Q: I feel like I have to urinate all the time. How often is actually normal?
The average person pees six to eight times a day, but anywhere from four to 10 times can be totally normal. How often you urinate is determined by many factors, including your age, the size of your bladder, the amount of fluid you’re drinking, and how much alcohol and caffeine you consume. (So if you’re a coffee fiend, that could explain a lot about your toilet trips.)
If you notice you’re going more frequently than usual, get evaluated by your doctor. Sudden urges to rush to the loo, even in the middle of the night, could be a sign that you have an overactive bladder, which means the muscles in the bladder wall are spasming (signaling the need to go) even when the volume of urine in the bladder is low. In that case, good ol’ Kegels and peeing on a regular schedule may help. Other symptoms, like burning, could point to an infection, while discomfort that goes away after you urinate might indicate interstitial cystitis (a.k.a. painful bladder syndrome). The exact cause of this condition is unknown, and there isn’t one remedy that works for everyone. Your doctor may recommend a variety of treatments (including pelvic-floor physical therapy) until you find an approach that works for you.