Pregnant mum-to-be getting out of bed to pee

Pregnancy Symptoms: Frequent Urination

You may be wondering whether peeing a lot is a sign of pregnancy or whether this urge to pee so often will ever go away. Frequent urination is a common early pregnancy symptom, but it can also reappear later on during pregnancy as your uterus and baby grow, putting pressure on your bladder. Although it can definitely be annoying, in most cases, it’s nothing to worry about. Read on to find out what causes frequent urination during pregnancy, get some tips to help you manage it, and learn the signs that indicate it may be linked to another condition, like a urinary tract infection.

What Causes Frequent Urination During Pregnancy?

What makes you need to pee more is often the increased amount of blood in your body. To process this blood flow, your kidneys need to produce extra fluids, which then end up in your bladder. Although peeing often during pregnancy is annoying, it’s also a normal and common pregnancy symptom. Here are some frequently asked questions about this symptom:

  • What is considered frequent urination in pregnancy? There’s no set number of visits to the bathroom – it’s simply needing to go more often than you usually would.
  • When does frequent urination start during pregnancy? How soon it may start differs for each woman, but you may find yourself needing to pee more often from around six to eight weeks of pregnancy.
  • Will I need to pee this often the whole pregnancy? It may ease up for a while after you enter the second trimester, but you may find the increased urge to pee returns later on, as your growing baby places more pressure on your bladder. Toward the end of the third trimester, when your baby ‘drops,’ the extra pressure on your pelvis and bladder might have you rushing to pee even more frequently.
  • How often should you pee? Whenever you have to! It’s better not to hold it in.

Tips to Manage Peeing Often While Pregnant

You can’t really avoid more frequent urination, and you really wouldn’t want to, as it’s a natural consequence of drinking lots of fluids to stay well hydrated and healthy during pregnancy. Here are some tips that might help make your life easier:

  • Lean forward when you pee so that you properly empty your bladder.
  • To prevent increased urination at night, try not to drink too much water just before going to bed.
  • Avoid beverages and foods containing caffeine, which can make you need to pee more often.
  • Practice Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, as this can help prevent leaking when you cough, sneeze, or laugh, both before and after giving birth. (If you do find yourself peeing when you sneeze, consider wearing a panty liner.)
  • If your urine is dark yellow or orange, this may be a sign of dehydration − try to increase your fluid intake until your urine is back to a normal pale yellow.
  • If you’re heading out the door, or you know you’re going into a long meeting, consider one more dash to the toilet beforehand. You can also try to scout out where the nearest toilet so you’re not caught off guard.

Can Pregnancy Peeing Be a Sign of a Problem?

More frequent urination is usually a normal pregnancy symptom, however, sometimes it can be a sign of a medical condition that may require treatment by your healthcare provider. These conditions include:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI). Many women wonder whether frequent urination is part of pregnancy or a UTI. If it’s a UTI, you may notice a painful, burning sensation while peeing, have a fever, notice cloudy urine, or see blood in your urine. You may also feel the strong urge to pee, but then notice that only a few drops come out. Pregnant women face an increased risk of UTIs from weeks 6 to 24, because the growing uterus can place pressure on the urinary tract, increasing the chance of bacterial infections. If you suspect you have a UTI, consult your healthcare provider, as this infection requires treatment – often antibiotics.
  • Gestational diabetes. Frequent urination can sometimes be a sign of gestational diabetes, generally a temporary form of diabetes that affects a small percentage of mums-to-be. Healthcare providers usually test for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If gestational diabetes is treated, then the baby’s health isn’t adversely impacted, and the diabetes will usually go away after you give birth. If you notice symptoms like frequent urination combined with persistent thirst, nausea, or fatigue, consult your healthcare provider.

Frequent urination during early pregnancy is common and usually nothing to worry about. Although it may feel as if you are peeing all the time, keep in mind that it may ease up for a time, before returning later on. Once your baby is born, your urge to pee more often should go away, and you’ll only have your newborn’s pee to worry about!

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