Frequent Nighttime Urination

The Problem
Do you find yourself getting up several times during the night to go to the bathroom? Understandably, this could cause some concern on your part. What could cause this? Is it abnormal? How can you prevent it?

The Causes and Treatments
These nocturnal trips to the bathroom could have any one of a number of explanations, ranging from the almost obvious to that which should be examined and treated by a physician.

As the easiest possible solution, the frequent urinating may just result from drinking too much of any beverage late in the evening. Once taken into the body, any fluids beyond what the body needs, plus those that are filtered out through the kidneys as a natural process, will quickly fill the bladder. Of course, a full bladder will want to be emptied, and it can be very effective in waking the body up for a trip down the hall at night. The solution? Get those fluids earlier in the day, but certainly don't cut back on total intake; most people don't hydrate adequately as it is.

Another potential, but less likely, candidate is congestive heart failure. While this is a serious condition (the words "heart failure" probably clued you into that one), it can be recognized by a few symptoms in addition to the urinating. If a woman notices that she's short of breath when she lies down, or that her ankles are swollen during the day, she may have congestive heart failure. Of course, if she suspects this, it is important for her to have her symptoms checked out by a physician in order to receive appropriate care.

Finally, the third possibility may be the one that goes untreated the most: overactive bladder. Overactive bladder is characterized by frequent urination, including nighttime urination. While most women may see the condition as annoying, since it can interfere with their lifestyles (and sleep), few will actually regard it as something that ought to be treated medically. It may come as a surprise to learn that it is not only possible, but also quite acceptable to see a doctor to check out frequent urination. Changes in fluid intake, bladder re-training, or medication are possible treatments.

No matter what the cause, no woman has to tolerate disrupted sleep for a trip across cold floors in a dark house . . .and have to sit on that cold seat, too!

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