What is frequent urination during pregnancy?
Frequent urination is when you need to urinate (wee) more often than usual when you’re pregnant.
What causes frequent urination during pregnancy?
Needing to go to the toilet more often during your pregnancy is normal and is caused by:
- hormonal changes — early in pregnancy
- physical changes — later in pregnancy
When am I more likely to have frequent urination during pregnancy?
Frequent urination is common at every stage of pregnancy.
During the first stages, hormonal changes increase the frequency with which you need to use the toilet.
Later in pregnancy, your uterus (womb) becomes larger to house your growing baby. This pushes against your bladder and bowel, and make incontinence more likely.
In the last few weeks of pregnancy, you may struggle to empty your bladder completely.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, you may wet yourself a little when:
- lifting things
This happens because these actions place more pressure on your pelvic floor. In many people the pelvic floor becomes weakened during pregnancy.
How can I reduce frequent urination during my pregnancy?
While you can’t do much to lessen your need to urinate often, you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Strengthening these muscles can help you ‘hold in’ your urine until you are able to get to the toilet. The best way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles is through exercise. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles will also offer a sturdy support system for your bowel, uterus and bladder.
Ideally, you should do pelvic floor exercises before becoming pregnant — but it's never too late. Remember to keep up your pelvic floor exercises after your baby is born.
The Continence Foundation of Australia have produced this video on how to do pelvic floor exercises.
Could it be a sign of something more serious?
While frequent urination during pregnancy is quite normal, in some situations it is best to see a doctor.
You talk to your doctor or midwife, if when you use the toilet, you feel a:
- stinging feeling
- burning feeling
- any pain
It might be a sign that you have an infection. This needs to be treated as soon as possible.
You should also talk to your doctor or midwife if you think that your amniotic fluid (the water around your baby) is leaking.
Will frequent urination continue after I’ve had the baby?
You may still urinate more than usual after your baby is born. This is because it takes time for your pelvic floor muscles to get better after birth.
Some people will see an improvement in the first 3 to 6 months after the birth. While other people will take longer to recover.
Make sure you keep up your pelvic floor exercises. Your midwife can help you know what to expect over the first few weeks and months after your baby’s birth.
Where to get help
- call the Continence Foundation of Australia on 1800 33 00 66
- talk to your doctor — click here to find a doctor near you
- check in with your midwife
Speak to a maternal child health nurse
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.
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Last reviewed: March 2023