Frequent urination during pregnancy
Find yourself urinating more often during pregnancy?
Going to the loo more often is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. It typically starts at about six weeks and is often noticeable before a missed period.
What causes frequent urination in pregnancy?
Shortly after you become pregnant, hormonal changes cause blood to flow more quickly through your kidneys, filling your bladder more often. The pregnancy hormone hCG increases the blood flow to your pelvic area and to your kidneys, also becomes more efficient. As they get better at their job, your kidneys help your body gets rid of waste more quickly increasing the frequency of urination.
The uterus also starts to expand. It starts out the size of an orange and ends up the size of a medium watermelon in some women. It expands and presses on the bladder and even though the baby is only tiny at this stage, you’ll feel the need to go to the loo more often. It’s annoying, often tiring - particularly if it is happening during the night - but it’s normal and rarely anything to worry about.
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Even in the first trimester, your uterus puts pressure on your bladder, giving it less room to store urine. Luckily this pressure eases as the pregnancy progresses, although you will find it return with a vengeance towards the end of your pregnancy especially when the baby descends head down and engaged in preparation for birth.
You may notice the need to pee increases during the night as your pregnancy progresses, partly because when you lie down some of the fluid you retained in your legs and feet during the day makes its way back into your bloodstream and eventually into your bladder.
What measures can help?
• Lean forward when you wee: Seriously, this helps empty out your bladder and can reduce the number of times you’ll be heading back to the bathroom.
• Keep drinking water: Never be tempted to cut back or cut back on fluids to stop the constant urination but you and your baby need a steady supply of fluids, especially water. Dehydration can cause a UTI, and they can very painful. Your urine should look pale yellow and be clear, not dark yellow or cloudy.
• Avoid caffeine, fizzy drinks and other diuretics as they will make you worse.
X You feel pain or burning when you go to the toilet.
X You feel a sense of urgency to pass urine, even after you’ve been.
X You leak wee when you feel the urge to pass urine.
X Your urine smells particularly unpleasant, is cloudy, dark yellow or contains blood.
X You have constant lower abdominal pain.
X You feel unwell.
If you have all or any of these symptoms, it may be a sign you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) which will need to be treated. Drink plenty of water and see your GP as soon as possible - an untreated UTI can bring on premature labour.