Urination frequent

During the first trimester of pregnancy, your growing uterus pushes on your bladder. As a result, you may find yourself running to the bathroom more often than usual. You may also leak a small amount of urine when you cough, sneeze or laugh. By the fourth month, the uterus expands up out of the pelvic cavity, easing pressure on the bladder. Then, in the last few weeks of pregnancy, you may need to urinate more frequently again, when the baby's head drops into the pelvis, placing renewed pressure on the bladder. Frequent urination almost always goes away after you give birth.

■ Prevention and self-care for frequent urination The following suggestions may help:

• Urinate as often as you need to. Holding in your urine can result in incomplete emptying of the bladder, which can lead to a urinary tract infection.

• Lean forward when you urinate to help empty your bladder more fully.

• Avoid drinking anything for a few hours before bedtime so that you have to get up less often during the night. Make sure you're still getting plenty of fluids during the rest of the day, however.

• Try Kegel exercises, which may enhance continence if done several times a day. Squeeze the muscles around your vagina tightly, as if you were stopping the flow of urine, for a few seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

• If you leak urine during the day, wear unscented panty liners.

■ When to seek medical help for frequent urination

If you are urinating frequently and are also experiencing burning, pain, fever or a change in the odor or color of your urine, you may have an infection (see also Urinary tract infections). Contact your health care provider.

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