Frequent urination occurs when the bladder fills or feels full faster than normal. Generally, urinating more than eight times per day is considered high frequency. Frequent urination in women can be caused by a variety of factors, from simple overhydrating to serious medical conditions. Paying attention to any symptoms that occur alongside frequent urination in women may help them seek the correct treatment for the issue.
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One of the most common causes of frequent urination in women is a urinary tract infection, or UTI. This occurs when bacteria is pushed through the urethra and reaches the bladder, causing inflammation, a sense of urinary urgency, and increased frequency. UTIs are usually easy to treat with antibiotics, but do require medical attention. Without treatment, a UTI can spread to the kidneys, causing a serious infection that may be harder to treat.
Some women who experience recurrent episodes of frequent urination and other UTI symptoms, but test negative for a bladder infection, may have a condition known as interstitial cystitis. This little-understood condition is the result of an easily irritated bladder, which may become inflamed due to dietary choices. Cystitis is very difficult to diagnose, and cures are not always effective. Most means of treatment include dietary restrictions, including cutting out alcohol, caffeine, citrus, sugar, and chocolate.
Frequent urination in women is sometimes one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. As the uterus expands during the first few weeks following conception, additional pressure is placed on the bladder. This may make the bladder feel full all the time, resulting in constant trips to the ladies' room. This condition may subside somewhat later on in the pregnancy, but some women continue to have issues with frequent urination throughout gestation.
Some dietary and supplement programs may contribute to frequent urination. Women who drink a high amount of fluids may experience this symptom as the body processes out all the liquid. Diuretics also cause the body to flush out fluid at a much higher rate than usual, leading to increased need to urinate. Certain medications meant to treat high blood pressure may have a diuretic effect, as can certain foods and dietary supplements meant to help with weight loss.
More dangerous potential causes for frequent urination in women include diabetes and bladder or ovarian cancer. These conditions are usually found through testing when other treatments fail to be effective. A history of diabetes or cancer in the family makes these conditions more likely, but they are still quite rare even with risk factors.