Wondering what causes frequent urination during pregnancy? Scroll down to find out what causes increased urination in pregnant women and how to cope with increased urination.
Ever wondered why pregnant women suffer from frequent urination, especially during the first and the third trimester of pregnancy? Well, frequent urination during pregnancy occurs due to an interplay of certain hormones. Though cyclic changes occur throughout the reproductive years in a woman’s life in the form of the menstrual cycle, changes in the levels of hormones also cause an array of symptoms during pregnancy. While a missed menstrual period is one of the most common signs of pregnancy, other symptoms that may be experienced during pregnancy include morning sickness, fatigue, food cravings, aversion to certain foods, breast tenderness and frequent urination. In this article, we will find out why frequent urination is considered to be a sign of pregnancy and what causes increased urination in pregnant women.
What Causes Frequent Urination in Pregnant Women?
As mentioned earlier, hormones bring about a variety of changes during various stages in the reproductive life cycle of women. Estrogen and progesterone are both hormones that play a vital role in enabling a woman to support a pregnancy. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is another hormone that is produced during pregnancy. It not only helps in the detection of pregnancy, but also maintains the right balance between estrogen and progesterone until the placenta has developed properly. This hormone is produced soon after the implantation of the embryo in the lining of the uterus. While it may be detected in the blood anytime between 8 to 12 days after the conception, as the levels of this hormone rise, it can soon be detected even in the urine. The presence of this hormone, thus, helps in detecting whether a woman is pregnant or not. Since hCG hormone causes an increased blood flow to the pelvic region, it causes the bladder to become extremely sensitive. Due to the increased sensitivity of the bladder, pregnant women often feel the urge to urinate and need to empty the bladder more often. Since the levels of hCG start falling after twelve weeks, there is a need to know more about other factors that may cause increased urination in the third trimester.
Since a new life is growing within her womb, a pregnant woman has to increase her intake of fluids and needs to follow certain dietary guidelines. There is a need to ensure that the fetus is provided with all the nourishment. Due to such lifestyle related changes, various bodily changes take place during pregnancy. These include increase in blood volume as well as an increased cardiac output. As the blood volume increases, the kidneys have to work harder in order to flush out the wastes. This leads to an increase in the urine output which in turn causes frequent urination. Symptoms such as leakage of urine while coughing or sneezing may also appear if the pelvic floor muscles get weakened. The second trimester is the time when women may not experience the urge to urinate very often. This is due to the fact that the uterus moves higher during the second trimester. Later, the uterus has to expand in order to accommodate the growing fetus. As a result, the pelvic region comes under a lot of pressure. During the third trimester, the baby moves lower and the pressure on the bladder increases considerably. During this time, the bladder reels under the increased pressure, which is why, women are most likely to experience frequent urination during pregnancy.
Ways to Cope with Frequent Urination When Pregnant
Women have to deal with an array of symptoms that are a part of pregnancy, but the thought of nurturing the life within gives them the strength to endure all that discomfort. However, there are ways to minimize the discomfort. As far as urination is concerned, the best precautionary measure is to ensure that you don’t drink fluids that possess diuretic properties. Tea, alcohol, coffee and aerated drinks must be avoided at all costs. Women must never make the mistake of cutting down their intake of water or other fluids in an attempt to prevent increased urination during pregnancy. Cutting down on fluid intake, can cause dehydration. Since dehydration can cause a variety of health problems, there is a need to stay well hydrated at all times during the course of pregnancy. Women must lean forward while urinating as this helps in emptying the bladder completely. At times, women complain about having to get up at night for emptying the bladder. This problem can be sorted out by drinking more fluids during the day, instead of drinking a lot of fluid before bedtime. Women must also empty the bladder whenever they have an urge to urinate. Holding urine can make one susceptible to a urinary tract infection which in turn may cause frequent urination in women, along with other distressing symptoms. At times, weakening of the pelvic floor muscles can also cause stress incontinence or involuntary leakage of urine. While performing Kegel exercises can help in preventing this embarrassing problem of stress incontinence, wearing mini-pads can also prevent urine from leaking.
Frequent urination is often viewed as a common sign of pregnancy and every woman has to tackle this problem during the course of pregnancy. Increased urination may also be experienced for a few days after the delivery. The body is basically flushing out the excessive fluids that got accumulated during the course of pregnancy. If frequent urination is also accompanied by symptoms such as pain or burning sensation, one must consult a doctor soon.