How do I Treat Nighttime Frequent Urination?

If you suffer from nighttime frequent urination, also called nighttime incontinence and nocturia, you've probably suffered through the sleep disturbance and embarrassment it can cause. Fortunately, there are a number of lifestyle changes that can help you control your symptoms without drugs or surgery, including dietary modifications, exercises, and changes in your toileting habits. Medications are also available that can treat the condition, as are surgical procedures. The surgeries for nighttime frequent urination, however, are only for the most serious cases, as they have life-altering consequences, and complications can be severe.

It is important to take action when you begin to experience nighttime frequent urination. Nighttime incontinence is usually caused by an overactive bladder, a condition characterized by the sudden, uncontrollable urge to urinate. When this happens at night, you may end up wetting the bed, or you may experience frequent awakening in response to your urges. It's a good idea to visit your family doctor and tell him about your symptoms so he can rule out more serious causes of your incontinence. Once diagnosed with overactive bladder, your doctor will probably begin your treatment by suggesting lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle changes for treating nighttime frequent urination include not drinking liquids after 6 p.m. and not drinking or eating foods that irritate your bladder or act as diuretics, such as caffeine, alcohol, and citrus fruits. Many doctors also recommend double-voiding before bed, meaning that you urinate twice. Try using the toilet and then brushing your teeth and putting on your pajamas and then urinating again. Kegal exercises, in which you contract and release your pelvic floor, can also be a huge help in treating nighttime frequent urination.

When nighttime urinating doesn't improve with lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend incontinence drugs such as Detrol, Oxytrol, or Enablex. These drugs work by relaxing the bladder, though they can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, that can make matters worse by causing you to drink more liquids. Other treatments include acupuncture, biofeedback, and sacral nerve stimulation.

Surgical options for incontinence are fairly radical and generally only used in severe cases when other treatments prove ineffective. In one surgery, a piece of your bladder is replaced with a piece of your bowel to enhance your bladder's capacity for urine. If you choose this option, you will have to use a catheter periodically for the rest of your life. Another even more radical option is to remove your bladder entirely. You will have to wear a bag on the outside of your body to collect urine for the rest of your life.

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Discuss this Article

anon340412
Post 4

I started taking Dr. Max Powers Prostate Supplement after I realized I was getting up two or three times a night. I have a good friend who has enlarged prostate and he referred me to this. I have been taking it for about two months now and finally I get a full night's sleep.

discographer
Post 3

@anamur, @feruze-- I think you both have made great points here. Doctors always recommend drinking less water in the evening, urinating before going to bed and staying away from tea and coffee for this problem. But there are so many different causes of frequent urination. And almost always there is a more serious underlying condition that we don't know about.

I struggled with this for years and tried everything without improvement until I was finally diagnosed with sleep apnea. When I received treatment for sleep apnea, the frequent urination resolved itself on its own.

It's a good idea to follow the suggestions in the article for short term relief. But I urge people to look deeper for other issues.

bear78
Post 2

@anamur-- I go to the bathroom a lot at night but it's because of my medication. I'm on diuretic medication for high blood pressure. It makes me go to the bathroom more and in turn, I have to drink more water to make up for the water I lost.

Maybe I'm really sensitive to diuretics because even if I have natural diuretics like tea and coffee, I urinate more. And I feel so dehydrated afterward that I chug several bottle of water. If I avoid having tea or coffee in the evening, I don't urinate as much at night.

Also, can someone elaborate on different causes for frequent urination at night in men and in women? I know that men who have prostate urinate more at night for example. Are there conditions specific to women that might cause them to urinate more at night than men?

serenesurface
Post 1

If you have frequent urination at night because you are drinking more water than usual, you might also want to get checked out for diabetes.

I was diagnosed with type two diabetes recently and drinking more water and going to the bathroom a lot was the major symptom. I used to start drinking more water especially in the afternoon and it continued until I went to bed. Of course, this made me get up multiple times in the night to urinate. And even after going to the bathroom at night, I would drink water!

Since I've started taking my diabetes medication, I rarely get up to go to the bathroom at night now. If I do, it's only once. It's such a relief, I'm so glad I was able to find out the root cause of my problem.

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