A woman deals with frequent urination

Frequent Urination in Women

The need or urge to urinate more often than you normally would is referred to as frequent urination. Urinating more than every two hours would be technically considered to be frequent urination, but this may feel normal to you. If you often feel uncomfortable, like your bladder is constantly extremely full, this would be classified as frequent urination.


Frequent urination is often an indicator of an underlying condition. Once your doctor determines what is causing your frequent urination, you will be able to begin a specialized treatment plan. The most common causes of frequent urination in women include:

  • Urinary tract infection: In women, the most common cause of frequent urination is urinary tract infections, which occur when bacteria is able to enter the bladder through the urethra. UTIs are much more common in women than men, with most women experiencing at least one UTI during their lifetime.
  • Pregnancy: When you are pregnant, your expanding uterus begins to put excess pressure on the bladder, which causes you to feel the need to urinate more often. The end of the third trimester of pregnancy is when this will usually be the worst, because this is when the most pressure will be on the bladder.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: Sexually transmitted diseases usually produce more symptoms in women, including frequent urination. Some STDs that are the most likely to lead to frequent urination include herpes, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
  • Overactive bladder syndrome: This is a condition that causes your bladder to contract more often than it should, leading to symptoms such as frequent urination. Over 17 million Americans suffer from overactive bladder syndrome. Overactive bladder syndrome is often the result of menopause in women, since the dramatic drop in estrogen can trigger changes in your urinary system such as this.


Determining your exact treatment plan for frequent urination will depend on what is causing it. If you have other symptoms accompanying frequent urination, such as fever, back pain, vomiting, chills, fatigue, increased thirst or appetite, blood in the urine, or discharge from the vagina, then your doctor will likely recommend some exams to see if you have an underlying condition that needs to be treated. For example, if you have diabetes, then you will need to learn how to manage your condition to prevent further complications. If an infection such as a UTI is causing your symptoms, then antibiotics will be prescribed to treat the infection.

If you don’t have a more serious condition to worry about, then your doctor will probably recommend some of the following techniques to gain a better control of your urination habits.

  • Diet modification: Try to avoid foods and drinks that are likely to irritate your bladder, including alcohol, caffeine, tomato-based products, chocolate, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, and artificial sweeteners.
  • Monitor fluid intake: Avoid drinking excessively, especially right before bedtime. Only drink enough fluids to prevent constipation and over-concentration of urine.
  • Kegel exercises: These are exercises that can help strengthen your muscles around your urethra and bladder, which will help you to gain a better control of the urgency and frequency of your urination patterns.
  • Bladder retraining: This is a method that involves gradually increasing the intervals between using the bathroom over the course of about 12 weeks in order to teach your bladder how to hold urine longer and urinate less often. 
Last Updated: March 14, 2017