other common causes of these symptoms.

Other causes include:

  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Medicines such as diuretics
  • Overactive bladder syndrome
  • Prostatitis
  • Stroke and other neurological diseases
  • Urinary incontinence

Less common causes:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Radiation therapy

Common causes of nighttime urination:

  • Drinking too much before bedtime, especially caffeine or alcohol
  • Enlarged prostate