QUESTION: I’M 42 YEARS OLD AND I FEEL LIKE I’M IN THE BATHROOM ALL THE TIME. WHAT’S NORMAL, AND HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I BE PEEING IN A DAY?
Answer: This is a common question and one I’m sure many women who experience overactive bladder think about on a daily basis. While there is an answer, it’s not quite as simple as you might think. There are many factors that may contribute to the number of trips you’re making to the bathroom.
So, let’s start off with what’s common. Most people will empty their bladders between 6 and 8 times per day. However, many things can attribute to this number being more or less than the norm.
For instance, if you’re drinking a good amount of fluids throughout the day, your “normal” number of times to pee may be 10 times per day.
However, if you’re gong much more than that, or if you find that your trips to the bathroom are disrupting your quality of life, you may want to talk to a doctor. It could be a sign of overactive bladder, or OAB, a condition characterized by the frequent and urgent need to use the bathroom.
A NUMBER OF OTHER THINGS CAN INFLUENCE HOW FREQUENTLY YOU’RE EMPTYING YOUR BLADDER. THESE INCLUDE:
- Your age. As you get older, your pelvic floor muscles may weaken, making it harder to hold large amounts of fluid. (If you suspect weakened pelvic floor muscles, talk to a physical therapist about moves you can do to help strengthen them.)
- Your bladder size. It stands to reason that people with smaller bladders won’t be able to hold as much urine as those with a larger capacity. (Although if you have a small bladder, this is likely something you’ve noticed your entire life and not something that would have only just started occurring.)
- Your medications. Certain medications or supplements can act as diuretics and may increase the amount you need to use the bathroom. If this has become a problem for you, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
- Other medical conditions. Things such as diabetes, MS, or even UTIs can cause you to have to use the bathroom more than the normal amount. It’s also normal for pregnant women to experience more trips to the bathroom due to the growing pressure placed on the bladder and the pelvic floor.
- What you’re eating or drinking. Bladder irritants are foods or drinks that can stimulate the bladder, causing you to have to suddenly use the bathroom. Watch your consumption of things like acidic foods or drinks, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. (Learn more about how your diet affects bladder control here.)
Luckily, there are many treatment options available if you find you’re using the bathroom more than you’re used to. Read through our “Managing Your Condition” section of the site to learn more, then talk to your doctor about your options.
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