Causes of Frequent Going to the Toilet During Pregnancy?
From morning sickness to back pain, there are many new symptoms that come with pregnancy. Another symptom is the never-ending urge to urinate, even if you were gone a few minutes ago. Pregnancy increases your urge to urinate. This can keep you awake at night, especially in the third trimester.
Increased urinary frequency is an early sign of pregnancy in women. It is caused by an increase in the hormones progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin. In the second trimester, urges tend to go down. The uterus is also higher in the second trimester. This means there will be less pressure on your bladder.
In addition to rising hormones, your body’s fluid levels begin to increase during pregnancy. This means your kidneys have to work hard to flush out the extra fluid. The amount of urine you release will also increase.
In the third trimester, your baby’s growth means more pressure is put on your bladder. As a result, you may need to wake up several times during the night to urinate. You may also experience urgency to urinate due to the added pressure.
If you have urinary frequency problems during pregnancy, you will feel the need to go to the toilet constantly, but you will most likely be able to urinate very little.
Some women may also experience incontinence while pregnant. This leak can occur in the following situations:
- while coughing
- while exercising
- while laughing
- while sneezing
It is important to note that sometimes urinary frequency symptoms can indicate an underlying urinary tract infection (UTI). Women are more likely to have a UTI during pregnancy. In addition to urinary frequency or urgency symptoms, other UTI symptoms include:
- cloudy-looking urine
- red, pink, or concentrated (thick) urine
- strong or foul-smelling urine
- burning sensation when urinating
- pain when urinating
If you have these symptoms, you should tell your doctor. An untreated UTI can progress to the urinary tract and cause more serious symptoms.
Doctors can usually diagnose urinary frequency and urgency by your symptoms. Your doctor will ask you how often you go to the toilet and how much urine you urinate each time you go. They may suggest keeping a diary of how often you go and how much you urinate.
If your doctor is concerned that your symptoms are not pregnancy related, they may order diagnostic tests. Tests your doctor may use include:
- urinalysis: This tests the urine for infective bacteria.
- ultrasound: This test can detect abnormalities of your bladder, kidneys, or urinary tract.
- bladder stress test: This test measures how much urine leaks when you cough or lie on the floor.
- Cystoscopy: This procedure involves inserting a thin, lighted scope with a camera into the urethra to examine the bladder and urethra.
Urinary frequency and urgency associated with pregnancy usually resolve after delivery. These symptoms usually subside about six weeks after birth.
Your doctor may recommend strengthening your bladder muscles with exercises known as Kegels. These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor. This helps you have better control over your urine flow, especially after giving birth.
You can do Kegel exercises daily, ideally three times a day. You should follow these steps:
- Tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, imagining that you are stopping the flow of urine.
- Hold the muscles for 10 seconds or as long as possible.
- Release the contracted muscles.
- Repeat 15 times to complete a single set.
You may have underlying medical reasons other than pregnancy that are causing urinary frequency and urgency. If so, your doctor will treat them as diagnosed.
It is very important to drink enough fluids while pregnant to maintain your health and the health of your baby. You should not reduce the amount of fluids just to reduce going to the toilet.
However, you can cut back on caffeinated beverages that act as natural diuretics. Doctors often recommend reducing caffeine intake to avoid potential pregnancy complications.
You can also keep track of the time of day you use the toilet. You can then plan to go to the bathroom at or before these times to reduce the chance of urine leakage. Leaning forward while urinating can help you empty your bladder better.
Doing Kegel exercises at home can also help you continue to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening these muscles during pregnancy can also help you prepare for delivery.
Doing regular Kegel exercises can help you gain some control over your pelvic floor and increase urinary control. However, there are not many other ways to prevent urinary frequency and urgency during pregnancy. As your baby grows inside your body, you may experience these symptoms.
Pregnancy can lead to more frequent urination and sometimes a lack of control over urination. For most women, urinary frequency disappears after childbirth. If you still have bladder problems six weeks after giving birth, you should let your doctor know.
Healthline, Prenatal Care: Urinary Frequency and Thirst, 2016