National Continence Helpline

8am - 8pm Monday to Friday AEST Talk to a continence nurse

Having to pass urine often (urinary frequency)

Get help from a health care professional, or talk to your supervisor or care coordinator if:

  • the urinary frequency is a new symptom
  • the person has signs of a urinary tract infection - fever, shivering, pain in the lower back, blood in their urine.

What is urinary frequency?

Urinary frequncy is when the person has to pass urine more often than normal. It's normal to pass urine between 4-8 times during the day and once overnight for most people. The bladder should hold between 4OO-6OOmls each time. As everyone is different, it's important to know what's normal for the person you support.

What should you do if the person you support has urinary frequency?

Check the person's care plan and make sure you know:

  • when the person should be going to the toilet, if there is a schedule
  • signs that the person needs to go to the toilet, e.g. signs of discomfort, pulling at clothes, sign language
  • what toilet aids you should use
  • what help the person needs to reach and use the toilet
  • what continence aids (if any) the person uses and what help they need to take them off and put them on again
  • when the continence pads need to be changed.

What else should you do?

You should also check:

  • if the person is constipated, as this can make urinary frequency worse
  • what sort of fluids they are drinking - drinks with caffeine and alcohol can irritate the bladder and cause the kidneys to make more urine
  • how much fluid they are drinking - if the person is drinking a lot, they will make more urine and have to go more
  • when they drinking their fluids over the day and night - it's best to spread fluids throughout the day
  • if they have diabetes, they may need their blood sugar checked - if their levels are high, they may need a review by their doctor or diabetes nurse
  • if they have taken medicines that cause their kidneys to make more urine, e.g. a diuretic (fluid tablet). If so, they will need to go to the toilet more often until the effect passes.

Need more help? Call the National Continence Helpline on 18OO 33 OO 66 and talk to a continence nurse advisor.

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This information is not a substitute for independent professional advice.