If You Use the Bathroom This Often Every Day, See a Doctor

Too many bathroom breaks could indicate a serious medical condition.

No matter where you are, your body gives you a signal when it's time to go to the bathroom. Usually, that urge happens with enough time to make it to the toilet, but that's not always the case for some. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the accidental loss of urine or urinary incontinence affects nearly 25 million adults, most commonly women over 50. Along with accidents, urinary incontinence is defined as a loss of bladder control, which is also associated with going to the bathroom too frequently. In fact, doctors and researchers say that having multiple and somewhat sudden urges to urinate could be a cause for concern. Read on to learn how many bathroom trips a day should send you to the doctor.

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If you're urinating more than eight times in 24 hours, it could be a sign of an overactive bladder.

Woman holding toilet paper going into bathroom

Similar to urinary incontinence, overactive bladder (OAB) is another form of being unable to control your bladder. More specifically, it causes a frequent and sudden urge to urinate throughout the day, as noted by the Mayo Clinic. If you're someone who stays extra hydrated, you may be used to frequent toilet trips, but Mayo Clinic experts note that going to that bathroom too often can be an overlooked symptom. That's why it might be best to talk to your doctor about OAB if you're going eight or more times in 24 hours.

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Women experience OAB more often than men.

Woman walking into bathroom
Serge Vo/Shutterstock

Along with urinating frequently, an overactive bladder can be associated with many other symptoms. This includes waking up more than two times a night to urinate, an involuntary loss of urine, and difficulty controlling your urge to urinate, per the Mayo Clinic.

OAB is a fairly common condition. According to the American Urological Association, over 33 million Americans have OAB. And while it can affect anyone, studies show that it's much more common in women than men. In a 2012 survey published in Neurourology and Urodynamics, researchers found that the overall prevalence of OAB was 30 percent in women and only 16.4 percent in men.

Some patients have opted out of physical activities because of their OAB. 

hand reaching for toilet paper roll
chingyunsong / Shutterstock

OAB can have a big impact on your daily habits, including how you behave and feel in social situations. "If you have an overactive bladder and you're running to the bathroom every half hour or you have to wear thick pads and you're worried that you're still going to overflow, that really affects your day-to-day life," Emily Slipnick, MD, a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic, told Everyday Health.

Patients have reported that they feel limited to certain activities. In a 2007 survey published in Current Medical Research and Opinion, 38 percent of women with OAB said they did fewer physical activities because of their medical condition.

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There are many treatment options for OAB available.

The female senior adult patient listens as the mid adult female doctor reviews the test results on the clipboard.

Per the Mayo Clinic, before diagnosing you with an overactive bladder, your doctor will make sure you don't have blood in your urine, along with examining your medical history and doing a physical exam. "Your doctor may order tests to assess how well your bladder is functioning and its ability to empty steadily and completely," the site explains. These tests consist of measuring bladder pressure, urine flow rate, and how much urine is left in the bladder after emptying it.

If you do have OAB, there are many treatment options available, depending on the person. Some can be as simple as behavioral interventions, which include pelvic floor muscle exercises and scheduling your trips to the bathroom. There are also medications to help relax the bladder, and procedures (such as injections) to treat severe urge incontinence.

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