Frequent Urination During Pregnancy: Here’s What to Do

The one dreaded feeling of every pregnant woman worldwide. The stomach dropping realization.

You need to pee. Again.

Like morning sickness and fatigue, frequent urination is a very common symptom of pregnancy, even early on. In the early parts of pregnancy, usually around six to 20 weeks, frequent urination has to do with some of the hormonal shifts that are happening in the body. The hormones stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine. Pregnant women also experience a physical compression of the bladder from the baby as it grows and as a result a diminished ability to hold urine.

What actually makes you need to pee more is often the increased amount of blood in your body. To process this blood flow, your kidneys need to produce extra fluids, which then end up in your bladder. Although peeing often during pregnancy is annoying, it’s also a normal and common pregnancy symptom. Here are some frequently asked questions about this symptom:

What is considered frequent urination in pregnancy? There’s no set number of visits to the bathroom – it’s simply needing to go more often than you usually would.

When does frequent urination start during pregnancy? How soon it may start differs for each woman, but you may find yourself needing to pee more often from around six to eight weeks of pregnancy.

Will I need to pee this often the whole pregnancy? It may ease up for a while after you enter the second trimester, but you may find the increased urge to pee returns later on, as your growing baby places more pressure on your bladder. Toward the end of the third trimester, when your baby “drops,” the extra pressure on your pelvis and bladder might have you rushing to pee even more frequently.

How often should you pee? Whenever you have to! It’s better not to hold it in.

When it comes to how often you should pee during pregnancy, there is no right or wrong amount. However, Navdeep Grewal, a registered pelvic physiotherapist, says as a guideline, non-pregnant women and men usually go anywhere from four to 10 times per day, and this can be slightly increased during pregnancy. Some women will experience this pregnancy symptom more than others, explains Grundland. “But I think the bigger point is that it’s also not a worrisome symptom if it’s simply just urinary frequency,” she says. “It’s actually a normal symptom of pregnancy.”

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent it- frequent urination is a symptom you need to manage rather than avoid. Make sure bathrooms are nearby, so you can urinate frequently to reduce the risk of incontinence.

Rushing to the washroom can set off our fight or flight system in our body, causing the brain to think this is a normal response. This can make you feel like you will pee your pants, as the fight or flight response includes elimination of the bladder. Over time, it creates a pattern and can worsen to the point where a pregnant woman may experience leakage before reaching the bathroom.

However, urine is important to monitor as, during pregnancy, many of the body’s functions change, including urination. Changes in urine can indicate pregnancy and can alert you to health issues during pregnancy.

Monitoring changes in your urine, reporting these changes to your doctor, and getting appropriate urinalysis tests can help keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy.

Roughly 12 to 14 days after conception, a urine test should be able to detect levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy and formed in the placenta, which begins to nourish a fertilized egg after it implants to the uterine wall. HCG levels increase quickly and peak within the first trimester, after which they will decline. Low levels of hCG can indicate an error in dating of the pregnancy, a miscarriage, or an ectopic pregnancy. High levels of hCG might indicate an error in the dating of pregnancy, a molar pregnancy (in which there’s a genetic error during the fertilization process), or a multiple pregnancy. After a pregnancy loss, it takes roughly four to six weeks for hCG levels to return to normal.

Shoshi S.
Shoshi is a graduate from Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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