What Is the Medical Treatment for Frequent Urination?
The treatment for frequent urination depends upon underlying cause.
- Urinary tract infection: The doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Drinking plenty of fluids is recommended.
- Diabetes: When blood sugar levels get very high, frequent urination is often one of the first symptoms. Treatment for frequent urination in diabetics involves close management of blood sugar levels.
- Diuretic use: Ask your doctor if you can take your diuretics in the morning, or less frequently. This may cause less trips to the bathroom at night (nocturia).
- Prostate problems: Problems with the prostate are usually treated by a specialist called a urologist. There are two common drug types prescribed for enlarged prostate: 5ARIs (5-alpha-reductase inhibitors), which reduce the level of the hormone that causes the prostate to grow, and alpha blockers, which relax the smooth muscle cells, including the bladder. Surgery may also be considered to treat prostate problems.
- Pregnancy: Frequent urination often accompanies pregnancy. There may not be much that can be done to reduce frequent urination, especially later in the pregnancy. Reduce consumption of diuretic fluids that contain caffeine, such as tea, soda or coffee, however, do not reduce overall fluid intake, as it is important to stay hydrated while pregnant. Consume most fluids during the day to reduce nighttime trips to the bathroom. When using the bathroom, it may help to lean forward slightly to help completely empty out the bladder.
- Interstitial cystitis: This condition usually requires treatment by a urologist who specializes in interstitial cystitis. It may be treated with medications, including drug pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron), tricyclic antidepressants, pain medications or antihistamines. Surgical treatment may be necessary.
- Stroke or other neurological diseases: Depending upon the cause, the urinary frequency may be treated with medication, self catheterization, or behavioral therapy, such as bladder retraining (see below).
- Bladder cancer: Treatment for bladder cancer should be directed by a urologist. It may involve surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
- Overactive bladder syndrome: The first-line treatment for overactive bladder syndrome usually involves bladder retraining (see below). Treatment also may include drugs such as tolterodine (Detrol LA), oral oxybutynin (Ditropan), darifenacin (Enablex), transdermal oxybutynin (Oxytrol), trospium (Sanctura XR), solifenacin (VESIcare), mirabegron (Myrbetriq), or onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox). Treatments that involve nerve stimulation include percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) and sacral nerve stimulation (SNS).
- Artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine and other foods: Avoid foods and beverages that irritate your bladder or act as a diuretic.
What Is the Follow-up for Frequent Urination?
Continued problems with frequent urination should be evaluated by your doctor and possibly a urologist. If medications are recommended, follow instructions given to you by your doctor. Report any problems or side effects from the medication to your doctor. If you are advised to do bladder retraining or modify your diet or other behavioral changes, follow all instructions from your doctor.
How Do You Prevent Frequent Urination?
Because there are so many different causes for frequent urination, there is no one way to prevent it. Proper diet and avoiding excess fluids and foods that act as diuretics can reduce urinary frequency. Kegel exercises can keep the pelvic floor muscles well toned and may help stave off urinary frequency as one ages. Discussing any concerning symptoms with your doctor as soon as they appear may allow for early treatment or may prevent worsening of symptoms.
For More Information on Frequent Urination?
American Urological Association
1000 Corporate Boulevard
Linthicum, MD 21090
Toll Free (U.S. only): 1-866-RING AUA (1-866-746-4282)
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