Frequent urination is the urge to urinate more than usual. Urinary frequency and urgency can be high in the first trimester and near the due date. There is nothing to worry about the increased need to pee while pregnant unless other symptoms are present.
Avoiding the urge to urinate and consuming less fluid to reduce the urinary frequency may impact your health. Read this post to know about the causes, associated medical conditions, tips to cope with frequent urination, and answers for other common queries regarding frequent urination during pregnancy.
When Does Frequent Urination Begin In Pregnancy?
Frequent urination can start in the first trimester and can be an early symptom of pregnancy. Usually, women may experience increased urine frequency around week four or the missed period.
Nighttime bathroom trips could also increase in the third trimester. This may occur around 35 weeks or beyond. Many women may experience frequent urination during the third trimester than the first (1).
What Causes Frequent Urination During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy hormones and increased body fluids can be the reasons for increased urine output throughout pregnancy. The following factors may cause frequent urination in various trimesters.
- First trimester: Pregnancy hormone progesterone can be the culprit of frequent urination in the first trimester. These hormones increase the blood flow to the pelvic area, making the kidneys work more and increasing the urine output (2).
- Second trimester: The urgency to urinate may reduce a little after you enter the second trimester. However, frequent urination may increase gradually as the baby grows. This can be due to increased pressure exerted by the uterus on the bladder.
- Third trimester: After the baby drops to the pelvis near the end of the third trimester, the bladder may receive more pressure from the uterus. The pregnant woman may rush to the bathroom to pee even more frequently than before (3).
Is Frequent Urination In Pregnancy A Sign Of Problem?
In most pregnant women, frequent urination can be a normal pregnancy symptom. However, the following medical conditions may increase the urinary frequency in pregnant women.
1. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) may lead to frequent urination in some pregnant women. It is one of the common bacterial infections during pregnancy and often occurs between six and 24 weeks of gestation. The following symptoms are usually seen along with frequent urination due to UTIs (4).
- Pelvic or lower abdominal pain or discomfort
- Blood-tinged urine
- Cloudy urine
- Burning sensation or pain while urinating
- Increased urge to urinate, but produce only a few drops of urine at a time
- FeverYou may seek immediate medical care if you experience symptoms of UTIs during pregnancy. If left untreated, this may increase the risk of kidney infections and preterm labor.
2. Gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes may also be associated with frequent urination in some women. This is a temporary form of diabetes affecting moms-to-be. The following signs and symptoms are often seen with frequent urination in gestational diabetes (5).
- Increased thirst
Gestational diabetes is often tested during prenatal visits, and appropriate treatment protects your baby from its impacts. Although it usually goes away after birth, do not hesitate to seek medical care to avoid pregnancy complications if you have signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes.
Diagnosis Of Frequent Urination In Pregnancy
Doctors may ask your symptoms to know if there is any concerning cause. They may often ask you to keep a journal of how much and how often you pee and the amount of fluid consumption. The following diagnostic tests are often ordered to identify the cause of symptoms and frequent urination.
- Urinalysis help to identify UTIs
- Blood tests and urine tests may help to identify kidney functions
- Ultrasound of kidneys, bladder, and urethra look for any abnormalities
- Cystoscopy may also help to visualize the bladder and urethra
Tests such as cystoscopy are not ordered on routine prenatal visits. Blood tests and urinary tests are often done to identify the general well-being of pregnant women. Gynecologists may order specific tests when there is a requirement.
Tips To Cope With Peeing Often When Pregnant
Peeing often is natural in pregnancy, and there is no need to avoid it. The following tips may help you to manage frequent urination in pregnancy.
- Lean forward while peeing to empty the bladder.
- Drink more fluid in the day to reduce frequent urination at night. Drinking more fluids before bed may lead to peeing at night.
- Stay away from caffeinated beverages and foods since they may increase your need to urinate.
- Drink more fluids if your urine is dark yellow. This may indicate dehydration. Increase your fluids to have normal pale yellow urine.
- Try Kegel exercises to improve pelvic floor muscle strength. Studies suggest that this may prevent urine leaks in some women (6).
- Try to pee before you go outdoors or go for long meetings.
Use the bathroom when you feel the need. Holding urine for a long time or reducing fluid intake to avoid frequent peeing is not ideal for a healthy pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why does urine leak while coughing, sneezing, or laughing?
Cough, sneeze, or laugh may cause urine leaks since it increases the pressure exerted by the uterus on the bladder. Certain exercises, such as jogging and lifting heavy objects, may also cause the same. This is known as stress urinary incontinence, usually seen in the third trimester and postpartum period.
This can be controlled by not holding pee and doing Kegel exercises. Emptying the bladder before exercising can also help avoid urine leaks. There is no need to worry, and you may simply use the panty liner for a few months to catch leaks.
2. How often do I need to pee throughout the pregnancy?
There is no right or wrong amount of time regarding how often you pee in pregnancy. This may vary in each woman depending on the trimester and individual factors. All you need to do is drink enough water to stay hydrated and ensure that your urine is pale yellow and no other symptoms are present.
3. How to avoid waking up at night to pee?
Drinking more water in the daytime may reduce the need for fluids before bedtime. You may try to drink water and empty your bladder before bed. This may reduce the urgency to urinate in the night hours. Not drinking an adequate amount of water is not recommended to avoid waking up in the night to pee while pregnant.
4. When will the constant need to urinate end?
The urinary urgency may decline after childbirth. You may continue to have more urine output for a few days postpartum, and it gradually reaches a normal rate. Most women reach back to normal urinary frequency as before they were pregnant within a week. You may discuss with the doctor if you have urgency and stress urinary incontinence in postpartum (7)
Frequent urination in pregnancy is a common problem that occurs due to hormonal changes and increased body fluids. It can start in the first trimester though you could also experience increased urination in the third trimester. In most cases, frequent urination during pregnancy isn’t a cause for concern. However, increased urine output could also occur due to an underlying problem. Thus, seek prompt medical guidance if frequent urination is accompanied by symptoms of any medical condition, such as urinary tract infection (UTI) or gestational diabetes.
- Frequent urination may occur in early pregnancy and during the third trimester.
- The rising hormone progesterone in the first trimester and the increased pressure on the urinary bladder due to the growing fetus in the third trimester are usually responsible for the condition.
- Health issues such as urinary tract infections or gestational diabetes may increase urine frequency during any stage of pregnancy.
- Leaning forward while peeing, decreasing water intake during the night, and avoiding caffeine are some of the best ways to cope with frequent urination.
2. Pregnancy- signs and symptoms; BetterHealth Channel
3. What causes frequent urination during pregnancy?; Marshfield Clinic Health System
4. Urinary tract infections in pregnancy; U.S. National Library of Medicine
5. Gestational Diabetes; Defeat Diabetes Foundation
6. Kegel Exercises; Michigan Medicine
7. Bladder weakness after birth; Pregnancy, Birth, and Baby