How often you urinate depends on a variety of factors, and there’s no ‘normal’ frequency that applies to everyone1.However, on average, people need to empty their bladder six or seven times a day 2. On the other hand, frequent urination, also known as urge incontinence, is relatively common and believed to affect 12-17% of some European and American populations 3. While it varies between people, this condition is generally defined as needing to pee more than eight times day4.
Although many things may cause you to wee more frequently, you might be wondering if there’s a link between a bloated stomach and frequent urination. We’ve delved into the topic to deliver all the information you need to know.
What can cause frequent urination in men and women?
While inconvenient and disruptive to your everyday life, urge incontinence isn’t necessarily caused by a serious issue. It can be linked to a simple issue that will pass, such as drinking too much fluid, particularly coffee and alcohol5, feelingcold6 , or pregnancy 7. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms in addition to frequent urination, we recommend you speak to your healthcare provider or GP:
- Pain when you urinate
- Blood in your wee
- Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence)
- An increase in your urgency to pee
- Trouble weeing, even though you feel like you need to
- Tummy pain
- Increased thirst
- A high temperature
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Unusual genital discharge 8.
These symptoms may be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as:
- Urinary tract infections (or UTIs)
- Prostate issues
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Neurological issues.10
Is there a link between a bloated stomach and urge incontinence?
Bloating is reasonably common, with around 62% of women and 41% of men in the UK regularly experiencing it 11. Many things can cause a bloated stomach, from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to conditions like diabetes 12. While signs of an upset stomach, such as bloating and abdominal pain,don’t cause frequent urination themselves, they can accompany other causes of urge incontinence 13. These include:
- Urinary tract infections, such as cystitis
- Infections like gastroenteritis
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Indigestion (also known as dyspepsia)
- Drinking too much coffee or alcohol
- Fibroids (abnormal growths in the uterus)
- Kidney stones
- A narrowing of the urethra
- Some more serious conditions, such as various cancers, prostate issues, and hypercalcemia (too much calcium in your blood)15.
iD recommends speaking to your GP if you have any concerns about your symptoms, particularly if you experience an upset stomach and urge incontinence, in addition to the issues listed in the section above.
If you’re concerned about leaks while experiencing a bloated stomach and frequent urination, you may want to consider using continence products. For lighter leaks, the iD Light range is a discreet, comfortable, and breathable option. If you experience more severe leaks, iD Pants may be an ideal solution. These pants are available in a range of absorbencies and sizes, and feature a soft waistband and odour control technology to keep you secure and fresh.
1 “How many times a day should a person pee?”, Jayne Leonard, 11 April 2018, Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321461
3 “Overactive Bladder Syndrome: Evaluation and Management”, Elad Leron, Adi Y. Weintraub, Salvatore A. Mastrolia and Polina Schwarzman, 20 February 2018, Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5903463/
4 “Frequent Urination: Causes and Treatments”, Mary Anne Dunkin, 15 May 2021, Source: https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/frequent-urination-causes-and-treatments
5 “Causes Urinary incontinence”, NHS, 7 November 2022, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-incontinence/causes/
6 “What is Cold Diuresis”, Arkansas Urology, 13 February 2017, Source: https://arkansasurology.com/what-is-cold-diuresis/
7 “Frequent Urination: Causes and Treatments”, Mary Anne Dunkin, 15 May 2021, Source: https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/frequent-urination-causes-and-treatments
8 “Why do I have to pee all the time?”, Catharine Paddock, 27 October 2021, Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/70782
9 “Urination: Frequent Urination”, Cleveland Clinic medical professional, 11 August 2019, Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15533-urination–frequent-urination
10 “Why do I have to pee all the time?”, Catharine Paddock, 27 October 2021, Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/70782
11 “Digesting the facts”, core, n.d., Source: http://gutscharity.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/DigestingTheFactsReport.pdf
12 “Bloating Or Fullness, Distended Stomach, Frequent Urge To Urinate And Frequent Urination”, Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, 9 October 2020, Source: https://www.medicinenet.com/bloating_distended_stomach_and_frequent_urination/multisymptoms.htm
13 “Frequent Urination And Upset Stomach”, Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, 9 October 2020, Source: https://www.medicinenet.com/frequent_urination_and_upset_stomach/multisymptoms.htm
15 “What’s Causing My Abdominal Pain and Frequent Urination?”, Rachel Nall, 17 September 2018, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/abdominal-pain-and-frequent-urination