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American Academy of Family Physicians: “Urinary Tract Infections — Treatment” and “Urinary Tract Infections: Other Causes of Painful Urination.”

American Diabetes Association: “Symptoms.”

American Urological Association Foundation: “Problems Urinating in Public (Paruresis)” and “Urinary Tract Infections in Adults.”

Barbosa-Cesnik, C. Clinical Infectious Diseases , January 2011.

Bladder and Bowel Foundation: “Frequency.”

Harvard Health Publications: “Color, odor changes in urine usually — but not always — harmless, reports Harvard Women’s Health Watch.”

Harvard Women’s Health Watch: “Urine Color and Odor Changes.”

Healthwise: “Kidney Stones,” “Marine Stings and Scrapes — Home Treatment.”

Jura, Y. The Journal of Urology, published online March 18, 2011.

National Association for Continence: “Diet and Daily Habits.”

National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: “Urinary Tract Infections in Adults;” “Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome;” and “Urinary Incontinence in Women.”

UpToDate: “Nocturia.”

Soifer, S. Urologic Nursing, March-April 2009.

Stanford School of Medicine: “The Significance of Abnormal Urine Color.”

Tikkinen, K. The Journal of Urology, February 2006.

University of Colorado Hospital: “The Orthotopic Neobladder.”

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign McKinley Health Center: “Urinary Tract Infections in Women.”

Foxman, B. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology , August 2015.

Reuters: “Not all cranberry supplements prevent urinary tract infections,” April 28, 2016.

Some days you feel like you’re constantly running to the bathroom to relieve yourself; others, you can go hours (really, though) without any pee interruptions.

So what gives? How often should you really be peeing—and most important: Do you need to worry if you’re peeing too much (or too little)?

All right, how many times a day should you be peeing?

What’s considered “normal” can vary from person to person, says Keri Peterson, M.D., internal medicine physician in New York City. But, “on average, people go about six to seven times per day,” she says.

How often you visit the loo is affected by a variety of different factors, such as your fluid intake—the average woman should aim for eight glasses (64 ounces) of water a day—as well as the size of your bladder, says Fara Bellows, M.D., a urologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. (If you have a teeny bladder, for example, you’re obviously going to be peeing more often than someone with a bigger holding tank.)

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How much caffeine you drink matters, too, Bellows says, (caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it makes you pee). Whether you smoke comes into play, since tobacco can irritate your bladder. Loading up on sugar sweetened drinks like sodas and juices can also make you pee more, as well as upping your salt consumption (which makes you thirstier), Peterson says.

The opposite can occur when you amp up your level of activity and sweat more, says Orli Etingin, M.D., medical director of the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center at New York-Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell Medicine. Basically, if you’re sweating more, you’re peeing less, because you’re getting rid of water by other means.

Well, how do I know if I’m going more—or less—than normal?

The number of times you stop by the porcelain throne should only become a cause for concern if you notice a drastic change, Peterson says. But honestly, it can be tough to determine how much your bathroom habits are changing (or if they are at all).

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That’s why it’s a good idea to keep what urologists call a “voiding diary” if you’re concerned for any reason. That means you write down everything you drink (and when), when you pee, and how much you’re going each time. (FYI: A “normal” amount of pee each time should be enough to fill up a coffee cup or more—but you don’t have to actually measure it. You want a longer, steady stream instead of a few drops.)

The voiding diary can be a huge wake-up call, Linehan says. “Someone will come in concerned and say that they’re peeing every 30 minutes, but they’re having six cups of coffee a day,” she says. “It’s pretty clear the coffee is why.”

If the log helps you see why your peeing habits are the way they are, you’re set. If not, it can be a helpful tool to show to your doctor.

One thing to look out for: “If patients are going frequently but they’re only peeing a little bit, that matters,” says Jennifer Linehan, M.D., urologist and associate professor of urologic oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. He notes that could indicate an overactive bladder. The good news? That can be cleared up by doing kegel exercises or asking your doctor about a diet change or even medication.

So, should I ever worry about my frequent (or infrequent) peeing?

If you’re going more often than you usually do and it hurts and/or burns when you pee, you might have a bladder infection like a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is especially common in young women, says Christina Pramudji, M.D., director of Houston Female Urology. You’ll def need to visit a doc for this, too, and could need antibiotics to treat the problem.

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You should also see your doc if your frequency has changed, see blood in your urine, feel the need to push when you pee, leak in between urination, or have to pee several (two to three) times a night, Pramudji says.

Oh, and for those of you who regularly hold in your pee—just stop it. Basically, holding in your pee regularly (like making it a habit over many weeks or months) can actually can overstretch your bladder muscle, making it so you can no longer empty all the way, Etingin says.

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What’s more, holding it in can also increase your risk of infection since urine has lots of bacteria that can multiply when held in your bladder routinely for long periods of time, Pramudji adds. She recommends you avoid holding in your pee in for more than four hours during the day—the night’s a different story since we actually have a hormone that shuts down our kidneys, which make urine, while we sleep.

If your peeing frequency is off and you’re seriously concerned, it’s time to see your doctor or urologist who can check to see what’s going on, Bellows says.

The bottom line: There’s no set number of times per day you should (or shouldn’t) be going to the restroom—but if something suddenly changes in your schedule, it’s best to get it checked out by a doctor.

Elizabeth Bacharach Elizabeth Bacharach is the Assistant Editor at Women’s Health where she writes and edits content about mental and physical health, food and nutrition, sexual health, and lifestyle trends across and the print magazine. Korin Miller Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.

It’s easy to see why the topic might stoke anxiety. Most people know that peeing a lot (accompanied by excess thirst) is one of the early hallmarks of diabetes. To put it simply, there’s always glucose in your blood, and when this is filtered through your kidneys it’s reabsorbed into the bloodstream. But when there’s too much sugar in your blood, your kidneys struggle to keep up and end up flushing out the excess in your urine. This sugar draws water with it, making you pee more often (and feel thirsty).

While it’s certainly worth getting checked out for diabetes, there can be many other explanations for frequent (or infrequent) peeing. As Dr Preethi Daniel, clinical director at the London Doctors Clinic, explains, the odds are good that it’s nothing serious.

“Peeing lots does not automatically mean a disease, so there is no need to be anxious if you feel otherwise well. Most conditions can be easily picked up by just speaking to your GP who will organise further tests and treatment,” she says.

What is the best way to cure a UTI?

Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE

Peeing and hydration

The most obvious explanation for peeing a lot is simply that you’re drinking a lot of fluid. Over the course of a day, it can be easy to lose track of your fluid consumption.

“Most healthy adults pee around four to seven times a day based on the average two-litre fluid consumption. If you naturally drink a lot, you may pee more,” says Daniel.

In the summer, because you’re perspiring more, you may pee less, whereas in winter the reverse applies. You should also factor in your exercise level. (After a half marathon, I was once alarmed to find I couldn’t pee for hours – before I remembered exactly how much I’d been sweating.)

Beyond that, there are many possible factors that can disrupt your body’s balance. For instance, certain medications act as diuretics, making you pee more. These include several common drugs for high blood pressure or kidney problems – check the list of side-effects or speak with your pharmacist if you’re not sure.

Alcohol also has a diuretic effect (along with caffeine at extremely high levels), which is why Vodka Red Bull isn’t generally recommended as a mode of hydration.

Our picks for How often should you pee every day?

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Overactive bladder

If you’re peeing a lot more than might be expected, based on your fluid intake, you may have an overactive bladder.

“Overactive bladder can be a syndrome in itself,” says Daniel. “It can affect people of all ages and usually presents as a sudden and compelling urge to pee, causing you to pee more and sometimes causing incontinence.”

If that’s you, it’s worth reducing your intake of bladder irritants (these include spicy foods, acidic foods, aspartame and carbonated drinks, as well as alcohol and caffeine). You could also stop drinking four hours before bedtime, lowering the odds you’ll need to pee at night.

“Training your bladder, by gradually increasing the time in between toilet stops, can help,” says Daniel. “Starting to pee on the hour every hour, avoiding peeing outside of these set times and gradually increasing this time over three to four days will help retrain the bladder. Distraction techniques include crossing your legs – obvious, I know – and sitting on a rolled -up towel.”

She adds that there can be certain psychosomatic reasons for needing to pee a lot. While we don’t always know what causes an overactive bladder, stress and anxiety can certainly exacerbate the problem.

Other possible causes

If you’ve suddenly started peeing more, and there’s some burning or irritation, it might be a urinary tract infection (UTI). More common in women than in men, UTIs are usually caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. Especially if you have recurrent UTIs, it’s important to see your doctor.

Another possible culprit is pelvic floor weakness, which can cause a person to pee more frequently and is often the result of giving birth. You’ll also pee more if you’re pregnant or recently postpartum.

In older men, enlarged prostate is a very common reason for frequent peeing, albeit with a poor urinary stream. In these cases, you might find yourself rushing to visit the loo (often at night), only to find yourself waiting ages for the stream to start. As Dr Sarah Jarvis, Patient’s Clinical Director puts it: “The acid test is, could you pee over a five-bar gate?”

While there are a few serious conditions that can affect urinary frequency, these tend to be less common. They can include an imbalance of calcium in your body or bladder cancer (usually but not always accompanied by blood in your pee).

Then, of course, there’s type 1 and 2 diabetes (along with a rare unrelated condition, diabetes insipidus). As well as the excessive thirst and peeing, symptoms to watch out for include blurry vision, tingling in the hands and feet, and fatigue (which can be extreme in type 1).

However, self-diagnosis is inadvisable, and it’s always best to see your doctor if you’re concerned. Don’t delay if there are other troubling symptoms, such as discoloured urine, lower back pain or fever.

“You should see the doctor if there is a sudden change in your usual pattern: peeing more, peeing little and often, or concentrated pee could all mean something is wrong. See your GP for simple tests and a review,” says Daniel.

The key word here, though, is ‘change’. If you’ve always peed a lot or a little, chances are that’s normal for you. And as with so many aspects of health, ‘normal’ is a fairly wide spectrum.

You would think peeing in a cup would be as easy as, say, peeing in a cup (which, as a woman is a bit challenging but not rocket science). Turns out, I had no idea that there was a greater picture to all this, and with proper instruction and prior knowledge, I most likely could have saved myself weeks of unnecessary aggravation, stress, subway travel, borderline panic, and testing.


And so, going forward, I’ll be sharing what some (including my mother) will think is too much information. Also, if you’re reading this and you’re not a woman, none of this applies to you. But, should this enlighten one person and spare her the experiences I’ve had, exposing my ignorance will have served a greater purpose.
First—if you have your period, don’t give a urine sample. Let me repeat that:
Should you have your period when you’re at the doctor or the lab and no one asks if you’re menstruating, or about to or if you’re period’s just ended, take the initiative and mention it yourself.
Why? You want to avoid getting that phone call telling you there are red blood cells in your urine. And should you have your period when peeing in that cup,there will be red blood cells in your urine. How could there not be? You’re bleeding. Should you be attempting to donate a kidney, red blood cells are a major red flag (that couldn’t be helped) that will lead to extensive additional tests, not to mention sleepless nights.
Moving on . . .
I got this sage advice yesterday, on my way to give my fourth urine sample. Before that, not one word of instruction. Perhaps, at some other time in my life, I was given those direction but I can’t begin to imagine the last time I needed to leave a urine sample for anything. I’d suppose it was when I was pregnant but that was 1: over 10 years ago and 2: I was pregnant and my brain wasn’t retaining anything.
Every time I went to the lab I was handing a cup with a lid and a packet of moist towelettes. And that was it. No words of wisdom from the technicians. No instructions posted in the bathroom.
(going forward my ignorance is astounding so please try not to judge)
First visit I never opened the packet of sterile wipes.
Second visit I used them to clean my hands.
Third visit, they served to sterilize my hands yet again.
Fourth visit, after sharing my frustration with the transplant coordinator about the poor results from the above tests, she asked if I was making sure to wipe twice, front to back.
No. No I hadn’t. I hadn’t realized those wipes were for anything but my hands. I’d never given a thought to the fact that those parts of my body, generally covered by underwear, could harbor various bacteria and such that could throw a perfectly good specimen into turmoil. I’m relatively certain that should I have known the above, I wouldn’t be where I am now—terrified to get another phone call listing all the horrific diseases I might be suffering from.
I now know exactly how to produce a reasonable urine sample. And I’m hoping, everyone reading this, that going forward my experiences help you to avoid the ridiculous pee mistakes I made.

I really and truly enjoyed almost every part of pregnancy. I loved my big belly, feeling the baby kick and move around, and I didn’t even mind my cankles. But one thing I found less amusing about my pregnancies was the required urine test at my prenatal appointments.

First of all, I don’t like public restrooms, and I do what I can do avoid them. Next, I rarely need to pee. So if I go before I leave the house, chances are I won’t need to go again for hours. There were a few times I had to sit and guzzle water to leave a sample at my OBs office. And the worst part: During my first pregnancy it never failed, almost every time I left a sample in the cup, just as much of it was all over my hands.

It’s gross, and something many moms face. In fact, BabyCenter moms in the October 2015 birth club are discussing this very thing. We managed to pee on a pregnancy test, but peeing in a cup? Entirely different story.

“I can’t see anything with this big belly! I always pee on my hand…I know gross!” -mayrarod93

“I’d like to hear from someone who doesn’t. I have to wipe the cup off and everything. Ew!” -KlaM013011

I just hold the cup and hope for the best that some actually makes it in there.” -Brittany0312

Some moms say practice makes perfect.

I have gotten to the point where I can go in the cup every single time but this is my fourth baby.” -v2754

And then other moms have creative ways to make sure they never miss.

“I use the mirror to see where to put the cup. Then waddle over to go over the toilet. I bet I look stupid. But it works.” -Lucymichelle

Me? Well, I did learn a trick by the time I was pregnant the second time around. Are you ready? The trick that made it so I never missed: Hold the cup right against you. It takes less physics in deciding where the stream will go and with how much force. As long as the cup is covering the urethra you’ll get it in there!

Turns out I’m not the only mom who figured this out. Another BabyCenter mom eventually shared it with the ladies in this thread.

“Oh my goodness ladies!!! Just press the entire opening of the cup against you! No guess work, except where your pee hole is… Which we should all know by now *wink* too funny!” -merbearb

And others found this helpful.

“I feel a little stupid that I have never thought of this. Why have I never thought of this? I’ll try my next appt and report back.” -krayziekaos410

So there you have it. Tried and true.

Jennifer Borget is a domestically-challenged part-time journalist, and a full-time mom. She’s a storyteller finding creative ways to make memories last, and inspiring others to do the same on at To catch more of her motherhood journey, follow @JenniferBorget on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Featured image: Jennifer Borget

Here Are All the Reasons You Would Piss in a Cup in Someone’s Kitchen

Bance reaches for the cup. Screenshot via CBC

He was called in to repair a leaky dishwasher. Instead, service technician and now former federal Conservative candidate Jerry Bance took a leak inside a coffee mug in a homeowner’s kitchen, later dumping the contents into her sink.

The incident was caught on a 2012 episode of CBC’s Marketplace and resurfaced this weekend. The Scarborough–Rouge Park candidate was quickly retired from the campaign soon afterwards.

Footage shows Bance performing a quick fix on some piping underneath the sink. While kneeling behind the dishwasher, he grabs a mug from inside the kitchen sink and pisses into it. He then calmly dumps the pee into the sink, gives the cup a frighteningly quick, likely insufficient rinse, and puts it back down where he found it.

In light of the fallout, inevitably known as #peegate, Bance dropped out of the race.

“The footage from that day does not reflect who I am as a professional or a person,” he said in a statement. “I deeply regret my actions on that day.

Apology aside, Bance has yet to offer an explanation for his behaviour other than mentioning a vague “health situation” that required an “emergency decision,” so VICE came up with a few reasons a grown man might piss into a mug in a stranger’s kitchen.

Medical problem
Let’s start with Bance’s claim that the sudden urge to relieve himself was indeed the sign of a medical problem.

Jacqueline Cahill, executive director of the Canadian Continence Foundation, told VICE his actions could point to overactive bladder (OAB).

“If you need to go to the bathroom you have to go immediately, like within seconds or a minute.”

But, Cahill, said most people with OAB would be very aware of their condition, and would likely be sporting “absorbent products.”

“People with incontinence are aware of where the toilets are,” she added. “And to blame his dirty behaviour on incontinence is tarnishing the condition and the people who have it.”

Ain’t Got Time to Pee
Long drives are the enemy of a full bladder, which is likely why touring musicians and truck drivers are known to relieve themselves in 2L bottles, milk jugs, Ziploc bags, etc.

There’s even a song about it.

Washington State reportedly had a “trucker bomb” epidemic, with cleaning crews collecting thousands of jugs of urine along the roadside a year, prompting authorities to up fines for “littering.”

Just as truck drivers and touring punk bands are pissing in containers to save time, maybe Bance is such a a sink-repairing machine and he has no time for regular people bullshit like using the toilet. You know what is not happening when you walk to a bathroom and pee in a toilet? Kitchen fixin’. If he charges by the hour, he’s actually saving the homeowner money by not taking that long walk in the hallway.

Did Bance drop trou and unload in an act of passive aggression?

Stranger things have happened. An Ohio postal worker, who was reportedly jealous of his colleagues, was sentenced to six months in jail in 2006 and fined $1,200 for regularly pissing in his office coffee pot and watching others down the unsavoury brew.

And just last year, a Virginia man was ordered to pay $5,000 for pissing in the coffee pot of a co-worker he disliked.

“I done something I am very much ashamed of to a co-worker for stress-related things going on in my life on and off the job,” the latter, a waste water plant employee, told the court. “I am very much ashamed of my stupid and childlike behaviour.”

You spend a day on your knees fixing other people’s shit and try not to piss in their cup.

Plumbing trick
This theory is a little far-fetched (editor’s note: Nah), but perhaps this was one of Bance’s old plumbing tricks.

I mean, prior to making the repair, he asks the homeowner: “It doesn’t drain? Does it leak or anything?”

So maybe, pouring a warm mug of urine down the drain was just his unconventional way of finding an answer to those questions.

Apparently, baking soda, boiled water and vinegar can be used as a DIY version of Drano. Who’s to say pee doesn’t work just as well?

When we called a plumber to ask this very question, he hung up, so it could be an industry secret.

A friend of mine is a well-known sleep-pisser, though only when he’s wasted. One time, he woke up and peed all over a pile of his girlfriend’s clothes thinking it was the toilet. Another friend ended one of her birthdays trying to collect her sleepwalking boyfriend’s urine in a basin.

People can essentially do anything in their sleep—fuck, murder, or get into dangerous accidents.

Going by that scale, if Bance was actually asleep when the video was taken, he’s actually kind of a hero for still managing to fix the drain.

Confusing layout
Did the homeowner not give him a tour of the place beforehand? Maybe this was one of those strange houses where there’s no ground floor bathroom. Out of respect for the homeowner, maybe he did not want to intrude by going upstairs to use a bathroom there. The baby was sleeping or there was a scary dog up there, perhaps. The poor man may have been out of options.

The Long Con
After years of budget cuts at the hands of the Conservatives, who is to say that Bance wasn’t actually a CBC double agent, and that they were saving the footage for a long weekend three years later so that people would have something to talk about when they were stuck in traffic on the way home from the cottage.

Can’t you just picture Peter Mansbridge twirling his moustache (he has one when he’s being evil) and saying, “You piss on the CBC, we piss on your campaign!”

We can.

MacGyver Move
He is so good at his job he turned a coffee mug into a toilet.

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.

Urinary Frequency

Once you have made an appointment, your doctor or healthcare professional will assess you. They may ask you some of the following questions:

  • How often do you go to the toilet to pass urine?
  • How much urine do you pass?
  • How often do you leak urine?
  • When do you leak urine?
  • What medication do you take?
  • What do you normally eat or drink?
  • Is it painful / uncomfortable when you pass urine?
  • How many times do you get up at night to pass urine?
  • Do you ever wet the bed?

It would be a good idea to keep a record of your bladder activity for a few days before your appointment with your doctor or healthcare professional. Keep a record for at least 3 days.

Use our Frequency Volume Chart to record how often and the amount that you urinate each day.

Frequent urination or the urge to urinate often can interfere with day to day life enormously, and can also be the cause of embarrassment and worry, especially if you tend to lose urine if you fail to reach the toilet in time.

Don’t forget to get your Just Can’t Wait Toilet Card which can help you gain access to a toilet when you are out and about.

You can find yourself living your whole life around your problem! It is not just the number of times you go to the toilet that is a problem, but also experiencing an uncomfortable feeling of needing to urinate, which prevents you from relaxing and enjoying life.

Please explore our frequency treatment section to find information that could assist. We also have a selection of downloadable resources which you may find useful.

For further information speak to your GP or doctor in detail to discuss the appropriate treatment for your particular situation.

Ah, excessive urination. On the one hand, if you don’t usually drink enough water, upping your intake can seem like a rebirth of sorts. It might feel like all of a sudden, you’ve unlocked the secret to maintaining consistent energy levels, warding off the kind of intense cravings that lead to doughnut daydreams, and keeping dehydration-induced headaches at bay. But along with all the benefits of staying hydrated comes one potential drawback: spending what feels like your entire life hustling to and from the bathroom.

Peeing frequently is often part and parcel of staying hydrated. But there is such a thing as peeing too much, and it can happen for various reasons. Here’s how to know if you spend too much time on the porcelain throne.

There’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation for how often or how much you should pee.

That’s namely because there’s no concrete recommendation for how much water to drink each day for proper hydration—it varies from person to person.

“The best way to know if you’re well hydrated is the color of your urine,” Amy George, M.D., a urogynecologist at UC Davis Medical Center, tells SELF. “If your urine is very dark and smells of something you’ve just eaten or drunk, you probably need to drink more water. But if it’s very clear or pale yellow, you’re well hydrated.”

Whether or not you’re well hydrated, there is no set “normal” number when it comes to urinary frequency. Instead, there’s a range. The average bladder can hold between 10 and 15 ounces when at maximum capacity. If you’re drinking enough water for your body and peeing around six to seven times in 24 hours (or around every 2.5 hours), all is likely well, according to Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic.

But if you pee way more or less often than six to seven times a day, your body might be crying out for help.

Let’s say you regularly keep your butt parked at your desk with just one or two bathroom breaks; you have intense snack cravings; and when you do pee, it’s the kind of deep yellow you usually only see in a Crayola box: You’re probably not drinking enough water. You’d think thirst would tip you off to this fact, but it’s common to confuse thirst with hunger (which explains the snacking urge). And more rarely, peeing infrequently can be a sign of a kidney issue—if you’re well hydrated and still not peeing very often, see your doctor, George says.

“Whatever you’re taking in, you should be putting out,” Fara Bellows, M.D., assistant clinical professor of urology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. The main exception to this rule is if you exercise frequently and lose a lot of fluid via sweat. “If you’re sweating a lot, your output may not necessarily equal your intake,” George says. Bellows agrees, adding that urinary output “definitely varies based on the person.”

On the flip side, if you’re peeing too often, it could be a hint that you’re drinking more water than you need to. However, if you cut back on your intake and your pee falls in that pale-yellow-to-clear range, but you’re still constantly racing to the bathroom, you might have overactive bladder.

If you feel like you have to pee all the time and need to go right that second, you may have overactive bladder.

“Overactive bladder is a syndrome defined by urinary urgency, frequency, and nocturia—somebody wakes up at night to go to the restroom,” George says. Symptoms can also include urge incontinence, aka leaking pee before you can make it to the bathroom (or even thinking you might leak without actually doing so).

Urine 24-Hour Volume Test

The goal is to collect your urine for a 24-hour period. You can do this while you’re in the hospital, but you can also easily do it on an outpatient basis. The test should begin at a specific time and end at the same time on the following day. The test will follow these steps:

  1. Your test will usually begin in the morning. On the first day, don’t collect your first morning urine, but note and record the time.
  2. Collect all your urine for the next 24 hours, keeping the storage container refrigerated.
  3. Collect your first morning urine on the second day at the same time you began the test on the previous day.
  4. Keep the container cool until it’s time to return it. Make sure the cover on the container is tight, and return it promptly to the lab or your doctor’s office as instructed.

Under some circumstances, your doctor may want you to repeat the procedure several times.


If you’re collecting your baby’s urine, you’ll receive special urine collection bags with adhesive paper to keep them in place. Follow these steps:

  1. Wash the area around your baby’s urethra, which is the area where urine comes out of their body.
  2. Place the urine collection bag on your baby. For boys, place their entire penis in the bag. For girls, place the bag over their labia. You may place a diaper over the bag.
  3. Check the bag frequently, and drain urine from the bag into the urine collection container. Replace the used bag with a clean one.
  4. Keep the collection container refrigerated until it’s time to return it.
  5. After the 24-hour period is complete, return the container as instructed by your doctor.

The urine 24-hour volume test is noninvasive, and it only involves urinating as you normally would. There are no side effects or risks.

It’s important to follow instructions to get accurate results. Several factors can affect the accuracy of your test, including:

  • failing to collect all your urine in the 24-hour period
  • going beyond the 24-hour period and collecting too much urine
  • spilling urine from the container
  • not keeping the urine cool
  • not returning the urine sample promptly

Other factors that may interfere with results include acute stress and vigorous exercise. Let your doctor know if that’s the case for you. Your doctor may want you to repeat the test in some cases.

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Hole, John W. Human Anatomy and Physiology. 2nd ed. Dubuque, IA: WCB, 1981. “Although the urinary bladder may hold as much as 600 ml of urine, the desire to urinate is usually experienced when it contains about 150 ml.” 600 cm3
150 cm3
Encyclopedia Americana – International Edition. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 2001. “When it is completely filled, the bladder can hold approximately 17 to 18 ounces (500 to 530 ml) of urine.” 500–530 cm3
Magill’s Medical Guide Volume III. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem, 1998. “A completely full bladder is capable of holding approximately 1 liter of fluid … Ordinarily the urge to urinate occurs when the bladder contains about 200 ml of urine.” 1000 cm3
200 cm3
Gray, Henry F.R.S. Gray’s Anatomy – 1901 Edition. Philadelphia: Carriage, 1974. When moderately distended, it measures about five inches in length and three inches across, and the ordinary amount which it contains is about a pint.” 470 cm3
Urinary Bladder. “The desire to micturate begins at around a content of 400 ml but it can be voluntarily overridden until the content reaches 600–800 ml, equivalent to a pressure of 100 ml of water. 600-800 cm3
400 cm3

There’s a great scene in an episode of The Cosby Show where Mr. Huxtable is dressing his daughter to go play out in the snow. Like a good father, he dresses her appropriately for the cold weather. With every layer he puts on her he asks “Do you have to go to the bathroom?”Seven layers and seven questions later, the daughter innocently says “Dad, I have to pee!” and begins to undress.

It’s almost impossible to give an exact measurement for the volume of the human bladder. That is, everyone’s ability to hold a certain amount of urine differs. The point at which a person can’t “hold it in”anymore and urine is expelled from the urinary bladder is known as Micturition. The urge to urinate is stimulated by expansion of of the bladder. As the bladder walls fill with urine and expand, stretch receptors are stimulated and the Micturition reflex is triggered. The Micturition reflex center is located in the spinal cord. When it is signaled by impulses from the stretch receptors, motor impulses travel to a muscle in the urinary bladder which undergoes rhythmic contractions. It is interesting to note that the reason infants are unable to control the voluntary muscles associated with Micturition is because voluntary control of Micturition becomes possible as the brain and spinal cord mature.

The majority of sources that I found reported that the adult bladder could contain about 600 to 800 cm3 (ml). However, they also noted that the Micturition point is between 150 and 300 cm3 (ml).

Daniel Shaw — 2001

How many times a day should a woman urinate?

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