Are you making more visits to the bathroom to pee now that you’re in menopause? Well, get in line! Frequent urination is a common symptom of menopause. Here are some things you should know, including how to manage it.
What is frequent urination?
If you’ve wondered how many trips to the bathroom to urinate is considered to be frequent urination, a common guideline is more than eight times within a 24 hour period. Although the number of bathroom visits varies among women, six to eight daily is considered normal.
Peeing a lot can have a variety of causes, including
- Drinking excessive amounts of fluids
- Use of caffeine, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and medications (diuretics)
- Presence of a urinary tract infection, vaginitis, bladder stones, interstitial cystitis, diabetes, or overactive bladder
- Stress and anxiety
- Weak pelvic floor muscles
- Decline in estrogen levels
How is frequent urination associated with menopause?
Estrogen plays a role in dozens of ways in the body, which is why the loss of this hormone affects so many processes and functions when perimenopause and menopause occur. One such role is supporting the bladder. Therefore, a decline in estrogen can cause you to experience more frequent and urgent needs to urinate as your bladder feels full. Lower estrogen levels can also cause you to pee more often during the night.
How can you manage frequent urination naturally?
Lifestyle changes can help you manage frequent urination during menopause without the need for drugs. Here are some tips.
- Watch your fluid intake. Although it’s important to stay well hydrated, you may be over hydrating if you are peeing too often. Keep track of your fluid intake for several days to see
- Monitor diuretics. Caffeinated beverages, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and medications used to treat high blood pressure all can increase urination. (Note: Do not stop taking meds for high blood pressure without talking with your doctor.) Tomato products and citrus fruits also can act as diuretics.
- Check for underlying medical issues. If you are experiencing other symptoms along with frequent urination, you may have an underlying medical condition, such as a urinary tract infection, vaginitis, overactive bladder, or interstitial cystitis. Symptoms may include a sudden urgent need to urinate, painful urination, genital pain, burning when peeing, an inflamed vagina, or discolored urine.
- Manage stress. Stress and anxiety may cause the need to urinate more frequently. If you are experiencing tension in your life, adopt daily stress-management techniques, such as meditation, visualization, deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, enjoyable exercise, or other ways to help relieve tension.
- Practice Kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which are involved in holding the bladder in place. When these muscles become weak, the bladder can drop. Kegel exercises can be done just about anywhere, anytime, and no one will even know you are doing them.
when to see your doctor
For many women, frequent urination is merely an inconvenience and is easily managed with a few lifestyle changes. But if management efforts are not successful or you are concerned about this symptom, contact your doctor. It’s especially important to make that call if you experience vomiting, fever, lower back pain over your kidneys, bloody urine, or a discharge from your vagina.
Frequent urination during menopause is common, but it doesn’t have to disrupt your life. A few lifestyle modifications can help manage this menopausal symptom.