For most people the number of times they need to urinate is between 6-7 times in a 24 hour period. This can vary from person to person. Some people can urinate around 4 times a day and others around 10 times. However, they still can be considered normal if they do not have any other associated problems. Urinary incontinence or frequent urination has a prevalence of 38% in women and only 17% in men. Urinary frequency in females can occur due to various causes.
Below are some of the health conditions that can cause increased urinary frequency in females:
A urinary tract infection can lead to increased urinary frequency. Urethra is the part of the urinary tract through which urine flows outside your body. Since the urethra is located near the anus, E.coli that is present in the large intestine can enter through your urethra and infect your bladder and the kidneys. This makes women more prone to urinary tract infections than men. It is reported that 1 in 2 women suffer from urinary tract infection and they can get repeatedly infected. Common symptoms of urinary tract infection include:
Some of the factors that increase the risk of urinary tract infection include:
Treatment of urinary tract infection includes using antibiotics, painkillers and drinking lots of water to flush the bacteria out of the system.
In overactive bladder there is frequent urge to urinate or urinating every 30 minutes. Females have this condition due to involuntary contraction of your bladder muscles even when the bladder is not full. Urination occurs by the contraction and relaxation of the detrusor muscles in your bladder and the action of these muscles are regulated by your nervous system.
In normal adults the urge to urinate occurs when the bladder contains 300 cc of urine. A healthy individual can retain 600 cc of urine in the bladder by voluntary control of the sphincter muscles at the mouth of the bladder. But people suffering from overactive bladder will feel the need to urinate with even 200 cc of urine in their bladder. This can be due to dysfunction of the detrusor muscle. Overactive bladder affects 40% of women. Symptoms of overactive bladder include:
Overactive bladder is not associated with pain or burning sensation or passage of blood while urinating. The exact cause of overactive bladder may not be known but it can occur due to:
Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, spicy foods can aggravate the symptoms.
Treatment of overactive bladder includes pelvic muscle strengthening (e.g. Kegel exercises), medications (anticholinergics and antispasmodics), surgery and behavioral therapy.
Stress incontinence commonly occurs in women. Stress incontinence is characterized by involuntary loss of urine when there is stress on your bladder due to physical activities such as sneezing, coughing, sexual intercourse and lifting heavy things. It occurs when the pelvic floor muscles or the sphincter muscles that control the flow of urine outside your bladder become weak. Hence, urinating every 30 minutes in females can be due to stress incontinence. It usually occurs due to the following reasons:
Stress incontinence can occur in combination with urge incontinence when it is called mixed incontinence. Treatment options include behavioral changes, pelvic exercises, medications (e.g. anticholinergics and vaginal estrogen creams) and surgery.
Frequent urination is very common during pregnancy. The increase in urinary frequency aggravates as pregnancy progresses. It is especially worse in women who have been pregnant before. The increase in urinary frequency during pregnancy can be due to the following factors:
Urinating every 30 minutes? Females resolve spontaneously after childbirth. After childbirth your doctor may recommend doing pelvic floor exercises called Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles. During your pregnancy you should avoid drinking caffeinated drinks to prevent frequent urination. However, it is advised that you should not reduce your fluid intake as drinking enough fluids is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Menopause may cause bladder control problems and increased urinary frequency in women. During menopause the amount of estrogen produced by your ovaries decreases. This can produce a lot of changes in your body that can cause increased urinary frequency:
After menopause women develop stress incontinence, urge incontinence and nocturia. You can improve your symptoms by doing Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks and reduce your fluid intake during the later part of the day. If the symptoms get worse vaginal estrogen creams and antispasmodics may be prescribed by your doctor.
The above mentioned causes of frequent urination are common or specific to women. There are also other conditions that can cause frequent urination. They include diabetes, tumors in the pelvic area, interstitial cystitis, bladder stones and medications such as diuretics.