Frequent Urination in Pregnancy

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Frequent urination is part of the pregnancy experience. It can be exciting when you first notice it and realize that you're expecting. Then, during the last few months, it might be a bit annoying as it interferes with your sleep.

Here’s what you need to know about frequent urination during pregnancy, why it happens, how to deal with it, and when it could be a sign of a problem. 

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Illustration by Brianna Gilmartin, Verywell
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What Does 'Frequent Urination' Mean?

Frequent urination is going more than you usually do in a day, so it's different for everyone. A regular urination pattern can be anywhere from four to ten times a day, with an average of about six.

Some pregnant people only notice mild changes and use the bathroom at the same rate or just slightly more often than they did before. Others experience much more noticeable changes and feel they are constantly running to the bathroom throughout the day and night.

If you're concerned that you are not peeing enough or you think you may be going too often, call your doctor to discuss or bring it up at your next prenatal appointment.

Changes in Urination by Trimester

Frequent urination is very common in early pregnancy. It sometimes eases during mid-pregnancy, only to return again later. Here’s how it typically breaks down by trimester.

First Trimester

You may have to urinate more frequently as early as two weeks after conception or right around the time of your first missed period. Along with tender breasts and morning sickness, frequent urination is considered an early sign of pregnancy and may prompt you to take a pregnancy test.

Hormone changes during the beginning of pregnancy lead to an increase in blood flow and fluid in the body. On top of that, your kidneys kick into high gear and work extra hard to get waste out of your body. The first trimester also sees the uterus start to grow and press against the bladder.

More fluid along with more efficient kidneys means more urine. Plus, the uterus pressing on the bladder can make it feel like you have to empty it more often.

If you don’t notice an increase in urination in the early weeks, it doesn’t mean there’s a problem. Frequent urination will most likely catch up with you later in pregnancy.

Second Trimester

As your pregnancy continues, your body begins to adapt to the new changes. At the same time, your growing uterus rises up into the abdominal cavity, taking some of the pressure off of your bladder. For these reasons, the second trimester often brings a welcome break from frequent bathroom trips.

Third Trimester

Frequent urination usually returns in the third trimester as your uterus and your growing baby sink down into the pelvis and press on the bladder once again.

Postpartum

The birth of your baby relieves the pressure from your bladder along with the frequent urge to pee. But, your body still needs time to recover. It typically takes eight to 12 weeks for your urinary system to return to the way it was beforepregnancy.

When Frequent Urination Is a Problem

Urinating often during pregnancy is common and normal. It is usually not a cause for concern. However, frequent urination can sometimes be a sign of a health problem.

Bladder Infection

Urinary frequency is one of the signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a bladder infection. Other symptoms of a UTI include pain or burning with urination, an urge to go again right after you just went, blood in the urine, and fever.

Your doctor will ask you if you are having any urinary symptoms at your prenatal visits, but be sure to call the office if you think you may have an infection.

UTI Biodigital

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that comes on during pregnancy and goes away after the birth of a baby. It develops when there is too much sugar in the blood.

An increase in urination is one of the signs of gestational diabetes. Other symptoms are thirst and fatigue. These symptoms are also typical of pregnancy, so it can be hard to tell the difference. That’s why doctors routinely test for gestational diabetes (usually between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy).  

Other Causes

Other causes of frequent urination can include:

  • Drinking a lot of water or other liquids
  • Gaining too much weight, which can put pressure on the bladder
  • Too much caffeine
  • Medications that have side effects that remove water from the body 

Coping With Frequent Urination

Pregnancy and frequent bathroom breaks go hand in hand. There is no way to get around it or stop it. However, you can get through it. Try these strategies.

Drink Enough Fluids

Although it's tempting to limit fluids to reduce urination, hydration is very important in pregnancy. You are losing extra fluid through your urine, and it's important to replace it. You should continue to drink at least eight glasses of water or other healthy liquids each day.

Drink Fluids During the Day

It can be frustrating and exhausting if you have to get up multiple times during the night to pee. So, to decrease nighttime urination, you can try to meet your daily fluid intake goals by drinking more fluids in the morning and afternoon. As bedtime approaches, you can drink less. It is still important to take in at least 64 ounces or approximately 2000 milliliters of fluids each day.

Stay Away From Caffeine

Caffeine is a diuretic. It removes water from your body. You’re more likely to need to urinate after you drink caffeinated beverages. So, it may help if you limit or skip caffeinated coffee, tea, and soda. Opt for caffeine-free drinks instead. 

Lean Forward When You Pee

When you urinate, lean your body forward. This can help you to empty your bladder more completely, so that you won't experience the urge to go again quite as quickly.

Watch Your Weight

Try to stay within the guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy. Excessive weight puts extra pressure on your bladder (in addition to the weight of the uterus and baby). 

Avoid Constipation

When stool sits in your bowels, it takes up precious space in your abdomen. It adds more to what’s already pushing on your bladder. It may not be possible to avoid constipation altogether, but you can do your best to eat nutritious foods with plenty of fiber, drink enough fluids, and exercise.

Watch for a UTI

Pay attention to your body, any changes in your urinary frequency, and the symptoms of a UTI. To avoid infection, you should go when you feel the urge (don't hold your urine), try to fully empty your bladder when you go, keep your perineal area clean, and always wipe from front to back.

Rest When You Can

Waking up during the night for frequent trips to the bathroom can interfere with quality sleep and lead to fatigue during the day. Take a nap if it’s possible, or at least try to sit and rest with your feet up for a few minutes during the day.

Leaking Urine

The frequent urge to pee can also lead to a little bit of urine leaking out when you sneeze, cough, laugh, or move a certain way. This type of urinary incontinence is called stress incontinence.

If you’re a first-time parent, it may happen toward the end of your pregnancy when your uterus is large and pressing on the bladder. When there’s any additional pressure from a sneeze or laugh, the bladder muscles cannot hold in the urine.

If this isn’t your first baby, you may start to leak urine earlier in your pregnancy. It may even continue after your baby is born. To deal with stress incontinence: 

  • Be sure it’s urine. If you’re not sure whether or not the fluid is urine, you should call your doctor. Your water (amniotic fluid) can also leak before it breaks, especially as you get close to your due date.
  • Cross your legs. Before a cough or sneeze, cross your legs or squeeze your pelvic muscles to help keep urine from leaking out.
  • Empty your bladder very often. A full bladder will leak more, so try to empty it empty every two hours or so during the day. 
  • Learn and practice Kegel exercises. Kegels strengthen and tone the pelvic muscles. Studies show they can help during childbirth and with incontinence both during and after pregnancy. 
  • Watch what you eat. Some foods and drinks can irritate the bladder. Try avoiding caffeine, carbonation, citrus fruits, and spicy foods, and see if that helps. 
  • Wear a pantyliner or a pad. Catch unexpected leaks with a sanitary napkin. If you need a little more protection, use undergarments made for leaking. Change them often and keep your perineal area as clean and dry as possible to prevent irritation and infection. 

Not Peeing Often

Some women do not experience a noticeable increase in urinary frequency during pregnancy. It can be totally normal for you. But make sure you're not holding in your urine; this can lead to a UTI.

Not peeing frequently can also be a sign of dehydration, which can also lead to infection or early contractions. If you are concerned about urinary frequency, whether too little or too much, check with your doctor or midwife.

A Word From Verywell

Frequent urination is a common discomfort of pregnancy. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent it. It can be annoying and exhausting, but thankfully it’s not harmful to you or your baby.

A better understanding of why it happens and how to deal with it can help you get through it. With some knowledge and a little luck, you may get to spend less time in the bathroom and more time enjoying your pregnancy and preparing for your new baby.

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Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cavkaytar S, Kokanali MK, Topcu HO, Aksakal OS, Doğanay M. Effect of home-based Kegel exercises on quality of life in women with stress and mixed urinary incontinence. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2015;35(4):407-410. doi:10.3109/01443615.2014.960831

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