What are the causes of frequent urination in women?

Frequent urination occurs when the bladder fills or feels full faster than normal. In general, urinating more than eight times a day is considered high frequency. Frequent urination in women can be caused by a variety of factors, from simple overhydration to serious medical conditions. Paying attention to any symptoms that occur along with frequent urination in women can help them find the right treatment for the problem.

One of the most common causes of frequent urination in women is a urinary tract infection, or UTI. This occurs when bacteria are pushed through the urethra and into the bladder, causing inflammation, a feeling of urinary urgency, and increased frequency. UTIs are usually easy to treat with antibiotics but require medical attention. Without treatment, a UTI can spread to the kidneys, causing a serious infection that can be more difficult to treat.

Some women who have recurrent episodes of frequent urination and other UTI symptoms but test negative for bladder infection may have a condition known as interstitial cystitis. This little-understood condition is the result of an easily irritable bladder, which can become inflamed due to dietary choices. Cystitis is very difficult to diagnose and cures are not always effective. Most means of treatment include dietary restrictions such as eliminating alcohol, caffeine, citrus fruits, sugar and chocolate.

Frequent urination in women is sometimes one of the first signs of pregnancy. As the uterus expands during the first few weeks after conception, additional pressure is placed on the bladder. This can cause the bladder to be full all the time, resulting in constant trips to the ladies' room. This condition may subside a little later in pregnancy, but some women continue to have problems with frequent urination during pregnancy.

Some diet programs and supplements can contribute to frequent urination. Women who drink a lot of fluids may experience this symptom as the body processes all the fluid. Diuretics also cause the body to eliminate fluid at a much higher rate than normal, which increases the need to urinate. Certain medications intended to treat high blood pressure may have a diuretic effect, as can certain foods and dietary supplements intended to help with weight loss.

The most dangerous potential causes of frequent urination in women include diabetes and bladder or ovarian cancer. These conditions are often found through testing when other treatments are not effective. A family history of diabetes or cancer makes these conditions more likely, but they are still quite rare, even with risk factors.

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