Puberty can be a very confusing time for adolescents due to all the changes that fluctuating hormones bring. However, an often overlooked change is how puberty affects bladder health and urination, potentially leading to frequent urination. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common changes and how to manage them.
What does puberty do to the teenage body?
Puberty usually starts between the ages of 8 and 13 in girls and 9 and 15 in boys.1 This process can take up to four years.2 A young person may be 20 years old by the time all the changes have happened.3 The changes in hormones leads to other changes in the body.
In young people, some of the most common changes include:
- going through a growth spurt
- experiencing acne
- sweating more
- increased hair growth
- starting their periods
Additionally, teenagers of any gender may experience changes in mood, such as mood swings, low self-esteem and aggression. All these changes are perfectly normal and not to be worried about.
What effect does puberty have on bladder health?
In addition to the changes mentioned above, puberty can also have an impact on your child’s bladder health, due to fluctuating hormone levels. As a result, some teenagers might experience various bladder issues, including frequent urination, bed-wetting, urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence.
Does puberty cause frequent urination?
One of the bladder conditions that a teenager might experience during puberty is frequent urination. Most of the time, frequent urination is nothing to worry about and will naturally clear up. However, in teenagers, it can also be a sign of:
- a urinary tract infection (UTI)
- diabetes, which also presents by making your teen very thirsty
- bladder cancer, though this is very rare7
- the lining of the womb growing outside its usual location (also called endometriosis)
If your child is experiencing issues, iD has a range of junior continence productsto manage the condition. The full iD Comfy Junior range is breathable and discreet.
For concerns about your teenager’s general or bladder health during puberty, iD recommends speaking to your family doctor.
Urinary incontinence and puberty
Urinary incontinence (also known as bladder weakness or an overactive bladder) is not uncommon in teenagers, with 3-15% of 15-16 year olds experiencing it.8 It is defined as the involuntary passing of urine9, and there are several types. While adolescents might find this embarrassing, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It can occur in teenagers for various reasons, including a bladder infection, a fluctuation in hormone levels, injury and conditions that cause nerve damage.10
1 “PUBERTY AND GROWING UP”, You Alright?, n.d., Source: https://www.youalright.co.uk/whats-stressing-you-out/puberty-and-growing-up
2 “Stages of puberty: what happens to boys and girls”, NHS, 16 November 2018, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/stages-of-puberty-what-happens-to-boys-and-girls/
3 “What to know about puberty”, Yvette Brazier, 25 October 2020, Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/156451
4 “Stages of puberty: what happens to boys and girls”, NHS, 16 November 2018, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/stages-of-puberty-what-happens-to-boys-and-girls/
6 “Pollakiuria: Everything you need to know”, Jenna Fletcher, 27 February 2020, Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/pollakiuri
7 “Frequent Urination in Teens”, Beth Greenwood, 26 September 2017, Source: https://howtoadult.com/frequent-urination-teens-7268.html
8 “Why some teenagers also suffer from incontinence”, Marelize Wilke, 18 March 2019, Source: https://www.news24.com/health24/medical/incontinence/incontinence-in-children/why-some-teenagers-also-suffer-from-incontinence-20190318
9 “Urinary incontinence”, NHS, 7 November 2019, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-incontinence/ 10 “Why some teenagers also suffer from incontinence”, Marelize Wilke, 18 March 2019, Source: https://www.news24.com/health24/medical/incontinence/incontinence-in-children/why-some-teenagers-also-suffer-from-incontinence-20190318