8 reasons I feel like I have to pee but I can’t (persistent urge to pee, pregnant or not)

Toilet breaks are essential, but too many slow down your day, especially if you don’t even need to pee. Don’t worry! You aren’t alone in feeling that you need to pee but cannot follow through when you get to the toilet. There could be several reasons for this, and we list them all below.

Here are 8 reasons you feel like you have to pee but can’t.

1. Stress

Is it getting tough at your workplace? Are college studies stressing you out? Or is there something else simply gnawing at your mind? Stress can cause an overactive bladder. The nervous system is linked to your bladder. When stress is triggered, bladder voiding comes easy.

It could also be linked to an anxiety or depression disorder. Suppose you have anxiety or depression or suspect that you may have it. In that case, you should know that frequent urination is part and parcel of the accompanying symptoms.

Manage your stress with yoga, meditation, and other healthy practices. Learn to take a break from work or study and take part in some physical exercise. Sweating it out reduces the effects of stress.

woman in pain

2. UTI

A urinary tract infection is another likely cause of frequent urination or the urge to pee even when you don’t have to go. This infection affects the bladder, kidney, and ureter. It is more common in women than in men.

Symptoms other than frequent peeing can suggest whether you have the infection or not. These are:

  • Pain in the abdomen or side
  • Burning sensation
  • Pain while peeing
  • Frequently going to the toilet but peeing a lot less

It can be caused due to several reasons. Poor hygiene is the root cause of a UTI. Hand hygiene must follow, whether after an unclean toilet or bacteria entering your body during sexual intercourse. It’s done to prevent UTIs, more strictly in women. They are more prone to it.

It is also recommended to always pee before and after sex for women to drain out any bacteria entering the body. You and your sexual partner should have showered and cleaned the genital area.

Any sprays or cleaning fluids should be avoided. You should be drinking at least 2-3 liters of water daily.

You can also beat a UTI by consuming unsweetened cranberry juice that prevents the bacteria from clinging to the bladder’s walls.

3. Overactive bladder

woman about to pee

It is a serious condition of the bladder. Herein the urge to urinate is too much. It may be because the bladder muscles squeeze too often, causing you a run to the nearest toilet every hour. It can also cause you to lose control over your bladder for a while.

It can also cause you to believe you have to go when you don’t.

While there is not a permanent cure for the disease, there are ways it can be managed. Some nerve stimulation, pelvic exercises, and dietary changes can help you gain more control over your bladder.

You can use pomegranate paste to combat this syndrome. Just peel the fruit and grind the skin with a mixer or pestle and mortar. The paste can be diluted with a few drops of water and consumed daily in small amounts.

4. Diabetes

The urge to pee is also known as urgency incontinence. It can be a symptom of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes. Keeping a close check on blood sugar levels and diet is key to keeping peeing at a minimum when diagnosed with diabetes.

It is also likely that people will diabetes suffer from urinary retention. It is the opposite of the urge to go. Rather, it is not having the feeling to go even when your bladder is full. That means that urine might even leak out at some point.

Exercise can also limit the symptoms to a large extent.

Other symptoms of diabetes include:

  • weight loss
  • swollen gums
  • blurry vision
  • fatigue
  • and a tingling sensation in the limbs.

Take some fenugreek seeds directly or boiled in water to avert the effects of quick sugar absorption.

5. Pregnancy

Pregnancy is another reason the urge to pee might be haunting you too much. Most people will go six to seven times a day or 24 hours. But a pregnant woman can pee more than seven times a day.

It is because the female body produces much more fluids during that period. The kidney is especially very active and efficient at this time. Difficulty emptying the bladder during pregnancy can be due to an infection. It can also be common to be inflicted with a UTI during pregnancy.

6. Kidney infection

urine sample

The early signs of a kidney infection can be the urge to pee often. It’s also known as pyelonephritis when certain microorganisms cause issues in your kidney.

When an infection is limited to your bladder, it is known as a UTI. But it becomes more serious once it travels upwards and reaches the ureters or the kidney.

Other signs of a kidney infection are:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Pain in the side or back
  • Fever
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nausea
  • Cloudy or smelly urine

You could also check out Reasons for cloudy pee in the morning (men and women). 

Apart from an infection, you could also have kidney stones. These are stones in the kidney that are formed due to poor dietary choices or lack of water, as well as several other factors. They cause pain in the abdomen and difficulty peeing. Small stones can be passed in the urine, but larger ones may require surgery or laser removal.

7. Cancer

It is rare, but the possibility of cancer in the bladder, prostate, or ovaries is linked to frequent urination. If you are heading to the loo plenty of times but to no avail, it could be linked to issues in the mentioned organs.

Consult a medical professional for the correct diagnosis.

Enlarged prostate


When this condition is seen in men, it could be due to an enlarged prostate. It is especially common in older men as the prostate enlarges with age.

The large prostate then puts unnecessary pressure on the bladder. Due to this, it seems urgent to pee even when the bladder is not full.

Adults should also check out What is a normal and dangerous PSA level?

Feeling like you have to pee right after you pee.

We all know that annoying feeling of getting comfortable in bed before realizing you have to pee. But what’s more annoying is when you have to do it twice.

Peeing every 5 minutes can be alarming and a sign of a condition like a UTI or anxiety. If you are diabetic, it is more common. Other reasons include:

  • pregnancy
  • enlarged prostate
  • and kidney infection.

Consult a doctor for a thorough investigation.

I have a frequent and constant urge to pee. What could the reasons be?

The reasons could be many. If you are suffering from a lot of stress or an anxiety disorder, it is normal for you to pee so much.

Pregnant women and diabetics will also take plenty of bathroom breaks during the day, more than the normal adult.

However, suppose you have none of the above conditions. It could be that you are suffering from a UTI or other conditions like an enlarged prostate in men. Get a health checkup done immediately.

If you have pain in the stomach, check out pain in the upper left side of the stomach to find a possible cause.

What does it mean when you feel like you have to pee, but only a little comes out? (pregnant female or not)

simple toilet

Little but frequent urination does not always mean that a female is pregnant. The urge increases when the uterus puts more pressure on the bladder. It starts happening around weeks 10- 13.

A more likely cause of this could be a UTI. A urinalysis or urine test can diagnose this easily. UTIs are quite common amongst women. It is an infection of the bladder or urethra, the pipes that empty the contents from the bladder.

Other signs of a UTI include:

  • burning feeling when peeing.
  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Foul-smelling urine.
  • Cloudy or funny-colored urine.

Medication can easily cure a UTI. Meanwhile, you should hydrate yourself and practice good hygiene.

If you have just had a urine test done and are pondering over the reports, check out 9 reasons for leukocytes(white blood cells) in urine.

Lower back pain and frequent urination at night

It could be one of two things: a UTI or kidney stones. A UTI can cause both pains as well as too many toilet breaks.

However, a kidney stone is far worse. Kidney stones are made of minerals and acid salts. They can either be passed through the bladder in the urine or may need surgical assistance if the condition worsens.

The stones cause sharp pain in the side of the abdomen and nausea, and blood in the urine. If you cannot urinate or have pain while urinating, this is also a common symptom of stones.

But worry not. Hydrate often and consult your family doctor for the best diagnosis and treatment after that.

I can’t pee. What should I do? How to get rid of the feeling?

luxurious toilet

You can do a couple of things when your bladder feels full but isn’t. Here are some pointers:

  • Avoid tight-fitted clothes and stick to loose clothing.
  • Hydrate often
  • Eat more fiber through vegetables and fruits or take fiber supplements.
  • Cut back on caffeine.
  • Do some kegel exercises.
  • Avoid drinking fluids in the hours before bedtime.
  • Reduce stress
  • Limit smoking and drinking. Reduce it over time.
  • Change your routine: If you feel the urge to urinate when you’re in bed, distract yourself with a book. The feeling will go away after a while.
  • Hold yourself back from peeing; whenever the urge strikes, hold back from heading to the loo for just 5 minutes. Increase the interval over time.

Natural home remedies for frequent urination in females

Here are some things you can try at home to get rid of the haste to always pee.

  • Try some basil: Few basil leaves crushed and taken with a teaspoon of honey can help beat the loo. You can also try boiling a few leaves in water and drinking the decoction.
  • Cranberry juice: This is known to be an old trick against UTIs. Cranberry juice can help fight the bacteria on the walls of the urinary tract by not allowing them to settle. Buy a box from the nearest supermarket or make your own. Try to get the unsweetened variety.
  • Kegel exercises: Weakened muscles of the pelvic region can also cause too much peeing. You can aid this by trying pelvic floor exercises. Empty your bladder and sit down or lie down on the floor. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles and hold for three to five seconds. Count from three to five seconds and release. Do ten reps three times a day. It is preferred you do this in the morning, afternoon, and night.
  • Pumpkin seeds: These are great anti-inflammatory seeds that help to reduce abnormal bladder function. Pumpkin seed oil is even better for the same.
  • Indian gooseberry: This sour fruit has multiple benefits. It benefits the hair, skin as well as bladder. You can find its juice and add honey to reduce the sourness. Drink it every other day to reduce bathroom trips.
  • Pomegranate paste: The peel of pomegranates has anti-microbial properties. It is a fighter against E.coli, the root cause of UTIs. Peel the fruit and keep the skin aside. Use a blender or pestle and mortar to grind it. Once a paste is formed, add a few drops of water and have a spoonful or two every day.
  • Fenugreek Seeds: these seeds are native to Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean. They have multiple benefits, including improving bladder function. If you are diabetic, you will find that a couple of seeds a day helps to slow down sugar absorption. Oxidative stress is reduced since it is an anti-oxidant, and the need to pee is reduced. Boil some seeds in water and drink the decoction. You can also swallow some seeds to reap the benefits.


Here are some answers to questions that may be on your mind.

Is it normal to pee every 30 minutes or every hour?

Certainly not! Healthy adults only pee about six to seven times a day. It can increase to more than 7 if you are diabetic. However, urinating 20 times a day is a genuine cause for concern. It could be a sign of an infection of the bladder or kidney. Kidney stones also cause pain in the side and a lot of urination. In older men, an enlarged prostate can put unnecessary pressure on the bladder and cause too much peeing.

It is very common to take a lot of loo trips in pregnancy as well. In very rare circumstances, it could mean early prostate, ovarian, or bladder cancer stages.

Can antibiotics cause frequent urination?

Some medicines can cause you to pee more than usual. These include:
– tricyclic antidepressants
– antihistamines
– diuretics
– decongestants
– and some antibiotics.

Opioids, diabetic, and antipsychotic medication are equally responsible for such symptoms. Amoxycillin can cause crystals to form in the urine.

How many times should you pee a day?

Any healthy adult should be peeing about six or seven times a day. Pregnant ladies and diabetic patients can be expected to surpass this number.

If you are going far less or far more, it is better to get a health checkup done.

Is urinating once or twice a day normal?

No, it certainly is not. It is considered healthy to be peeing at least six to seven times a day. Either you are severely dehydrated, or there are deeper causes for low urine output. Oliguria is a medical term for low urine output condition wherein your bladder is being filled but not being emptied. A hidden cause for this may be kidney, bladder, or prostate disease. Get a medical checkup done immediately.

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