How Many Times A Day Should You Pee?

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How Often Should You Pee?

The average healthy person needs to pee 6–7 times a day and at most once at night. The number also depends on your lifestyle, fluid intake, and health. Never hold it in if possible – this cuts your risk of UTIs, leakage, and abdominal bloating. Also beware of peeing too little or too much. Both can indicate a kidney disease. While peeing too little indicates dehydration or shock, peeing too much can indicate a UTI, prostate problem, or diabetes.

Urination is something we often take for granted. Yet it is a key bodily function that helps rid the system of excess waste and water. Have you noticed a sudden change in the pattern of urination? Or are you worried you are peeing too much? How often should you pee anyway? We have some answers.

Why Do You Need To Pee?

Urination is your body’s way of expelling waste from the body along with any excess water. The kidneys work to filter out the waste known as urea, along with the water from blood circulating in the body, to produce urine. The urine then moves from your kidneys via the ureters, thin tubes that connect to the bladder. Your bladder then “holds” the urine until you feel the urge to urinate. That typically happens when it is full and swollen to a full round shape. Once emptied, it shrinks back to a smaller size.1

How Many Times A Day Should You Pee?

So, how often should you empty your bladder? And how much urine should you pass in a day? To understand this, you need to know the capacity of your bladder and how long it can hold on to the urine before you feel a need to pee.

Your Bladder Can Hold 2 Cups And For 2–5 Hours

Normal healthy individuals have bladders with a capacity of approximately 2 cups or 16 ounces. This amount of urine can be held without much trouble for anywhere from 2 hours to as long as 5 hours.2

You Should Normally Pee 6–7 Times A Day

The normal frequency of urinating for a healthy male or female is anywhere from 6 to 7 times a day. However, for some people, going as little as 4 times a day is comfortable. Others may need to go 10 times a day. Whatever the case may be, your routine level is the key. However, do be mindful of any change in the amount, frequency, or type of urine produced as well as any other symptoms like pain or burning while peeing – this could indicate a problem.3

Peeing More Than Once At Night Isn’t Normal

Under normal circumstances, you may not get up from your 6–8 hour sleep to pee at night at all. At the most, you may need to get up once. But that might change with age as the elderly become more prone to nocturia or nighttime urination.

Do Not Hold It For Too Long

If you don’t pee enough, you could create trouble for yourself. Bladder control is good but don’t take it too far! If you’re female, the concern about urinary tract infections (UTIs) is very real. Bacteria can get into the bladder routinely. This is fine if you flush them out when you urinate. Hold it in and you let the bacteria linger, increasing your risk of developing a UTI. If you routinely hold back pee for too long, another problem you may be up against is incontinence or leaking of urine. You could also see abdominal bloating. Some individuals may even develop kidney problems due to poor bladder emptying.4

Are You Peeing Too Little? 6 Possible Causes

You should be aiming at a little over 2 cups of urine production in a day.5 If you just don’t need to urinate very often or your urine production is below normal levels, one of these conditions may be to blame.

1. Dehydration

Urinating under 3 times a day is one sign of dehydration.6 When you don’t consume enough fluids, your body simply doesn’t produce as much urine as it normally does, causing you to urinate less often.

But dehydration itself could be due to other health issues that cause you to lose more fluids than normal. So watch out for these possible causes for it:7

  • Insufficient fluid intake, for instance, due to sickness, nausea, sore throat, or mouth sores.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating, especially in hot weather

Other symptoms to watch out for

When you are dehydrated, you may also notice other signs that show your body isn’t adequately hydrated – either because of losing too much water through sweating or because you haven’t drunk enough.8 These include:

  • Thirst
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Dry lips/eyes/mouth
  • Lightheadedness/dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Loss of stamina
  • Weakness

Left unchecked, dehydration may even raise the risk of kidney stones, impact kidney function, cause constipation, and damage muscles.

How to treat the problem

It is important not to take dehydration lightly. Severe cases of dehydration have been known to lead to seizures, brain damage, and even death. In general, drinking water or even sports drinks that have electrolytes can help.

Take small sips of water or even just suck on ice cubes.

If you also experience diarrhea or are moderately to severely dehydrated, you should consult your doctor. For severe cases of dehydration, hospitalization may be needed so that fluid can be administered intravenously.9

2. Urinary Tract Blockage/Bladder Outlet Obstruction

If the urinary tract is blocked, it may slow or reduce the output of urine.10 In some cases, it could stop the flow of urine entirely.11 The underlying cause could be:

  • An enlarged prostate
  • Narrowing of the urethra due to birth defects or scar tissue
  • Bladder stones
  • Bladder cancer
  • Pelvic tumors in the cervix, rectum, uterus, or prostate

Sometimes, though less often, the blockage or obstruction may occur due to a foreign object that gets lodged in the urinary tract. It may also be the result of hernia in the groin, urethral spasms, or because the bladder has fallen into the vagina – a condition known as a cystocele.

Other symptoms to watch out for

You may also experience other issues like:12 13

  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain while urinating
  • Pain in the back or side
  • Trouble starting to urinate
  • Uneven and slow urine flow
  • Inability to urinate
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Need to urinate at night

How to treat the problem

Treatment for the problem will depend on what the underlying cause is. However, insertion of a catheter helps the urine to be drained from the bladder. Medication, depending on the cause of the problem, can ease symptoms. For some individuals, surgery may be needed to clear the blockage.14

3. Kidney Problems

Kidneys that are failing no longer function as they should. This causes trouble with their ability to regulate the balance of electrolytes and fluids as well as to purge waste from your system in the form of urine.

Other symptoms to watch out for

If you are experiencing acute kidney failure, you may notice these other signs in addition to little to no urine production:15

  • Swelling due to fluid retention in ankles/feet/legs
  • Reduced sensation in the feet/hands
  • Tremor in the hand
  • Tendency to bruise easily
  • Pain in the flank (between your ribs and hips)
  • Reduced appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart murmur
  • Metallic taste in your mouth/bad breath
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Blood in stools
  • Nosebleeds
  • Altered mood
  • Incessant hiccups
  • Seizures

How to treat the problem

Depending on the scale of the problem, you may need to be in the hospital. Some patients may need dialysis to do the job of your kidneys.

However, in most cases, limiting fluid intake to what your kidneys can handle and altering your diet to one that’s low in protein/potassium/salt and higher in carbs can help considerably. You will also need to take antibiotics to avoid infection and diuretics to purge excess fluid from your system.16

4. Excessive Blood Loss

Even if your kidneys are fine, when blood supply to them is inadequate, urine production and their normal urinary function can be affected. This could happen when red blood cell production in your body falls or when you lose a lot of blood.17

Other symptoms to watch out for

You may bleed internally or externally. At times, you may notice other signs of bleeding. Here is what you should be aware of beyond the more obvious external bleeding:18

  • Swelling/pain in the abdomen
  • Discoloration of skin a few days after an injury (may turn purple/blue/black/yellowish green)
  • Chest pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Blood in urine
  • Vomiting blood
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding or postmenopausal vaginal bleeding

How to treat the problem

If you have gone through surgery or experienced major trauma, causing blood loss in high volume or even internal bleeding, you should seek immediate medical attention. The hospital will usually try and replace the fluids and blood intravenously as soon as possible.19

5. Shock

Being struck down by a severe infection or a health problem that causes your body to go into shock can also lead to decreased urine output.

Depending on whether you have gone into shock due to heart problems, allergic reactions, infections, nervous system damage, or very low blood volume, you may be in cardiogenic shock, anaphylactic shock, septic shock, neurogenic shock, or hypovolemic shock.20

Other symptoms to watch out for

When your body goes into shock, there is inadequate blood flow to the organs and cells in your body. Besides resulting in low urine output (or none at all), this causes some or all of these problems:21

  • Heavy sweating resulting in moist skin
  • Bluish fingernails and lips
  • Clammy/cool/pale skin
  • Anxiety/restlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Shallow breathing
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness/faintness
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Unconsciousness

How to treat the problem

Due to the lack of oxygen and nutrients, your organs are susceptible to damage when you go into shock. It is important to be treated right away to avoid rapid deterioration of your condition. After all, 1 out of 5 people who go into shock actually dies from the condition. Treatment varies depending on the cause and kind of shock you are experiencing.22

6. Side Effect of Medication

Certain medicines may cause reduced urine output. These include:23

  • Anticholinergics that are used among other things to treat bladder and gastrointestinal problems, including incontinence
  • Diuretics which may at first cause excess urine production but could even result in fluid imbalance and depletion
  • Antibiotics that can also decrease urine output

How to treat the problem

You should get in touch with your doctor immediately and see if you can be put on some alternative medication. Alternatively, your doctor may also suggest some other supplemental treatment or medicine to help you avoid this side effect.

Are You Peeing Too Much? 7 Possible Causes

If you find that you’re urinating more often than is considered normal or beyond your normal routine, without any change in your diet or lifestyle, it could be due to one of these reasons. Watch for symptoms and have yourself checked and treated if that’s the case.

1. Urinary Tract Infections

Do you need to go soon after you have already peed recently? It may be due to a urinary tract infection (UTI). This tends to be a problem for women, with estimates suggesting that nearly half of the population of women will have a UTI at some point in their life. A UTI occurs when you develop an infection anywhere in the urinary tract. It could be in your bladder, which is more common, or in the kidneys, which present more of a challenge to treat. The ureters or urethra may also be infected.24 Diabetics, women, and those with spinal cord injury are more prone to UTIs.

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Sensation of straining when you’re nearly done peeing
  • Burning or pain while you urinate
  • Urge to pee multiple times at night
  • Feeling like you haven’t managed to fully empty the bladder after peeing
  • Pink, red, or cloudy urine
  • A poor stream of urine compared to what is produced normally – this is for men25
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever

How to treat or manage UTIs

A combination of antibiotics and painkillers to manage the pain is the normal course of treatment.26 Using apple cider vinegar for urinary tract infection is a common home remedy.

2. Kidney Disease

Having kidney problems could cause you to see higher than normal frequency of urination. One of the warning signs of kidney disease is that you feel the urge to pee more often than normal, particularly through the night. Damage to the kidney filters can cause the need to empty the bladder more.27

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Weakness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Itchy skin
  • Foamy or blood-stained urine
  • Puffy eyes
  • Swollen ankles
  • Muscle cramps
  • Poor appetite28

How to treat or manage kidney disease

Lifestyle changes like altering diet, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, cutting salt intake to below 6 gm daily, weight loss, and exercise can go a long way. In addition, you may need medication to manage related problems like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. In advanced (stage 5) chronic kidney disease, dialysis may be needed to replicate the kidney function. For some, a kidney transplant may be the best solution at this stage.29

3. Enlarged Prostate Or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

The prostate gland in men helps with semen production. It sits around the urine-carrying tube in the body. With age – typically after 50 years – prostates tend to grow. When they become very big, they can result in a more frequent and often urgent need to pee, especially during the night. This enlargement is dubbed benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Symptoms are similar even for prostate cancer, so always have it checked either way.30

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Difficulty beginning a urine stream
  • Trouble creating more than just a little dribble of urine
  • Weak and slow urine stream
  • Urine stream that is constantly interrupted – stopping and restarting multiple times during one attempt to urinate
  • Sensation that you still need to pee even if you just did
  • Trace amounts of blood in the urine31

How to treat or manage an enlarged prostate
Lifestyle changes like cutting caffeine and alcohol consumption a few hours before bedtime, exercising to strengthen and improve bladder capacity, and medication like muscle relaxants and hormone blockers are some options you have. Besides this, surgical intervention for removal of excess prostate tissue, widening of the urethra, urethral lift implants, or the removal of the outer portion of the prostate may be recommended depending on your situation.32

4. Urinary Incontinence

Losing bladder control can cause you to pee more often. You may experience leakage of small amounts of urine or – if your condition is especially bad – even uncontrollable wetting. Women are twice as likely to develop the problem and older people are more prone. The cause for this is weakened or overactive muscles.33

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Weak muscles cause stress incontinence, so you experience leakage when you laugh, lift heavy things, or sneeze.
  • Overactive muscles can make you want to go pee rather desperately, even when you don’t have much urine at all in your bladder. This is known as urge incontinence/overactive bladder.34

How to treat or manage urinary incontinence
Treatment may involve muscle-strengthening exercises like Kegel exercises or bladder training, lifestyle changes like cutting caffeine intake, weight loss, and altering fluid intake, medication that reduces the urge (antimuscarinics) or relaxes the bladder (mirabegron), the use of special devices to assist you with the problem like a catheter or absorbent incontinence pads, and even surgery.35

5. Interstitial Cystitis

If you have a need to urinate urgently and more often, accompanied by pain, it could be a sign of interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome. This is a chronic bladder issue with symptoms similar to a UTI. But it is not an infection. Again, women are more prone.36

Symptoms to watch out for

  • Pain in the bladder
  • Discomfort
  • Some may feel the urgency and increased frequency without pain, while others could experience pain but not have this urgency
  • Symptoms get worse for women when they have their period
  • Sexual intercourse may also make the pain worse37

How to treat or manage interstitial cystitis
Medication like tricyclic antidepressants relaxes the bladder while pentosan polysulfate sodium is used to ease inflammation and heal the bladder lining. Antihistamines are also prescribed for inflammation and pain and so are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Bladder training may help with reducing the frequency of urination.38

6. Diabetes

Diabetes can also cause you to urinate more often than normal as a result of feeling excessively thirsty and drinking more fluids than normal.

Symptoms to watch out for
These are some of the other symptoms of diabetes to look out for.39

  • Genital itchiness or thrush, a yeast infection
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Slow wound healing
  • Blurred vision

How to treat or manage diabetes-linked frequent urination
Besides getting treatment to keep your diabetes in check, you may be suggested some of the same lifestyle changes, exercises, bladder training, or medication mentioned earlier.

7. Nocturia

Labeled so because it occurs at night, nocturia is more a symptom than a condition in itself. It causes sleep loss in those affected and is more common among older adults. Pregnancy and diabetes may also cause this problem. Heart failure and liver failure can also bring out this problem. However, if you see a pattern to the frequent urination, with this occurring only at night, the issue may be sleep apnea and not a bladder problem at all.40

Most people may go to the bathroom once at night or not at all during their 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Those with nocturia can be roused as many as 5 to 6 times a night by the urge to urinate. As you age, you become more prone to nocturia because your body makes less antidiuretic hormone, which is needed to help with fluid retention. In its absence, more urine is produced. The problem is compounded for the elderly who also see reduced holding capacity of the bladder.

References   [ + ]

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11, 12, 14.Bladder outlet obstruction. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
13.[Urinary Obstruction. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
15, 16.Acute Kidney Failure. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
17.Urine output – decreased. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
18.Bleeding. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
19.Hypovolemic shock. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
20, 22.Shock. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
21.Shock.U.S. National Library of Medicine.
23.Urine output – decreased.U.S. National Library of Medicine.
24.Urinary Tract Infection. University Health Service, University of Michigan.
25.Urinary Tract Infection.University Health Service, University of Michigan.
26.Urinary tract infections in adults. National Health Service.
27, 28.10 Signs You May Have Kidney Disease. National Kidney Foundation.
29.Treatments for chronic kidney disease. National Health Service.
30, 31.Enlarged Prostate. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
32.Benign prostate enlargement – Treatment options. National Health Service.
33, 34.Urinary incontinence. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
35.Urinary incontinence – Non-surgical treatment. National Health Service.
36, 37.Interstitial Cystitis. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
38.Diagnosing and treating interstitial cystitis. Harvard Health Publications.
39.Signs and symptoms of diabetes. International Diabetes Federation.
40.Nocturia or Frequent Urination at Night. National Sleep Foundation.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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