As one of the most common early signs of pregnancy, the frequency of urination at this early stage is just the beginning for what is to come. As your pregnancy continues you will see an increase in the amount of trips to the restroom you take 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, starting in the 6th week of pregnancy.
It won’t matter if you “just went”. Even when your bladder is empty or near-empty, you’ll still feel like you need to urinate again. Unfortunately as your pregnancy continues, simple things like coughing, sneezing, laughing and exercising can cause you to ‘leak’ urine, which can sometimes be embarrassing. However, it’s important to remember that this need to urinate and the uncontrollable urination is normal for each woman.
Causes of Frequent Urination
The cause of your frequent urination will change as your pregnancy continues. Sometimes you’ll be urinating as often as you usually do, and other times you’ll see a major increase. During the early stages of pregnancy, your body is producing hCG (the pregnancy hormone, also known as human chorionic gonadotropin) which increases your need to urinate. Plus, as your pregnancy term continues, your body is naturally filled with more fluid. Your organs, particularly your kidneys are working overtime to flush the waste out of your system.
As you get into your second trimester, your uterus is growing and rising, which decreases the frequency of urination. Many women find relief during this time. However, as the third trimester draws closer, and the baby moves lower into the abdomen, there’s a significant increase in pressure on your bladder, causing the frequency of urination to increase again. This is when ‘leaks’ occur and control of the bladder becomes difficult. Plus, the added pressure is known to keep you up during the night, causing you to spend endless time in the restroom.
Treatment for Frequent Urination
Unfortunately, once you give birth, the urinating doesn’t slow down for a few days. You’ll still have the need to urinate often as your body rids itself of the fluid it gained during the pregnancy. However, after a few days, you should have passed all the excess fluid and return to a normal urinating schedule.
During pregnancy, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your trips to the restroom during the day and night. Staying away from caffeinated drinks can help tremendously. Sodas, coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages only increase your need to urinate, so avoiding them (which you should be doing anyway) is critical. Doing Kegel exercises can also help reduce trips to the restroom. Kegel exercises are known to strengthen your muscles that keep your urethra (where urine leaves your body) closed. Plus, they’re great for preparing your body for giving birth.
Cutting down on beverages before bedtime can help you stay asleep through the night. It’s important you provide your body with plenty of fluids in the morning and afternoon hours, so come evening and nighttime hours, there isn’t a reason to pump yourself full of water or juice.
Also, before bed or before leaving the house or before a big event, use the restroom Get it out of the way and out of your system. If you have to be in attendance somewhere, make sure you know where the bathrooms are located and urinate before the event starts. Always empty your bladder completely. You can do this by leaning forward during urination.
If you’re scared you might have an accident, where a pad or panty liner. No one will know it’s there unless you tell them, and it can prevent an embarrassing moment, especially if you have to cough, laugh or sneeze in front of others.
Contact Your Health Care Provider
Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed if you have to bring up this issue with your doctor or midwife. They understand. You’re not the first, second or last expectant mother who has had to deal with frequent urination. Keep them informed of all aspects of your pregnancy, so when there’s a problem, they know your history and can better treat you. Always let them know if there is blood in your urine, pain or burning, or if you continuously have the urge to go after completely emptying your bladder.