Frequent Urination in Men and Women Is Common

By Temma Ehrenfeld @temmaehrenfeld
July 11, 2023
Frequent Urination in Men and Women Is Common

You might hear about frequent urination in women, and think men are safe until they age. But frequent urination in men occurs at all ages. Here's what you should know.

If you think bladder issues affect only women or elderly men, think again. More than 60 percent of men and women experience some kind of problem with urination. The problems often start with frequent urination, which hits nearly 40 percent of men before the age of 39, and nearly half of women.

If you need to go eight or more times a day, you meet the medical definition for frequent urination. But things can get more complicated. If you often get a sudden urge to urinate during the day, your problem is defined as an overactive bladder.

You might leak or wet yourself before you reach the toilet. Some people wake up two or more times during the night to urinate. You might leak urine when you sneeze or dribble at night on the sheets. Too many people end up with symptoms of overactive bladder combined with other issues.

You’ll hear that loss of bladder control is “just a normal part of getting older” and you may assume doctors can’t help. But you shouldn’t just tolerate the problem. Don’t be embarrassed: Talk to your doctor or a gynecologist or urologist.  


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What causes overactive bladder or frequent urination?

If you don’t empty your bladder completely when you urinate, it may become overactive. Constipation can trigger frequent urination in women and men. Treating diabetes and estrogen dips after menopause will help. The problem may begin in pregnancy.

Other causes of a frequent urge to urinate

  • Drugs. Caffeine, alcohol, antihistamines like Allegra and Claritin, and other drugs can make you urinate more. Medications for high blood pressure or fluid buildup also can lead to frequent urination in women and men.
  • Prostate problems in men. The urethra carries urine out of your body. An enlarged prostate can press against it and block the flow. The bladder wall reacts, contracting even when your bladder contains only small amounts of urine.
  • An obstruction in your bladder. You might have a tumor or kidney stones. A urologist can diagnose the problem.
  • Dementia or cognitive decline after a stroke. Mental decline may interfere with signals from your bladder to your brain.

Natural remedies for overactive bladder

Try cutting back on fluids and eliminating caffeine and alcohol. Nicotine and artificial sweeteners may irritate your bladder wall. Some people have fewer symptoms when they avoid certain foods.

You can also go to the bathroom every two or four hours, rather than waiting for the urge.

All women need to work out their pelvic floor muscles (Kegel exercises). When you get the feeling to pee, squeeze and then relax your muscles as quickly as you can, several times in a row.

You could also coach yourself to delay urinating. You might start with a delay of a half hour after you first feel the urge. Another technique is to wait a few minutes after urinating and try to urinate again, to make sure you completely empty your bladder.

Other treatment for overactive bladder

Before you go to your primary care doctor, keep a diary for three or more days, noting:

  • When, how much, and what you drank
  • When you urinate
  • Whether you had any accidents

Are your symptoms worse when you don’t drink enough? Or after you drink coffee?

A specialist might request an ultrasound scan of your bladder. You’ll urinate into a uroflowmeter to measure the volume and speed. In a bladder-pressure test, a catheter fills your bladder with warm water while another catheter records the pressure from your vagina or rectum.

Medications for overactive bladder are the most established treatment, according to a review of research by the well-regarded Cochrane group. The medications work better than bladder training alone.

If medication doesn’t work, there are a variety of electrical stimulation techniques available.


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July 11, 2023

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN