Are you pregnant? Do you feel like your bathroom breaks are getting a little too frequent? Well, when you have to pee, you have to pee (even if that is becoming all the time).
Frequent urination is one symptom of pregnancy that many women do not enjoy. In addition to interrupting your much-needed sleep, clean bathrooms can be really hard to find in public.
As annoying as it may be, frequent urination during pregnancy is something you shouldn’t really worry about.
Nevertheless, what causes it? Would it ever go away? How do you manage it?
Read on to find out!
Causes of Frequent Urination During Pregnancy
Having to pee all the time during pregnancy is definitely annoying.
As usual, we can blame it on one thing-hormones. During pregnancy, a hormone called HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) causes an increase in the amount of blood in your body, especially the blood flow to your pelvic area and also your kidneys.
Therefore, your body needs to produce more fluids and get rid of waste faster, and not just for you, but for your baby too. This means that your kidneys have to work harder and more efficiently; leading to an increase in urination.
Your growing womb is another reason why you’d spend more time inside the bathroom than out of it during pregnancy. This is because your womb sits directly on your bladder and puts more pressure on it as it grows. Therefore, your bladder has less room to store urine and you’d to spend more time in the bathroom letting all that urine go.
Also, as you approach the end of your pregnancy, your baby will begin to prepare for childbirth and attain the birthing position. This usually means that his head will “drop” down into the pelvis-directly on top of your bladder. You already guessed it-this means you will have to go more than ever before!
When Does Frequent Urination During Pregnancy Start?
Frequent urination is an early pregnancy symptom, although, when it starts differs from woman to woman. However, most women begin to feel that incessant urge to pee from around weeks 6-8 of pregnancy, and sometimes, as early as week 4!
How Frequent is Frequent Urination?
Well, there is definitely no absolute standard. Just do not hold it in. When you’ve got to pee, you’ve got to pee Mama!
Will it Ever Stop?
Frequent urination may ease up for a while once you enter your second trimester. Sadly, it will most probably return (with a blast) later on in your pregnancy.
This is because your baby puts more pressure on your bladder as she grows, and adds more pressure when she “drops” into your pelvis just before birth.
Thankfully, you can say good-bye to this problem once your baby is born!
Managing Frequent Urination During Pregnancy
Unfortunately, this symptom of pregnancy is one you cannot run from.
You really shouldn’t want to.
This is because your frequent urination is actually a good sign; that you are drinking enough fluids, well-hydrated and healthy.
This does not make it any less annoying though, so we have some tips to help make your life a little bit easier:
- You need to properly empty your bladder each time you pee to reduce the amount of times you will have to pee. A tip to do this is to lean forward when you pee. This ensures that you get most of it out.
- Avoid drinking too much water at night or just before bed. This will help minimize the number of times you will have to pee at night.
- Caffeine will make you pee a lot, so stay away from foods and drinks containing caffeine.
- Get yourself familiar with pelvic exercises and practice them. Kegel exercises are a good place to start and it will help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This will prevent leaking of pee when you cough, sneeze, or even laugh while pregnant or after childbirth.
- If you do find yourself leaking when you cough or sneeze, use a panty liner.
- Always make sure you pee beforehand if you are going out or have a long meeting. And when you do leave your house, locating the closest bathroom should be the first thing on your list (to avoid embarrassing situations).
Can Frequent Urination During Pregnancy Indicate A Problem?
Frequent urination during pregnancy is usually not something to bother yourself about as it is normal. Nevertheless, it can sometimes be an indication of a medical condition.
Some of these conditions include:
1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
If you have a UTI, frequent urination will be accompanied with ;
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in your urine
- Feeling a strong urge to pee, but only a few drops coming out
- A burning (pepperish) sensation as your pee passes from your bladder to the exterior
If you notice any of these symptoms or you think that you may have a UTI, consult your doctor immediately.
2. Gestational Diabetes
This is a type of poorly controlled blood sugar that affects some expectant mothers. It is serious and can cause complications for you and your baby if not managed properly. Thankfully, it usually resolves after childbirth. Frequent urination is one of the symptoms of gestational diabetes.
Other symptoms include:
- Persistent thirst
- Insatiable hunger
Your doctor will most likely test you for gestational diabetes during the 24th and 28th weeks of your pregnancy.
In addition, you should note that reduced urination and dark/orange coloured urine may be a sign if dehydration. Dehydration is not good for anyone, most especially pregnant women.
If this happens, try to take in more fluid (lots of water will do) till you notice your urine return back to a normal pale, yellow colour.
A Final Note
Look on the bright side; frequent urination is a sign that you are well hydrated and healthy, even though you would be spending more time in the bathroom than you would like.
Don’t worry, your increased urge to pee will disappear once your baby is born.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Problems of the Digestive System, January 2014.
- Bastian LA, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of early pregnancy. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed May 19, 2016.