There are many reasons why frequent urination can occur in men, women and children. In this guide, we shall mainly discuss frequent urination or Polyuria as a sign of bacterial infection (Urinary tract Infection or UTI) of the bladder and kidneys. First let us consider the common reasons behind frequent urination:
- Pregnant women, for one, need to urinate several times on account of the increasing fetal pressure on the bladder.
- Some individuals may suffer from frequent urination after drinking several glasses of fluids or even from over-consumption of coffee or alcoholic beverages.
- Men with an enlarged prostate gland are also known to suffer from frequent urination.
- Diabetics or people with high sugar levels in blood also tend to urinate more frequently than normal.
- People who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also suffer from Polyuria (but these symptoms go away after the treatment is over).
Often, people suffering from frequent urination ignore the condition thinking it is trivial and that it will resolve on its own. Many times, they just soldier on as they are worried they might be having a serious medical issue. However, Polyuria must not be ignored since failure to seek prompt medical attention can even lead the bacterial infection to the kidneys, and these can sometimes be fatal.
Frequent Urination diagnosis
So what can be termed as frequent urination or Polyuria? Medical experts say that “the need to urinate more often than every two hours or more than 8 times in 24 hour periods can be considered as frequent urination”. Some people also need to get up several times at night to relieve themselves and this type of nocturnal frequent urination is termed as Nocturia. A few patients feel the need to urinate again and again, despite just having visited the bathroom. The diagnosis of frequent urination thus depends upon the accompaniment of other symptoms such as:
- Is the urge to urinate so strong that the urine leaks before reaching the bathroom?
- Is there pain in the abdomen or lower back?
- Is the patient having a high fever (above 100.5 F) with chills?
- Is the urine cloudy or bloody?
- Is there a foul smell accompanying the urine?
- Is the patient producing scanty urine (only a few drops at a given time)?
- Are there any changes in appetite or thirst?
- Is there any vaginal or penile discharge?
If any of these symptoms are accompanying frequent urination, then it is vital to seek medical help immediately. As stated above, it is a must to rule out kidney infections as these can permanently damage the organ or may infect the bloodstream to become life threatening.
UTI and frequent urination in women
The possibility of frequent urination as a result of a Urinary infection is higher in women than in men. The reason for this is the shorter distances required for the bacteria to travel to the bladder from the urethra as compared to those in men. Furthermore, the female urethra is also closer to the anus than that in males which leads to higher risks of getting such bacterial infections.
A urine analysis or urine culture can help show the presence of bacteria in urine which, in turn, can help the doctor recommend the right antibiotics for treating the condition. It is important to drink at least 2 quarts of fluid each day when suffering from UTI. Patients must continue taking the complete dosage of antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor even if the symptoms are resolved. This ensures eliminating all of the bacteria and prevents the infection from recurring.
Patients who are prone to frequent urination must talk to their healthcare provider regarding simple tips and hygiene that can prevent such UTIs.