Urinating Frequently Due to Stress? Test It With These 8 Symptoms

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Do you have to urinate frequently and suddenly a lot?

Frequent urination can have various causes. Stress is one of them.

But how can you be sure it’s stress and not something else? There are several symptoms to recognize frequent urination due to stress.

In this article I will give you an overview of 8 common symptoms of frequent urination due to stress. This way you can check for yourself whether you have to urinate often due to stress.

Purpose of this article: You will learn how stress affects your need to urinate more often. You will be introduced to the symptoms of increased urination due to stress and you will be given some useful solutions.

Can you pee a lot due to stress?

If you are currently dealing with a lot of urination due to stress, that is very annoying. Your social life may be suffering as a result. Perhaps frequent urination due to stress limits your freedom. You may experience even more stress because of this.

Stress, anxiety and depression can actually contribute to more frequent urination.

Research in Norway found that people with anxiety and stress symptoms are one and a half to two times more likely to urinate more often than usual.

Do you have to pee often as a man due to stress?

Although both men and women can suffer from a lot of urination due to stress, this is more noticeable in men.

Several  studies indicate that women naturally urinate more and more often than men. There is a very logical reason for this: women generally have a smaller bladder than men.

.Frequent urination as a man will therefore more quickly have an underlying cause and this can be chronic stress.

Having to urinate a lot due to stress can manifest itself in different ways:

  1. It seems like your bladder needs to be emptied, even though you have just urinated.
  2. You have to pee several times an hour.
  3. You have to urinate often even if you have not drunk more than usual.
  4. When you sit on the toilet, this gives little result, but you still feel the urge.
  5. You often feel the need to go to the bathroom.
  6. You have to get up at night to pee.
  7. When you wake up, you have to urinate right away.

What is a stress bladder?

It is important to know that a stress bladder is completely different from incontinence that occurs after an intense activity such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, lifting something, etc…

With incontinence you cannot hold your urine and you lose urine unintentionally.

A stress bladder is a condition that makes you have to urinate much more often than usual or feel this urge more often. This is because your bladder becomes overactive under the influence of stress.

According to a 2015  study , people with an overactive bladder experience significantly more stress than people without the condition.

What does stress do to your bladder?

There are several theories about this.

The body’s fight or flight response

A first theory links frequent urination due to stress to the body’s fight-or-flight response.

Under the influence of stress hormones, the sensitivity of the nervous system increases. This can amplify specific sensations.

For example, under the influence of stress hormones, you can experience a faster heartbeat or breathing. Stress hormones can also cause the nerve cells in your skin to react more strongly, giving you goosebumps.

If you already have a sensitive bladder, the fight or flight response can trigger a reflex such as frequent urination.

Muscle tension due to stress

The second theory is that anxiety and stress can cause muscle tension. As a result, the muscles of the bladder are extra stimulated, which increases the urge to urinate.

But the tension in the pelvic floor muscles also plays a role here.

The pelvic floor supports the bladder and urethra. The muscles of the pelvic floor allow you to hold your urine and do it whenever you want.

A tense pelvic floor muscle can lead to involuntary leakage of urine, inability to urinate properly, not being able to urinate completely or urinary tract infections (more on this later).

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections can be caused by stressStress does not directly cause a urinary tract infection. But stress does have a very negative impact on your immune system. This makes you much more susceptible to urinary tract infections.

It is mainly the stress hormone cortisol that causes your immune system to work less well.

A typical symptom of a urinary tract infection is abdominal pain, but also that you feel the urge to urinate much more often.

Use of certain medicines

Have you recently started any new medication? This can also be one of the reasons why you need to urinate more often.

Doctors often prescribe benzodiazepines for anxiety and stress . These drugs reduce feelings of anxiety, have a calming and muscle relaxant effect.

Peeing is a well-organized process. When your bladder fills up (and holds the urine), the urethra—the tube that connects to the bladder and empties urine—must remain closed to keep everything in until you decide to go to the toilet. In addition, your bladder must be able to contract to empty the urine into the urethra.

Benzos can disrupt these processes and lead to urine leakage or the feeling that you need to urinate more often.

Interesting to know is that anxiety and depression are also associated with nocturia. Nocturia is the term used for waking up to pee.

Research on mice has shown that mice subjected to stress factors woke up more often during the night and immediately urinated.

Is a lot of urination due to stress harmful?

In the first place, it is very annoying if you have to urinate often due to stress. You always want to be sure that there is a toilet nearby.

The panic that this might not be the case creates extra stress and fear that you would not find a toilet in time.

Just because the influence of stress and the condition of your bladder and urinary tract works in two directions, urinating a lot due to stress can be harmful.

A 2017  study shows that people with urinary tract disorders experience more psychological stress, which makes them need to urinate more often.

Suppose you suffer from a form of  social phobia . Just the thought of meeting new people terrifies you. However, you can’t avoid this. You often have to pee because of the stress and you immediately think: what if I also have to run to the toilet with all those strange people around me. What if there is no toilet nearby? What if I don’t get to the toilet in time? By asking yourself these questions, you experience even more stress.

It gets even worse if you have to urinate often due to stress and also suffer from urination anxiety .

The scientific name for urination anxiety is paruresis and it is a condition where you are unable to urinate in front of others or in public places.

You can probably imagine how much extra stress this entails and that this can even cause a panic attack . Moreover, it is not healthy at all if you have to urinate more often due to stress and you cannot empty your bladder.

What to do against frequent urination due to stress? 6 tips

Tip 1: Train your pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises are used to train the pelvic floor muscle and bladder.

It was the gynecologist Arnold Kegel who invented them. However, this does not mean that these only help women. Frequent urination due to stress in a man can also be remedied.

How do you go about doing Kegel exercises as a man?

First and foremost, it is important to know exactly where your pelvic floor muscle is located if you as a man have to urinate more often due to stress.

The video below explains it to you:


Now it’s time to practice these. This is how you do this with Kegel exercises:

  • Lie on the floor or your bed.
  • Contract your pelvic floor muscles and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Do this without contracting your buttocks, abs, or thigh muscles.
  • Relax your pelvic floor muscle for 5 seconds and start again.
  • Do this exercise about 10 times in a row.

If you have practiced lying down a number of times, then you have probably gotten better at this and you can also easily perform these exercises standing up.

The video below explains pelvic floor muscle exercises that can be useful for both men and women.

Tip 2: Set up a bladder training program

  • Identify your urination pattern. For a few days, keep a journal where you record each time you urinate or feel the urge to urinate.
  • Extend your urination intervals. Most people immediately run to the bathroom when they feel they need to pee. That makes sense, but by not immediately sitting on the toilet – if this is of course possible – this urgency can be reduced. In this way you can gradually lengthen your urination intervals. Keep a record of the length of these urination intervals in your diary. Then increase that time by 15 minutes. If you usually pee every half hour, try increasing that to half an hour and 15 minutes.
  • Stick to this schedule. Once you’ve established a schedule, do your best to stick to it. Pee right after you wake up in the morning. If you feel the urge after that, but it’s not time to go yet, try putting it off. The best thing you can do is distract yourself for this.

If you feel that you are going to have an accident, do not stress about this. Go pee and then try to stick to your schedule again.

A recent  2021 study found that women who experienced frequent urination stress through yoga had significantly less urination, better sleep and an overall better quality of life.

It has been known for some time that yoga is beneficial for stress. Yoga exercises bring balance between your physical and mental state so that you experience a special form of rest.

Tip 4: Go for a healthier lifestyle

Maintain your weight. Being overweight can encourage more frequent urination. The heavier you are, the more weight is placed on your abdomen and bladder.

It has been known for some time that there is a link between chronic stress and obesity. The more stress you experience, the unhealthier you will eat.

High-fat, high-calorie and ready-to-eat meals are probably also on your menu if you lead a stressful life.

Chronic stress causes high cortisol levels in your body. This hormone causes glucose (sugar) to be released in the body and released into the blood.

If glucose is not used, your body stores insulin as fat, especially around your abdomen. That is exactly where your bladder lies and it can literally come under pressure due to the excess fat.

Tip 5: Watch what you drink

It seems logical: the less I drink, the less often I will have to pee.

True indeed. But drinking is necessary to keep your body hydrated and healthy.

What you drink can make a big difference if you have to pee often due to stress. There is no such thing as an anti-pee diet, but there are drinks that can influence your urination behavior.

If you have to urinate often due to stress, it is best to drink plain water.

Here are 5 tips to manage your fluid intake:

  • Spread your fluid intake over the day, drinking water between meals.
  • Do not carry a large water bottle with you unless you are exercising.
  • Fill your glass halfway or use a smaller glass.
  • If you drink enough water, your urine should be pale yellow or almost colorless.
  • Remember that you also get fluids from other foods, such as fruits, vegetables and soups.

Tip 6: Watch what you eat

Certain foods can also encourage frequent urination.

Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits or tomatoes, increase the urge to urinate. Healthier fruits in this regard are pears or blueberries. These are also rich in antioxidants, which can help your immune system if it works less well due to stress.

Highly spicy foods can also have a negative impact on your bladder.

Hidden culprits that can negatively affect your urination are artificial sweeteners.

If you notice that you have to pee more often when you eat certain foods, keeping a food diary is certainly a good idea. This way you can easily check the influence of certain foods on your urination behaviour.

Going on an elimination diet can also help. Remove one item, such as tomatoes, from your meals for a week. If you have less urge to urinate, write this down.

Gradually add small amounts of that food again until you notice your symptoms come back.

Tip 5: Avoid certain medicines

I mentioned it before: some antidepressants or  benzodiazepines have a muscle relaxant effect. These drugs are often prescribed for stress and anxiety.

If you have to urinate often due to stress, it is not at all advisable to take this. The use of medication is never advisable to relieve stress.

Tip 6: The Stress-Free Secret

I saved the best tip for last. Frequent urination due to stress is one of the many symptoms of stress.

If you now conclude that you have to urinate often due to stress, this does not mean that you have to live with it for the rest of your life.

By changing your way of life in the right way, you can heal yourself from stress symptoms and tension complaints for good. Changing your thoughts about stress is especially important.

With the help of ‘ The Stress-Free Secret ‘ you can get out of the stress circle. In this you will learn, among other things:

  • Why you are more vulnerable to stress than others
  • What you need to do to get out of the vicious circle of chronic stress as soon as possible and get more rest
  • A long-term strategy to prevent you from falling back into old patterns and to be happy with yourself and your life again

First, do the free Stress test below and find out in which phase you are in stress.


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