Frequent Urination and Pregnancy

white ceramic toilet bowl beside pedestal sink

Find out more about this common discomfort of pregnancy

Even before your baby is large enough to be putting pressure on your bladder late in pregnancy, it is not unusual to feel as if you literally should set up your office in the bathroom! Not to mention, it seems that when you do, only a few drops seem to come out. What is going on? Are there any signs to look for to alert you if something is wrong?

As early as Week 10 of pregnancy, the hormones estrogen and progesterone cause the renal pelvis and ureters to dilate. In addition, the smooth muscles of the ureters enlarge, relax and form new tissue. Often mothers even in early pregnancy will sense a need to urinate frequently even their bladder is not full due to these hormone changes and irritability.

Later in the last trimester, the added pressure of your growing baby causes your bladder to become irritated. Your bladder is actually pulled up out of your pelvis into your abdomen. This compression of your bladder will often cause you to feel as if you need to urinate almost all of the time.

One thing you should avoid is reducing your intake of fluid to avoid having to use the bathroom as often. You should be drinking about 6 to 8 glasses of fluids every day in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy. If you drink less than that on a regular basis, you can become dehydrated and even inadvertantly cause contractions.

If you have noticed that you have leakage from your bladder when you laugh, cough or sneeze, this is an excellent time to begin doing Kegel Exercises to strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor. This is an invisible exercise that you should do often several times per day. Maintaining this exercise for the rest of your life will help to prevent future problems with bladder control.

If you are experiencing frequent urination and also stinging or burning after you finish emptying your bladder, see your care provider. This may be a sign that you have a UTI (urinary tract infection) which is very common during pregnancy. One reason UTI‘s occur so often is that with the changes in your pelvis and ureters, a larger amount of urine stays put longer and the flow of urine is also slowed. This makes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. It is typically necessary to begin a course of antibiotics if you develop a UTI during pregnancy.

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