Women's Healthcare Topics

Constantly Need to Urinate is a Classic Pregnancy Sign

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

A Classic Pregnancy Sign is a Constant Need to Use the Bathroom

Most women notice they have to urinate more urgently and frequently during pregnancy. The constantly need to urinate is a classic pregnancy symptom that almost all pregnant women will experience to some degree.

It may feel like your bladder has shrunk, and you may be running to the bathroom every ten minutes to urinate.

In the first trimester, there is more blood pumped into your kidneys, which make them work harder than ever. Your kidneys will flush out more of your body’s waste products, so you’ll notice more urinate output. In addition, because hydration is so important, you will be drinking more water and other liquids. As a result, you’ll be running to the bathroom more frequently to empty your bladder.

As your uterus gets larger in pregnancy, it will add extra pressure on your bladder. Your bladder will feel like it’s full, even when it’s nearly empty. You will get some relief halfway through your pregnancy, because your uterus will no longer be pressing on your bladder.

In the final weeks of pregnancy, when your baby drops into your pelvis to prepare for labor and delivery, his or her head will press against your cervix and bladder. This increases your need to urinate even more.

Tips for Coping with Frequent Urination

You will need to drink plenty of fluid to keep hydrated during pregnancy. Don't think for a moment that reducing your fluid intake is the key to avoiding the bathroom frequently. Your best bet is avoiding diuretic fluids that can contribute to the sense of urgency you feel when you have to pee. These include caffeine products like tea, soda or coffee. You might try consuming most of your fluids during the day to reduce the number of trips you have to make to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

When using the bathroom, you may find it helps to lean forward a bit to ensure you completely empty out your bladder. Many women find they have to pee again shortly after a visit to the bathroom simply because they were not able to empty their bladder fully. This is more common in the later stages of pregnancy.

Pregnancy Health Section

Learn about the classic pregnancy symptom, going to the bathroom more frequently.

Is Frequent Urination During Pregnancy Problematic?

Usually frequent urination during pregnancy is normal in pregnancy. There are some cases however when frequent urination may signal an underlying problem. If the frequent urge to urinate is accompanied by a burning pain with urinating, you may have a urinary tract infection. You may also find you have a urinary tract infection if you frequently need to urinate but aren't able to pass more than a small amount of fluid.

UTI's are quite common during pregnancy. If left untreated however, they can develop into serious kidney infections. A kidney infection during pregnancy may contribute to preterm labor or premature rupture of the membranes. It is important you check in with your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you have a urinary tract infection. Fortunately with proper treatment most are cleared up in a few short days.

Leaking Urine in Pregnancy?

Many women will experience temporary urinary incontinence during pregnancy. Sometimes referred to as stress incontinence, many women find they leak some urine when lifting, bending, sneezing or even coughing. Certain forms of exercise may also worsen the problem. Temporary or stress incontinence is most likely to occur during the third trimester when the uterus is placing the most amount of pressure on the bladder. You can help alleviate the problem by emptying your bladder as frequently as possible and wearing a light pad to help catch any leaking.

Kegel exercises can also help with urinary incontinence. Kegels help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. While this may not resolve the problem completely it may help reduce the stress incontinence you experience during pregnancy. Kegel exercises can also help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles after delivery.


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