Frequent urination during pregnancy

Frequent urination during pregnancy is a common pregnancy symptom no pregnant woman enjoys. Running in the loo every 10 minutes is particularly annoying during the nights. Learn what causes your regular toilet visits, and more importantly, what can be done about it.

What causes frequent urination during pregnancy?

Frequent urination during pregnancy is the result of physiological changes in the women’s body. Primarily it is caused by the elevated pregnancy hormones progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

Hormones increase blood flow to the pregnant woman’s pelvic area, including kidneys, resulting in bigger kidneys with higher efficiency. Higher efficiency means higher urine production, which leads to frequent urination in pregnancy. 

In later pregnancy, the growing uterus also adds its share. The uterus and infant’s body put pressure on the bladder, giving it less room to store urine.

Towards the end of the pregnancy, is the urge to pee even further increased. The baby starts preparing for birth, so her head drops down into the pelvis, making even stronger pressure on the pregnant woman’s bladder.

Connective tissue in the pelvis starts loosening its strength, leaving the urethra no longer closed completely. That results in more natural childbirth but might cause minor accidents during walking, coughing, or laughing. 

That is normal during pregnancy, and it is not something to worry about! However, the problem might persist beyond childbirth. Try Kegel exercises for pelvic floor muscles. They are great for strengthening your pelvis after labor.

Did you know?

  1. Blood flow through kidneys increases up to 35 to 60% during pregnancy. 
  2. Kidneys produce up to 25% more urine during pregnancy.

Is frequent urination during pregnancy dangerous?

Increased frequency of urination in pregnancy is normal. However, if it is accompanied by pain and a burning sensation, that might be a sign of urinary tract infection.

In such a case, it is better to consult your health care provider. Untreated urinary tract infections in pregnancy might lead to premature birth and low birth weight.

When does frequent urination start during pregnancy?

Frequent urination is actually one of the first pregnancy symptoms. It starts in the first trimester, usually, around the time you would otherwise get your period. 

So, if you are pregnant, increased toilet visits are probably nothing to worry about. 

How to reduce frequent urination during pregnancy?

You must maintain a healthy pregnancy diet and stay hydrated during pregnancy. Do not restrict your fluids to reduce urination! Dehydration can lead to many problems, including urinary tract infections.

The Institute of Medicine recommends about 8 to 10-ounce cups of water or other beverages a day during pregnancy. But do not worry if you need a bit more or less than average. We are different, so our needs differ. 

You can tell if you are well-hydrated if your urine looks pale yellow or colorless.

What can you do to reduce frequent urination when you are pregnant?

  1. To reduce frequent urination in pregnancy, you can avoid beverages with a mild diuretic effect, such as coffee or tea. 
  2. You can try to lean forward as you urinate. That is how you will fully empty your bladder, which may save you a toile visit or two.
  3. To reduce night-time peeing, drink more during the day and less in the evening. 

Your frequent urination during pregnancy is most likely just a pregnancy symptom. However, talk to your healthcare provider if you worry that something else is going on with your body.

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