Urinating Every 2 Hours? 11 Reasons Why (Plus Home Remedies)

Frequent bathroom trips every couple of hours can be a normal frequency for some folks, especially with lots of fluid intake. But if it is something that happens all the time or bothering you or disrupting your routine, it is a good idea to look into what’s causing it.

This is scientifically called frequent urination, which may or may not occur with kidney pain. Patients often describe the pain as burning, stinging, or itching (1). It could be related to issues with the kidneys, bladder, prostate, or vagina, all of which should be taken seriously and are concerning if left untreated.

Check out this video where we go over the many possible reasons for frequent urination, whether you feel pain or not. We’ll also discuss when it’s time to seek medical advice in hope of helping you make an informed choice.

Don’t miss the second half of this video, where we share helpful home remedies and treatments that can help with frequent urination. Stay tuned until the end to learn about some key foods that can really make a difference.

Before we dive in, please note, all the information in this video is created by real people. You can visit our website at healthtoday.com to see our advisory board and the team behind these videos. We do not rely on AI tools like ChatGPT for automatic content generation. Be assured, our information is thoroughly fact-checked, unbiased, and reviewed by qualified professionals. Now, let’s return to the causes of frequent urination.

Causes of frequent urination

Before we get into the causes, it’s good to know that needing to pee every 2 hours can be normal for some people. As you get older, you will need to urinate more often, and it’s normal to wake up occasionally during the night to urinate. For instance, in your 40s and 50s, waking up once a night to go to the bathroom is typical. In your 60s and 70s, it might be twice a night, and in your 80s and beyond, it could be two to three times. However, waking up too often at night to urinate (nocturia), can disrupt your sleep and may indicate a health issue, such as heart disease, sleep disorder, and swelling (2). 

Read more: Why Is My Sleep So Bad: Symptoms, Causes, Remedies and More

Sometimes, the increased urination frequency comes with kidney pain. By kidney pain, we mean that dull ache in your back, stomach area, or lateral sides (3).

Kidney pain results from various diseases. Most of these diseases also result in frequent urination or feeling the urge to urinate every two hours (4). But if you experience pain along with frequent urination, it may not always be kidney-related. Pain at the start or during urination points to a urethral issue, while pain after urination suggests problems in the bladder or prostate (1). These issues can be associated with kidney pain due to the close proximity of the bladder, prostate, and urethra to the kidneys.

Whether you feel the pain or not, there are multiple reasons for frequent urination. These can be due to kidney or bladder problems or non-renal diseases. Now, let’s see the possible causes of frequent urination.

1. Urinary tract Infections (UTIs)

The urinary tract is the pathway from the kidneys to the urethra that moves urine from the inside to the outside of the body. It starts in the kidneys, where urine is formed, and then passes through the ureters to the bladder, where it’s stored. Finally, urine is expelled from the body through the urethra (5). 

Infection of any part of the urinary tract is one of the most common reasons for frequent urination and is associated with pain. It can be kidney infection (pyelonephritis), bladder infection (cystitis), and urethra infection (urethritis) (2). To give you an idea, infection leads to inflammation, which can irritate the lining of the urinary tract, leading to a greater urge to urinate. Also, to flush out the bacteria causing the infection, your body may increase urine production.

Other than frequent urination, other symptoms of UTIs are pain in the groin or lower abdomen, bloody or cloudy urine, pain while passing urine (dysuria), nausea, fever, or chills (6).

2. Kidney diseases

If you think that you need to urinate more often, especially at night (nocturia), this may indicate there is a problem with how your kidneys are filtering urine. More specifically, it can be related to an issue with the kidney’s filtration system, and you may have a kidney disorder (7).

Your kidneys are like the body’s natural filters, helping to remove waste and excess fluids by creating urine (8). Normally, your kidneys do a great job of concentrating urine by reabsorbing water back into the bloodstream. However, if the kidneys get damaged, their ability to concentrate urine diminishes. This means they can’t reabsorb water as effectively, leading to the production of larger volumes of dilute urine (8). This increased volume means that one needs to urinate more frequently.

3. Bladder issues

When you urinate frequently, it can sometimes be due to problems with the bladder. 

One common issue is the presence of stones in the bladder. These stones can cause several symptoms, including difficulty urinating, pain during urination, and lower abdominal pain. These symptoms can make it hard to fully empty your bladder, leading to a frequent urge to use the bathroom to pass urine (9).

Another concerning issue is bladder pain syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis. This is a chronic condition where people experience ongoing pain in the lower abdomen for weeks. This pain is often accompanied by a frequent need to urinate (10). The exact cause of this condition is not fully understood, but it may involve a defect in the immune system, similar to autoimmune disorders, or allergic reactions (10).

Sometimes, frequent urination can signify a more severe issue, such as bladder cancer. This cancer can also present with lower abdominal or back pain and blood in the urine (11).

4. Urethral stricture

The urethra is the last part of the urinary tract that is responsible for draining urine out of the body. Sometimes, it can become narrow due to injuries or infections, and this condition is known as urethral stricture. This narrowing can lead to difficulty when urinating, often causing the need to run to urinate again and again because you cannot completely pass all the urine out in one go (2, 12).

The next reasons on our list might not be directly related to a urinary tract condition, but they can still be common and worrisome.

5. Prostate problems

Another common reason for needing to urinate more often is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which affects the prostate gland in males. The gland, located just below the bladder, plays a role in producing semen (male fluid containing sperm). As men age, it’s common for this gland to get enlarged, producing urinary symptoms. The most common symptom of BPH is an increase in the frequency of urination and difficulty controlling or retaining urine (13). Simply put, an enlarged prostate can obstruct the flow of urine from the bladder, causing incomplete emptying, just like the case of urethral stricture and, consequently, frequent urination.

Additionally, a prostate infection (prostatitis) can cause you to feel the need to urinate frequently. This condition can also make urination painful (14).

6. Vaginal issues

We’ve discussed how infections in the urinary tract or prostate can lead to more frequent trips to the bathroom. Similarly, vaginal infections (vaginitis), whether from bacteria or yeast, can also increase the need to urinate (2).

Another possible cause is anterior vaginal prolapse (cystocele). It is a condition where the bladder drops from its normal position and pushes against the front wall of the vagina. This happens because the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and other pelvic organs, become weakened or stretched. Because the bladder is displaced and not fully supported, it can cause a sensation of needing to urinate more often (15).

But why do cystoceles occur? The common reasons for pelvic floor weakness and bladder displacement are chronic constipation, multiple childbirth, or heavy weight lifting. Besides causing recurrent urination, cystoceles can also lead to pressure symptoms in the pelvis (15).

7. Pregnancy

As the baby grows during pregnancy, the uterus expands to accommodate the developing fetus. 

The bladder, which sits below the uterus, gets pressed upon by the growing uterus, which takes up more space. This pressure reduces the bladder’s capacity to hold urine, resulting in an increased frequency of urination (2).

Read more: Pregnancy Diet: Expert Tips on Nutrition and Healthy Eating for Two

8. Neurological disorders

Our nervous system contains a network of nerves that regulate bladder function. These nerves normally communicate between the bladder and the spinal cord and brain, instructing the bladder muscles to contract or relax in order to store or release urine (16). 

However, conditions like neurological disorders, stroke, and spinal cord injuries disrupt these nerves. This disruption often results in frequent urination and loss of control in holding urine (2).

9. Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition where there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream. We may all know that the kidneys play a crucial role in filtering blood. So, when there is excess glucose in the blood, the kidneys need to work harder to filter it out and excrete it through urine. That’s why people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes urinate more frequently (2).

Also, diabetes is a major cause of kidney damage (17, 18). High blood sugar from diabetes can damage the kidneys’ small blood vessels, making it hard for the kidneys to filter properly. As we discussed earlier, kidney damage is a common cause of increasing the urge to urinate.

10. Medications

Some medicines involve increasing the urine output. Diuretics, which help with conditions like fluid retention or swelling, is an expelling example. These drugs help the kidneys remove excess water and salt from the body through urine, increasing the frequency of urination (2, 19).

Remember, some common medications can impact kidney health, such as NSAIDs for inflammation, antibiotics for infections, or PPIs for acid reflux. We can’t cover all of them in this video, but you’ll find a detailed explanation in the video on the screen. We also shared tips for using them safely.

11. Your drinks

Sometimes, after a tough workout, sauna session, or a hot day out, you might find yourself drinking more than usual. If you end up needing to urinate more often during those times, don’t worry: Your body and kidneys are doing their job well. Increased urination, in this case, simply means more fluid in equals more fluid out (2).

Also, note that drinking alcohol and caffeine also increases the frequency of urination. However, there is no exact limit yet at which urinary frequency gets disturbed by these drinks (2).

When to see your doctor?

Earlier in the video, we mentioned that not every instance of frequent urination is cause for concern. However, there are some signs you should pay attention to (2, 20). If frequent urination is accompanied by high fever and chills, seek medical help—it could indicate an infection. Also, don’t ignore symptoms like one-sided pain, lower abdominal or back pain, painful urination (dysuria), or blood in your urine (hematuria) alongside frequent trips to the bathroom. And if you notice a vaginal or penile discharge, especially if it resembles pus, it is a clear sign to see your doctor (2, 20).

Some people may ask if seeing urine color would help to diagnose kidney disease. The answer is no, as damaged kidneys do not change the color of urine most of the time. However, when kidneys fail, urine could appear frothy or foamy due to the presence of protein. Foamy urine is also an early symptom of kidney disease, so be mindful of that. Other than this, there is no specific variation in the color of urine when the kidneys fail (21).

If you can’t pinpoint why you’re urinating more often lately, like changes in how much you drink or drinks like alcohol or caffeine, it’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor. This is especially important if it’s affecting your sleep (2, 20).

During your visit, your doctor will ask about your fluid intake, medications you are taking, your drinking habits, if there is any swelling in your feet, for how long you have been experiencing this, and if you’ve experienced associated symptoms such as burning or pain when urinating. They might also ask about your history of fevers and whether you snore (2). It’s good to think about these details before your appointment to help your doctor better understand your situation.

Possible treatments for frequent urination

Once your doctor diagnoses your condition, they’ll discuss possible treatment options with you. Just like with any symptom, the treatment for frequent urination will depend on what’s causing it.

For instance, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are typically treated with antibiotics, and as the infection clears up, your urination frequency should return to normal (2, 22). However, antibiotics can affect your kidneys, so it’s wise to discuss your dosage with your doctor and focus on eating more kidney-friendly foods, which we will mention later in this video.

If bladder pain syndrome is the cause for your increased trip to the bathroom, opt for healthy lifestyle changes such as stress reduction, dietary changes, exercises, and bladder retraining techniques (10). Note that bladder cancer and urethral stricture require expert opinion to provide you relief and may involve surgical intervention in most cases (12, 23).

Now, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can be treated with medications that ease obstruction, and refractory cases require surgical excision of enlarged prostatic tissue (24).

If diabetes is the cause, it’s important to properly manage your glucose intake (2).

For anterior vaginal prolapse, Kegel exercises or pelvic floor exercises can be helpful (2). Also, frequent urination during pregnancy can be managed with pelvic floor exercises, high fiber intake, and limiting fluid after dinner (25).

And before opting for any treatment, don’t forget that fluid modification and tracking what kind of drinks you consume daily also help devise ways to reduce frequent urination (2).

Home remedies for frequent urination

When it comes to home remedies, there’s not much you can do to reduce frequent urination, except if it’s due to your drinking habit. You can keep a diary to monitor the exact frequency of urination; this will also help find the cause.

It’s important to consult your doctor, but you can use some home remedies to support your treatment if you have any of the conditions we mentioned earlier (2).

The best thing you can do is to cut down on caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and sodas. Also, try not to drink water a few hours before bedtime to avoid those late-night trips to the bathroom (2).

Also, you can try bladder retraining techniques. These involve gradually trying to hold urine for increasing intervals, which will help build bladder capacity (2).

Another suggested exercise is the pelvic floor exercises, which are particularly important for elderly women. It will strengthen the muscles of the bladder and its holding capacity, like the bladder retraining techniques (2).

In case of frequent urination owing to UTIs, some simple home remedies to get rid of them are increased garlic intake, cranberry juice, and probiotics, though more research is needed in this domain. Also, avoid citrus and acidic foods, which may irritate your bladder if you have an infection (26).

How to prevent kidney diseases?

Preventing kidney disease mostly comes down to making healthy lifestyle choices. 

It’s important to keep yourself physically active; so try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day (27). If you are obese or overweight, aim to reduce weight to save yourself from a lot of diseases, including kidney diseases (27).

Also, if you drink or smoke, try to cut back. And if you don’t, it’s best not to start. You should not drink more than one drink of alcohol per day if you are female and more than two drinks a day if you are a male. Try to seek help if you are having a hard time quitting smoking (27).

One more important thing to prevent kidney disease is managing your other conditions. 

For example, hypertension—when your blood pressure goes beyond 120/80 mmHg—is one of the most common reasons for kidney damage. Get your blood pressure checked regularly and seek medical attention if found above the normal range. If it is in the normal range, some lifestyle tips can prevent it from getting higher, such as reducing salt intake, exercising, and dietary changes (28).

Plus, managing your blood sugar levels is also important, as diabetes affects the kidneys a lot. Complying with your diabetes medicines, lifestyle modification, and regularly monitoring your blood sugar can save you from kidney diseases (28).

It’s best to avoid excessive use of over-the-counter painkillers (or OTC analgesics). Painkillers, such as NSAIDs, can damage the blood vessels of the kidneys, so use them cautiously and ask your doctor about the quantity that is allowed for your disease or pain (28).

Healthy food that protects your heart and kidneys include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free dairy products. Try to keep added sugars to less than 10% of your daily calories and limit sodium, which is abundant in salt, to less than 2.3 grams per day. You can use spices to replace salt to add taste to your food and try to bake or broil your meat instead of frying it (27).

Water is the best drink for your kidneys. Water has zero calories and is best for hydration and normal functioning of the body as well. To quench your thirst, try to prefer water over anything else, particularly when you are at risk of having a kidney disease (29).

Summary

In this video, you learned frequent urination can be due to renal or non-renal diseases. Important causes of increased frequency of urination are urinary tract infections (UTIs), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), bladder stones, urethral stricture, bladder cancer, diabetes, pregnancy, vaginal prolapse, and increased water intake. 

It is important to consult your doctor if you notice frequent urination with blood in urine, lower abdominal pain, fever, chills, or vomiting. Possible treatment of frequent urination depends upon its cause, such as antibiotics for UTIs and surgical intervention for cancer and urethral strictures.

Home remedies for frequent urination include fluid modification, bladder retraining techniques, pelvic floor exercises, and the avoidance of citrus foods. Dietary changes, exercises, controlling blood pressure and sugar levels, and avoiding painkillers can all help prevent kidney disease.

If you are suffering from kidney disease, you need to modify your diet, which helps fight the damage present there. These include strawberries, red bell peppers, low-phosphorus cheese, pomegranates, blueberries, avocados, tofu, fish, root vegetables, broccoli, beans, etc. (30, 31).

Sources

  1. Dysuria, Frequency, and Urgency
  2. Frequent Urination
  3. Kidney pain
  4. Frequent urination
  5. The Urinary Tract & How It Works
  6. Urinary Tract Infection Basics
  7. 10 Signs You May Have Kidney Disease
  8. How Your Kidneys Work
  9. Bladder stones
  10. Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome
  11. Bladder cancer
  12. Urethral Stricture
  13. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  14. Prostatitis
  15. Anterior vaginal prolapse (cystocele)
  16. Neurogenic Bladder
  17. Diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease)
  18. Diabetes – A Major Risk Factor for Kidney Disease
  19. Diuretics
  20. Frequent urination
  21. Chronic Kidney Disease
  22. Frequent Urination
  23. Bladder cancer
  24. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  25. Pregnancy and Bladder Control
  26. 12 BEST HOME REMEDIES FOR UTIS
  27. Preventing Chronic Kidney Disease
  28. 7 Golden Rules of Kidney Disease Prevention
  29. Top 8 Best Drinks for People with Kidney Disease
  30. Superfoods
  31. 20 Healthful Foods For Fighting Kidney Disease

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Amy20MD 1

Medical reviewed by Amy Rogers, MD MPH FACPM

Preventive Medicine, Public Health, Lifestyle Medicine, Pandemic Response, Global Health

Amy20MD 1

Medical reviewed by Amy Rogers, MD MPH FACPM

Preventive Medicine, Public Health, Lifestyle Medicine, Pandemic Response, Global Health

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