woman lathering soap on her hands by a sink

Frequent Urination in Pregnancy, Explained

By Marisa Iallonardo
Reviewed by Alyssa Quimby, M.D.
January 18, 2024

When you’re expecting, it may feel like you’re spending all your time in the restroom—and there are reasons for that. Here, experts weigh in on why you may feel like you need to pee so much while pregnant, what you can do about it, and signs that you should tell your provider about.

What Causes Frequent Urination in Pregnancy?

Frequent urination may have a few causes. They include:

  • Increase in blood volume. When you’re pregnant, blood volume can go up by almost 50%, so the kidneys are filtering even more fluid than usual. That extra fluid gets excreted as extra urine, says Katie Rustici, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn at Intermountain Health in Denver.
  • Hormones. Frequent urination can sometimes show up in the first trimester—so early that it can be an early pregnancy sign. As Rustici explains, “It’s that role of the changing hormones and that increase in progesterone that is generally leading to frequent urination in the first trimester.”
  • Pressure on the bladder. Your growing uterus puts pressure on the bladder, which can make you feel like you need to pee more often, Rustici says. You’ll likely notice an uptick in bathroom trips in the second half of pregnancy, as your bump gets bigger, she notes.

What Can Help Reduce Your Bathroom Trips

These strategies can help limit how often you need to use the bathroom:

Avoid Caffeine

Drinking plenty of fluids is important during pregnancy. Try to stick with water, and try to avoid drinks with caffeine, like coffee, tea, and soda, which will make you have to go more often, says Nicole Nolan, M.D., a board-certified ob-gyn at UNM Health in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Limit Nighttime Intake

If frequent bathroom trips are keeping you up at night, you can help that, too. Consider drinking most of your fluids during early daytime hours and limiting what you drink after 6 p.m., Rustici says.

Fully Empty Your Bladder When You Go

Make sure to completely empty your bladder every time you go to the bathroom, Rustici says. To help, lean all the way forward when using the toilet.

When to Call Your Provider

Sometimes, a urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause frequent urination. And it’s extremely common to get a UTI during pregnancy, Nolan says. Contact your provider if you notice any of these UTI symptoms:

  • Cloudy urine
  • Burning or pain when you pee
  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever
  • Chills or back pain

A healthcare provider can prescribe antibiotics for the infection. Don’t try to treat a UTI at home with cranberry pills or juice—UTIs in pregnancy typically need medical attention. If untreated, a UTI is more likely to cause an infection in your kidneys when you’re pregnant. In severe cases, they can cause preterm labor.

Also, talk to your provider if you’ve taken suggested steps to limit your urination but are still peeing more often than seems normal to you, Rustici says. Some other bacterial issues are common during pregnancy, she explains. Your provider may want to do other testing and can give you advice to help.

You May Also Like: