Do you feel you are spending more time in the toilet these days? Are you finding it hard to have a good night’s sleep because of these frequent visits? Frequent urination is one of the most common early signs of pregnancy, beginning around six weeks into your first trimester.
Though frequent urination is one of the irritating symptoms of pregnancy, it will not cause any harm to you or your fetus. In fact, it rids the body of toxins in the most efficient manner. As long as there are no other symptoms, frequent urination during pregnancy is completely normal.
If you feel that there is a continuous urge to pass urine, below are some of the causes of excessive peeing during pregnancy.
HCG hormone that is active during pregnancy is one of the major causes of excessive urination. It increases the blood flow towards the pelvic region and kidneys, which then turn more efficient. Your body tries to get rid of the waste quickly as it also expels waste for two.
Your bladder can hold about a pint of urine during non-pregnancy. But in the first trimester, your uterus expands and begins to move over your bladder, compressing it. A narrowed bladder cannot hold more urine and so tries to empty as soon as possible. It may be the major reason for frequent urination in early pregnancy.
The level of blood increases during your whole pregnancy, and it will be almost 50% more than what it was before you conceived. It, therefore, builds up excess fluid that gets processed in the kidneys and ends up in excess urination.
UTI or bladder infection, if left untreated, can cause serious problems. Frequent urinations is one among them. Other symptoms include burning sensation during urination, pain at the end of urination, and blood spots in the urine.
If the UTI is untreated, it can lead to kidney infection (pyelonephritis), causing a high temperature, vomiting, and severe back pain. It requires treatment with intravenous antibiotics and hospitalization. It can further lead to risks of preterm labor and miscarriage.
[ Read: Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy ]
[ Read: Urinary Incontinence During Pregnancy ]
Here are some simple measures you can follow to minimize the frequency of urination:
Leaning forward will help you empty out the bladder in a better way and also makes it to the last urine drop by double-voiding. It ensures your bladder is properly emptied so that you may require few trips to the toilet.
Avoid beverages like tea, coffee or alcohol as they are diuretic in nature. They will certainly increase the urge to pee.
Cut back on the fluids before you go to bed but make sure you drink more water during the day. You should consume at least eight glasses of water. Do not cut down on water unnecessarily.
Kegel exercises help you gain control over the urethra. The best part is that the exercise can be performed discreetly just about anywhere. You can do the exercise about three times a day with 10-20 contractions a time for 10 seconds. Watch the following video for the instructions:
Try to clear out the bladder before you go out or sleep. It is better to get out the urine of your system. Also, when you are going to some event, make sure you have toilets in the vicinity.
Wear a sanitary pad especially if you have a cough or sneeze. Coughing, sneezing or activities like lifting heavy objects may sometimes cause leakage, and it may embarrass you. Most of the pregnant women use urinary incontinence pads.
Do not feel embarrassed to check about frequent urination with your healthcare provider. You are not the only one who is experiencing this condition during pregnancy. Inform your doctor about your daily routine, so that she can diagnose the cause better. Let her know if you suffer from pain, burning sensation, blood in urine and more.
Your healthcare provider will usually diagnose the condition depending upon the frequency of urination and its urge along with your symptoms. The diagnostic tests may include:
[ Read: Protein In Urine During Pregnancy ]
Even after delivery, the urge for frequent urination will not slow at least for the first few days. The body tries to eliminate the excess fluids it has gained during pregnancy. Once you have passed all the extra fluid, you will revert to the normal urination schedule. But, if it lasts for a longer time, you should see a doctor.
Kegel exercises will also help in preventing urinary incontinence that remains in some women after delivery. Also, losing the excess baby weight will lessen the risk. The findings published in the American Journal of Epidemiology say that among women who suffered frequent urination during pregnancy, the odds of experiencing the same for six months after delivery decreased by two percent for every two pounds lost after childbirth.
Ans: Most of the women leak some urine when they cough, sneeze, raise heavy objects or perform certain exercises. This condition, called “stress urinary incontinence”, will usually occur in the third trimester or in your postpartum period. The best way to avoid the condition is not to allow your bladder get too full. So pass the urine when you feel the urge.
Ans: Unless there is some other problem, frequent urination does not affect your baby. But remember that you should never ignore a UTI.
The difference between frequent urination and UTI is based on the pain and the color of the urine. If you have a UTI, you will have the urge to urinate along with a burning sensation in the genital area. The longer the UTI goes untreated, the greater is the pain.
Ans: You may have to get up frequently to pee more during nights. It is because when you lie down, the fluid that is retained in your feet and legs during the day will find its way to the bloodstream and then into the bladder. You can cut back the fluid intake before bedtime and consume plenty during the daytime. In this way, you may reduce the urge to pee during nights.
Do share your experiences and discomforts during pregnancy and what you did to alleviate them.