If you’re the one in your friendship group who’s always holding everyone up while you stop to pee, there’s a good chance you’ve wondered if your bodily functions (namely, your frequent urination) are entirely normal. But if meeting friends in the park or going to a festival immediately has you panicking about a lack of public toilets, you’re not alone.
While it’s true that our need to pee regularly increases as we age and give birth, some people naturally need to go more than others. However, there are some cases in which you may need to see your doctor about the amount you urinate. We spoke to a doctor to get the lowdown on exactly what’s normal.
Is it normal to need to pee all the time?
There’s no certain answer here, but if you’ve always been a person who needs to pee a lot, that could just be the way you are—which is fine. However, if you notice a sudden change in the amount you’re peeing you may want to consider why.
It may seem obvious, but upping your fluid intake will increase the amount you urinate. So if you’ve set a goal to drink more water—that must be the reason. Dr. Selena Langdon tells Cosmopolitan: “The number of times you urinate throughout the day varies due to many factors such as how much fluid you drink and what type. Staying hydrated is important, and an easy way to work out if you are drinking enough is to check the color of your urine. Ideally, you want it to be a light straw color. If it is too dark, then you should increase your fluid intake; if too light or clear, then you can ease off.
“It is also important to monitor what you drink as caffeine is a diuretic and will cause you to need to urinate more often. If you still find you need to urinate a lot but your fluid intake isn’t the issue then it is important to see your doctor as it can be a sign of a number of health issues. A regular need to urinate can be a sign of diabetes, vaginitis, a weak pelvis, or you might have an overactive bladder which is caused by overly active or irritated bladder muscles.
“If you are older, then stress incontinence which is common around perimenopause (which usually affects women in their late forties) is common. It’s best treated with pelvic floor exercises or in some cases medications.” Anxiety about being far away from a toilet can also increase our “need” to pee, purely because it’s on our mind.
Do women need to pee more regularly than men?
It’s not necessarily true that women pee a lot more than men. “The regularity with which you need to urinate is not necessarily related to your gender, although women do have a shorter urethra (the tube from your bladder which urine passes through) and are therefore more prone to urinary tract infections (UTI),” explains Dr. Langdon.
“To help guard against a UTI, it is important to drink plenty of water, wipe from front to back and avoid using feminine hygiene sprays, deodorants or powers.”
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.