It is a very frequently asked question in the urology consultation.
Most of the times, it is due to physiological changes that occur in our bodies as we age. In other cases, it may be due to acquired diseases.
It may seem silly but the person who has to get up more than once during the night to urinate knows that it is not. It is not just the discomfort of not sleeping well that day, but also the certainty that one will not be able to perform the next day adequately and one after the other.
Could it be due to an infection?
It is perhaps the most common cause in women and the second one in man.
When the increased urinary frequency is due to an infectious process, it is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as itching or painful urination, blood in urine, fever…
A simple urinalysis together with a whole culture provides a diagnosis that usually helps to treat it with the properly antibiotic treatment.
Urine and prostate: Could it be due to the prostate?
Beginning at age 50, prostate starts to grow, and that will lead to symptoms that we previously did not suffer.
When we start to get up to urinate more than twice at night, urination becomes painful, and the jet is broken and weak, it is common to think the prostate is blocking the urethra.
Currently, an ultrasound study, blood tests and occasional rectal examination are enough to diagnose a possible prostate problem.
Are there other conditions that can worsen our way to urinate?
Although it is much less common, in particular cases such as tumour bladder, calculi (stones) in the bladder irritate the bladder wall, and the symptoms are very similar to those of infection or prostatic hypertrophy.
In these cases, the study should be complemented by a cystoscopy, which is an examination that allows us to see the urinary bladder directly, as well as its content.
What other circumstances can condition I get up to urinate at night?
If you take certain medications such as diuretics that often occur when you have heart disease or when blood pressure is high.
Diabetes, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, pregnancy.
There are problems such as sleep apnoea, depression, vascular or nervous system diseases that simply make the dream very superficial. In these circumstances, any slight stimulation of the bladder causes one gets up to urinate since you are half awake.
With age occur some physiological changes in our body that lead us to urinate more frequently at night.
Hormonal changes: antidiuretic hormone or oestrogens in women, associated with a lower elasticity of the bladder wall, cause our body remove extra fluids during the night than during the day. On the other hand, these are not retained by the bladder, which determines nocturia.
So what can we do?
Talk to your doctor. As we have seen, the solution depends on the cause.
Sometimes, it is necessary to change the drugs we are taking, replacing them with others that are more appropriate.
We should also dismiss urological, cardiological or hormonal diseases.
We will have to reduce fluid intake from six o’clock in the afternoon, and the fact of taking coffee, tea, alcohol and other diuretic substances.
For further information, you can access the web.
Urologist, Head Manager at Centro de Salud para el Hombre
Hospital Vithas Medimar Internacional. Alicante.