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. (Read our article to find out more about what not to eat or drink while you're pregnant.)
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 bathroom 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 the toilet. You may also feel the strong urge to pee, but then only a few drops will come out. Pregnant women face an increased risk of UTI from week 6 to week 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 moms-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!
Frequent urination during pregnancy | Pregnancy Birth and Baby
beginning of content
What is frequent urination during pregnancy?
Frequent urination is when you need to urinate (wee) more often than usual when pregnant. Needing to go to the toilet more often during your pregnancy is normal and is caused by the hormonal and physical changes occurring in your body. Your bladder (which stores urine), your bowel (which your poo passes through) and your uterus (where your baby grows) are all located in the small space of your abdomen, so changes that occur in one organ are also likely to affect the others.
What causes frequent urination during pregnancy?
You experience frequent urination because when you are pregnant, your body produces more fluids than at other times. Your kidneys, which produce urine, also become more efficient. Your uterus – situated directly behind your bladder – becomes larger to accommodate your growing baby and as a result, it pushes against your bladder.
For some women, weak pelvic floor muscles are another cause of frequent urination during pregnancy. Pelvic floor muscles support the organs of the pelvis, which include the bladder, uterus and bowel.
When am I more likely to experience frequent urination during pregnancy?
Frequent urination is common at every stage of pregnancy. During the first stages, hormonal changes increase the frequency with which you need to use the toilet. Later in pregnancy, it is more likely to be caused by your baby pressing against your bladder, while in the last few weeks of pregnancy, you may struggle to empty your bladder completely.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, it is common to wet yourself a little while coughing, sneezing or lifting things. This happens because these actions place more pressure on your pelvic floor, and for many women, the pelvic floor becomes weakened during pregnancy.
Am I likely to experience frequent urination if I have had it before pregnancy?
If you have had bladder problems before pregnancy, unfortunately these are likely to worsen after the birth. Women can also develop new bladder problems after having a baby.
How can I reduce frequent urination during my pregnancy?
While you cannot do much to lessen your need to urinate frequently, you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening these muscles can help you ‘hold in’ your urine until you are able to get to the toilet. The best way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles is through exercise. Exercising the muscles will also provide a sturdy support system for your bowel, uterus and bladder.
Ideally, women should do pelvic floor exercises before becoming pregnant, but it's never too late. Remember to keep up your pelvic floor exercises after your baby is born too.
The Continence Foundation of Australia have produced this video on how to do pelvic floor exercises:
While, in most cases, frequent urination during pregnancy is quite normal and not a concern, in some situations it is best to see a doctor. If you feel a stinging, burning sensation or if you feel any pain when you use the toilet, it is important that you discuss this with your doctor. It might indicate you have an infection that needs to be treated promptly.
Will it continue after I’ve had the baby?
While you may continue to urinate more than usual after your baby is born, you will usually see an improvement in the first 6 months after the birth. This is because pelvic floor nerves, tissues and muscles are beginning to recover from pregnancy and birth. Make sure you keep up your pelvic floor exercises — your midwife can also guide you with what to expect over the first few weeks and months after your baby’s birth.
Where to get help
Call the Continence Foundation of Australia on 1800 33 00 66
Talk to your GP — Click here to find a doctor near you
Check in with your midwife
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse
The Royal Women's Hospital (Common concerns in early pregnancy), Better Health Channel (Pregnancy - signs and symptoms), Continence Foundation of Australia (Pregnancy and childbirth), The Royal Women’s Hospital (Pelvic floor exercises)
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: January 2021
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Incontinence during pregnancy
Pelvic floor exercises
Bladder weakness after birth
Bladder and bowel problems during pregnancy
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Frequent urination during pregnancy - Juno
When is considered frequent
Urges are frequent if they occur more than 9 times a day. Usually only a small amount of urine is passed at a time. Pregnant women may have about 20 visits to the toilet per day, while the daily amount of urine can also increase to 2 liters.
Is it an early sign of pregnancy?
HCG slightly increases the volume of urine excreted, so frequent urination begins already in the first weeks of pregnancy. The symptom does not 100% indicate the onset of fertilization - it should be considered in conjunction with other manifestations - primarily with a positive test.
However, keep in mind that with an increase in the daily volume of urine at a very early date, a false negative result is possible. Also, the symptom is less pronounced in ectopic pregnancy due to lower hCG levels, so an examination is required in any case.
If you began to frequent the toilet and there is a delay, then pregnancy is very likely.
Physiological causes of frequent urination in pregnant women
In healthy women, this phenomenon is associated with the body getting used to carrying a baby, as well as with other physiological reasons.
In the first half of pregnancy
The main causes of frequent urination during early pregnancy:
Increased progesterone production. This hormone relaxes muscle tissue, helping to maintain pregnancy. As a result, urine is retained worse, the urge to void becomes more frequent due to the reduced tone of the bladder.
Increased blood supply in the pelvis. Due to the proximity of the bladder to the uterus, its increased sensitivity occurs - filling receptors react more strongly.
Active work of the kidneys. During the bearing of a child, the renal blood flow increases 1.5 times for the constant renewal of amniotic fluid and the timely removal of metabolic products. Accordingly, more urine begins to be produced.
Physiological increase in urination does not cause pain and discomfort, itching and burning. In the presence of negative symptoms, you need to consult a doctor to rule out pathologies.
Second half of pregnancy
The main reason for frequent urge to urinate in the second and third trimester is the increased pressure of the uterus on the bladder. However, diseases can also be the cause:
Infections. Changes in the pelvis in pregnant women and a decrease in protective forces increase the risk of developing urethritis, cystitis, pyelonephritis. Such pathologies are accompanied not only by frequent urination, but also by pain, discomfort in the area of inflammation, and a burning sensation. The woman's health is deteriorating;
Gestational diabetes. An increase in blood glucose in violation of carbohydrate metabolism. The amount of urine separated increases significantly.
Other pathologies include neoplasms in the small pelvis, endocrine and neurological disorders.
Soreness with frequent urination in pregnant women - is it normal or not?
Painful urination is not normal. Unpleasant sensations indicate the development of a pathological process. Pain and discomfort are a sign of urinary tract irritation. Cystitis is very likely if a woman has severely reduced immunity or has chronic diseases of the pelvic organs. Sometimes it can be accompanied by a temperature and requires a mandatory visit to the doctor.
Calls at night
Pregnant women often complain about how tired they are at night "hiking". The situation is explained by the fact that the work of the kidneys depends on the position of the body. In the later stages, the female body is prone to fluid retention and edema, especially when in an upright position. When the expectant mother lies down, the renal blood flow and the outflow of fluid from the tissues increase. As a result, the kidneys excrete more urine.
What is the duration of frequent urination during pregnancy?
The phenomenon begins already from the first days of pregnancy and is especially pronounced up to about 12 weeks. Later, the number of emptyings gradually decreases, because by 4-5 months the body adapts to new conditions. The diaphragm rises, creating more space for the growing uterus and "unloading" the pelvic organs.
Frequent urination during pregnancy in the second trimester may indicate the addition of an infection or the development of inflammation, but it is also possible as a manifestation of the individual characteristics of the body.
In the third trimester, the opposite phenomenon is possible - fluid retention. However, the closer the birth, the more often the urge to urinate becomes. In the last month of gestation, the uterus descends and puts pressure on the organs of the urinary system.
How likely is miscarriage in the absence of frequent urination?
A woman does not always immediately find out about a missed pregnancy. Fetal movements are not felt in the early stages, so pregnant women "listen" to other signs. In the first weeks, the abrupt cessation of toxicosis and frequent urge to urinate are alarming. These symptoms can indeed indicate the death or developmental delay of the fetus, as well as an ectopic pregnancy, but not always. Toward the end of the first trimester, the kidneys excrete less urine, in some this has been observed since 9‒10 weeks.
How to deal with frequent urination during pregnancy: tips
In the absence of pathologies, the discomfort caused by physiological frequent urination can be reduced as follows:
Stay hydrated. Drink enough, but don't overdo it. Give preference to water over sugary drinks like coffee.
Eat rationally. Eliminate diuretic foods (citrus fruits, spicy foods), as well as things that cause constipation.
Exercise. Strengthen your pelvic muscles by training your vaginal and anus sphincters.
Get more rest. Sleep during the day is very useful, especially in the later stages - after being in a horizontal position, the bladder empties faster, as a result, the load on the kidneys during night rest is reduced.
Maintain immunity. Avoid hypothermia, take vitamin complexes as prescribed by the doctor.
Empty your bladder as much as possible. Do not hold back the urge and try to make sure that all the urine comes out completely. In this regard, it is easier to urinate in the shower.
Control your condition. If other symptoms (pain, fever, burning sensation) appear in addition to frequent urination, tell your doctor immediately.
1st trimester of pregnancy: what happens to the fetus
1st trimester of pregnancy: what happens to the fetus - Private maternity hospital Ekaterininskaya Clinics
1st trimester: 1st to 12th weeks
The gestational age is calculated from the first day of the last menstruation, since it is difficult to determine the exact day of conception. Since conception usually occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle, you are not actually pregnant during the first two weeks, but this period is counted as the beginning of pregnancy.
As soon as the fertilization of the egg takes place around the 3rd week, the hormones begin to produce changes in your body little by little. As a result, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
Morning sickness. As a result of rising levels of hormones characteristic of pregnancy, up to 80% of women in the 1st trimester experience morning sickness with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. The idea that such malaise is observed only in the morning is a common misconception. In fact, symptoms can appear at any time of the day or night. Up to 1 in 5 women experience morning sickness in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy and can sometimes persist throughout pregnancy.
If you experience morning sickness, avoid foods that make you sick, eat little and often, avoid fatty and spicy foods, drink more water. If you experience severe symptoms or symptoms that bother you, see your doctor.
Breast changes. The mammary glands will begin to increase in size, soreness may appear. The nipples will increase in size, become darker and more protruding.
Fatigue. High levels of the hormone progesterone can make you feel tired and sleepy. Rest as often as possible in a horizontal position with your legs up and eat as well as possible, which is not easy if you are experiencing morning sickness!
Increased emotionality. A higher level of emotionality, manifested as a result of an increase in hormone levels, is a normal phenomenon. Understanding and patience on the part of your partner and loved ones is very important here.
Food likes and dislikes. You may find yourself intolerant of one food and addicted to another. This is usually not a problem, unless you feel like eating weird foods like chalk. If you are concerned about the situation, contact your doctor.
Frequent urination. As your body fluid levels increase and your uterus presses on your bladder, you will become more likely to visit the toilet. Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need - this minimizes the pressure on the bladder.
Feeling of dizziness. Sometimes you may feel a little dizzy (this is due to hormonal changes). Try not to stay on your feet for a long time and slowly rise from a sitting or lying position. If you experience severe dizziness, contact your doctor immediately.
Heartburn and constipation. Your digestive system will slow down to give you more time to digest your food. This can lead to heartburn and constipation. To help manage heartburn, try to eat small meals at regular intervals and avoid fried or spicy foods and carbonated drinks. Constipation is helped by eating a diet rich in fiber, maintaining physical activity and drinking plenty of water.
1st trimester milestones
Approximately 7 days after fertilization, the embryo implants in the uterine wall. The placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic sac will begin to form to provide nourishment and protection to the embryo.
By the end of the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the uterus is palpable through the wall of the abdomen, the abdomen will begin to grow.
Child development in the 1st trimester of pregnancy
By the end of the 1st trimester:
All the main organs of the baby are formed, the circulatory system works.