Have you noticed that you keep needing a wee or have frequent urination at night? If this sounds familiar, then you may have an overactive bladder or be experiencing some bladder weakness.
An overactive bladder or frequent urination may seem like an embarrassing topic, but it’s actually more common than you might think; according to the NHS around 12% of the adult population have an overactive bladder.1
What is frequent urination/an overactive bladder?
Frequent urination is considered to be when you have a constant need to pee – you may need to go to the toilet more than eight times a day or wake up in the night to pee.2 However, this does depend on what is normal for you – some people may need to wee more than others, due to lifestyle factors, such as how much caffeine and alcohol they drink, as well as general fluid intake and bladder size.3
Causes of frequent urination
As said above, if you feel that frequent urination is normal for you and is not affecting your daily life, then there’s nothing to worry about. In fact, urinating overnight may just be a sign that you’re drinking too much near bedtime.4 However, if you’re experiencing increased urination with other symptoms, such as abdominal pain, pain while urinating, discoloured urine, vomiting or fever, it could be a sign of another health condition. If you have any concerns about your health, bladder or otherwise, iD recommends you talk to a healthcare professional.
Some common causes of frequent urination in men and women are:
- Infection, injury or irritation of the bladder (including Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs)
- Diuretics (things that increase production of urine) in drinks (such as coffee)
- Some cancer treatments and other medications
- Bladder and kidney stones
- Prostate issues
- Kidney infections
- Urinary incontinence.5
Urinary incontinence differs from frequent urination, as it is considered the unintentional passing of urine (leaks)6. If you would like to learn more about the types of urinary incontinence, you can read our article on that here.
Now we understand what frequent urination is and how it is caused, let’s look at some tips for managing your symptoms.
Consider changes to your diet
Certain foods and drinks, such as acidic foods and drinks, caffeine, and alcohol, can worsen symptoms of an overactive bladder, while others actually improve your overall bladder health, such as berries, milk and yoghurt. For more information and some recipe ideas, check out our blog on bladder-friendly food and drinks for summer.
Dress for success
While it might seem strange at first to adapt your wardrobe, some clothes can actually put more pressure on your bladder, including tight-fitting jeans and low-rise trousers. On the other hand, high-waisted leggings and trousers can actually help to support your pelvic floor muscles. You might also consider wearing dark loose-fitting clothing to help conceal any leaks. For more tips on how to look and feel your best with bladder weakness, check out our blog here.
Find the right products
At iD, our goal is to enable everyone to live life in full view. So, if you are experiencing some leaking as a result of an overactive bladder, consider shopping for some discreet, hygienic and practical products, such as those sold by iD. You can find our full range here. If you’re not sure which product is best for your symptoms, you can find an informative article to help you choose here.
However, please note that using incontinence products is the not the first solution. We recommend you speak to your doctor to see if your condition can be managed without an absorbent solution.
Exercise, exercise, exercise!
While it can be harder to get out and about to exercise when you’re experiencing bladder weakness symptoms or urinary frequency, there are many activities such as yoga and swimming that can help you keep active without putting a strain on your bladder.7 Take advantage of the free YouTube yoga tutorials, such as Yoga with Adriene, that have popped up during lockdown or take your daily exercise outside in the form of a gentle walk. There are even some exercises that can help strengthen your bladder – like pelvic floor exercises8.
So those are our top four tips for reducing symptoms of urinary frequency. If this article has whet your appetite, you can find some dos and don’ts to help you live your best life with bladder weakness here.
*We would like to remind you that if your symptoms are causing you distress or concern, please speak to your doctor.
1 “Overactive Bladder Syndrome”, NHS, January 2017, Source: https://www.ruh.nhs.uk/patients/Urology/documents/patient_leaflets/UR0043_Overactive_Bladder_Syndrome.pdf
2 “Frequent Urination: Causes and Treatments”, WebMD, 15 May 2019, Source: https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/frequent-urination-causes-and-treatments
3 “Why am I urinating so often?”, Catharine Paddock, 16 November 2018, Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/70782
4 “Frequent Urination: Causes and Treatments”, WebMD, 15 May 2019, Source: https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/frequent-urination-causes-and-treatments
5 “Symptoms: Frequent urination”, Mayo Clinic Staff, 4 July 2018, Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/frequent-urination/basics/causes/sym-20050712
6 “Urinary incontinence”, NHS, 7 November 2019, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-incontinence/
7 “9 Tips for Exercising with Incontinence.” C. S. McCauley, ed., n.d., Source: https://www.mcleodhealth.org/blog/9-tips-exercising-incontinence/
8 “Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women”, NHS, n.d., Source: https://www.nhs.uk/planners/pregnancycareplanner/documents/bandbf_pelvic_floor_women.pdf