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Frequent Urination: 10 Terms to Know

The need to urinate more often than is normal for you is called frequent urination. This is something that is usually a symptom of an underlying condition. If you are experiencing the symptoms of frequent urination, here are some important terms you should be familiar with.

  1. Bladder: Your bladder is a part of your urinary system, and it is a hollow organ that collects urine that is excreted by the kidneys before disposing of it through urination. When you experience frequent urination, this means that either the bladder is producing more urine than usual or you're passing very small amounts of urine each time you go.
  2. Nocturia: Frequent urination can occur during the day or night time, but if it is only noticeable while you are sleeping, this is referred to as nocturia.
  3. Urinary tract infection: This is one of the most common causes of frequent urination. A UTI is an infection of any part of your urinary tract, including your urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys. If this is what is causing your symptoms, then it can be easily treated and cured with a round of antibiotics.
  4. Overactive bladder: This is a condition that also causes frequent urination because it results in involuntary, unpredictable bladder contractions that lead to frequent and urgent urination.
  5. Diuretics: A diuretic is a medication that is often used to treat high blood pressure of fluid buildup in the kidneys. They work by flushing out excess sodium and water from the body, which often causes frequent urination symptoms as well.
  6. Urinalysis: When trying to diagnose which underlying condition may be causing your symptoms, your doctor will likely recommend some tests of your urine. Urinalysis is a microscopic examination of your urine that measures various compounds that pass through the urine.
  7. Cystometry: This is a test that measures the pressure inside of your bladder to see how well it is working. This is used to determine if a nerve or muscle problem may be the cause behind your problems.
  8. Cystoscopy: This is a minimally invasive test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of your bladder and urethra using a cystoscope, which is a thin, lighted instrument.
  9. Bladder retraining: This is a technique that can be used to treat frequent urination if it is caused by a condition such as overactive bladder. Bladder retraining works by gradually increasing the intervals between using the restroom over the course of about 12 weeks. This technique helps to teach your bladder how to hold urine longer and therefore urinate less frequently.
  10. Kegel exercises: This is an exercise that helps strengthen the muscles around your bladder and urethra that will help improve your bladder control and reduce the urgency and frequency of your urination patterns. These exercises involve clenching your pelvic muscles for at least five minutes three times per day. Doing kegel exercises can significantly help improve your ability to control your bladder. 
Last Updated: March 14, 2017