Frequent urination means needing to urinate more often than usual. Urgent urination is a sudden, strong need to urinate. This causes a discomfort in your bladder. Urgent urination makes it difficult to delay using the toilet.
A frequent need to urinate at night is called nocturia. Most people can sleep for 6 to 8 hours without having to urinate.
Urgent urination; Urinary frequency or urgency; Urgency-frequency syndrome; Overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome; Urge syndrome
Common causes of these symptoms are:
Less common causes include:
Follow the advice of your health care provider to treat the cause of the problem.
It may help to write down the times when you urinate and the amount of urine you produce. Bring this record to your visit with the provider. This is called a voiding diary.
In some cases, you may have problems controlling urine (incontinence) for a period of time. You may need to take steps to protect your clothing and bedding.
For nighttime urination, avoid drinking too much fluid before going to bed. Cut down on the amount of liquids you drink that contain alcohol or caffeine.
Contact your provider right away if:
Also contact your provider if:
Your provider will take a medical history and do a physical exam.
Tests that may be done include:
Treatment depends on the cause of the urgency and frequency. You may need to take antibiotics and medicine to ease your discomfort.
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Rane A, Kulkarni M, Iyer J. Prolapse and disorders of the urinary tract. In: Symonds I, Arulkumaran S, eds. Essential Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 21.
Reynolds WS, Cohn JA. Overactive bladder. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 117.
Reviewed By: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.