Q: Is there a certain number of times a healthy person should pee each day? Should it be every hour? Every two hours? Every three hours?
A: There isn’t just one answer regarding how often you should go #1.
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Some people might urinate 10 times a day — and that’s perfectly OK if it’s not bothersome. Others may hear nature’s call only four times over a 24-hour timeframe. That’s also fine and explainable. Ditto for every digit in between, too.
It’s not unusual to have low- or high-flow urine days. The average number of pee breaks from morning to night usually falls around seven, but your restroom trip count can vary widely based on:
- How much you drink in a given day. Consider this a case of volume in, volume out.
- What you drink during the day. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks can have a diuretic effect, meaning they make you pee more. (Speaking of drinking alcohol, find out whether the notion of “breaking the seal” is fact or faction.)
Also, what’s normal for one person regarding urination frequency may be quite different for someone else. For starters, the capacity of your bladder — which stores urine — could range from 350 ml to 600 ml (1.5 cups to 2.5 cups).
Other factors that influence your expected visitation schedule include:
- Age. As you get older, you’re more prone to getting up to pee in the middle of the night. This may be caused by prostate enlargement or decreased production of a hormone that helps concentrate urine so you can hold it until you wake up in the morning.
- Pregnancy. Fluid levels in your body increase due to pregnancy, and that extra fluid eventually filters out. A baby in your belly can press on your bladder, too, making you go more.
- Medications. Certain medications, particularly for high blood pressure, are diuretics.
Are changes in urination frequency a reason for concern?
While there is no definitive “normal” that fits all people when it comes to peeing, there probably is one for you. Drastic changes to your restroom routine — or a funky pee color or smell — may be a signal from your body that something is off.
A sudden increase in urinating could be caused by:
- Urinary tract infections.
- Overactive bladder.
- Abnormal calcium levels in your body (hypercalcemia or hypocalcemia).
- Kidney stones.
- Sickle cell anemia.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about how often you’re urinating, particularly if an unusual and unexplained pattern develops and lasts more than a few days.
And if you end up at your doctor’s office, expect at least one of your day’s restroom stops to take place there as you’ll probably be asked to give a urine sample for analysis.
— Urologist Petar Bajic, MD