Do you find yourself needing to visit the loo more often?
If you’re feeling like you’ve been spending a little too much time in the bathroom recently, you’re not alone. When you gotta go, you gotta go!
Whether you’re in a deep sleep in the middle of the night or there’s no toilet nearby, frequent urination is a common discomfort during pregnancy and something you definitely don’t enjoy.
What is frequent urination during pregnancy?
When you’re pregnant, your body goes through a lot of changes. One of the most common is frequent urination. This can happen for many reasons, like increased blood flow and hormonal changes. Sometimes, though, it might be because of other causes, like swollen feet and ankles. If you’re experiencing frequent urination, it’s good to talk to your doctor and find out what might be causing it.
When does frequent urination start in pregnancy?
Frequent urination is an early sign of pregnancy, which means you’ll most likely start feeling it towards the start of your pregnancy, during the first trimester. This is right around the time you will notice a missed period, which marks week 4 of your pregnancy.
Although you’ll start noticing this pregnancy symptom early on, most pregnant women say it continues throughout their pregnancy term. In fact, most say they have to pee more frequently towards the end of the pregnancy, during the third trimester.
However, you may be happy to hear that you’ll experience some relief during the second trimester because your uterus will start moving away from your bladder.
How often is frequent urination in early pregnancy?
While the exact frequency will vary from woman to woman, you can expect to need to go more often starting around week six or seven of your pregnancy. And as your womb enlarges and puts pressure on your bladder, those trips are likely to become even more frequent! Some women find they need to urinate every hour or so during the peak of pregnancy symptoms.
If you're finding that you need to go too frequently or that you're unable to control your urine stream, it's a good idea to check in with your doctor. These could be signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is fairly common during pregnancy and can cause serious complications if left untreated.
What causes frequent urination during pregnancy?
If you’re feeling the urge to run to the bathroom, you can thank your hormonal changes that increase the production of urine. Your pregnancy hormones increase blood flow to your pelvic area and your kidneys.
With the increased blood flow, your kidneys will be getting rid of waste more quickly, which means needing to pee more often.
Another cause that takes partial blame is your growing uterus. Your uterus is usually the size of your fist -- but as your baby grows, your uterus will continue to grow and expand to make room for your baby. As your uterus enlarges, you will feel more pressure on your bladder, which causes the urge to pee.
The changes in your body are another less obvious cause -- specifically your swollen feet and ankles. If your legs tend to swell, they are absorbing fluids in your body (most commonly during nighttime). These are the same fluids used to produce urine in your system.
How do you manage frequent urination?
Getting up in the middle of the night and struggling to find a bathroom nearby can be quite the struggle. However, there are things you can do to prevent frequent urination.
Of course, try to cut back on fluids in the late afternoon or early evening. Don’t forget to drink the necessary amount of six to eight glasses of water a day before you stop drinking for the day.
Also, try avoiding certain beverages like coffee, tea, and soda, as they make you pee more often.
When you go to the bathroom throughout the day and just before going to bed, attempt to fully empty your bladder to avoid needing to go again shortly after.
It’s also a good idea to adapt to the concept of needing to pee more often. For example, try lounging around an area with a bathroom nearby in case you really gotta go! And to avoid those dreaded trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night, keep a nightlight in the bathroom to avoid blinding yourself after being shocked by bright lighting.
Signs of other conditions that may be causing this symptom and how to treat them
Besides frequent urination, pregnant women may experience other symptoms such as swollen feet and ankles. This is often due to the additional fluids your body is holding on to. If you’re having trouble walking or your feet and ankles are very swollen, you should consult your doctor.
Another condition that may be causing frequent urination is pelvic pain. This is most common in the later stages of pregnancy and may be a sign of labor. If you’re having pain in your lower back or pelvis, talk to your doctor to see if it’s serious.
Frequent urination can also be a sign of early labor. If you’re experiencing any other signs of labor, such as contractions, talk to your doctor immediately.
When should you contact your doctor?
If you feel like you need to go to the bathroom even after you just peed, ask your doctor to check if you’ve contracted a Urinary Tract Infection. To monitor yourself, try to observe the color of your urine to make sure you’re staying hydrated -- remember, it should be clear, not dark.
Again, feeling like you always need to pee maybe something that most pregnant women can attest to. Listen to your body when it tells you that something isn’t normal and you feel like getting professional help.
Frequent urination is a common symptom of pregnancy. If you notice that your bladder feels full or like it needs to go, this could be why. You should also look out for other symptoms such as fatigue and nausea, which are all signs of early pregnancy. The best way to manage frequent urination during pregnancy is by cutting back on fluids in the late afternoon or early evening and avoiding beverages like coffee, tea, and soda. If you are still having problems with frequent urination after making these changes, you should speak to your doctor. They may be able to help you further.