Pregnancy and Urination

During pregnancy, you'll spend a lot of time in the bathroom.

Pregnancy's Calling Card

What do pregnancy and going to the bathroom every other minute have to do with each other? A lot more than you think. During these nine months, your urinary system will be going through some major changes. For example, pregnancy hormones stimulate your kidneys to expand and produce more urine, which helps your body get rid of extra waste more quickly. And as your baby gets bigger and bigger, his weight may press on your bladder, so you'll need to go more frequently.

First trimester: For many women, frequent urination is one of the first signs of pregnancy. In addition to the hormonal changes that increase urine production, your uterus expands and presses on your bladder -- even when your baby is tiny -- so you'll need to go more often. This isn't surprising if you consider that over the course of your pregnancy, an organ that was originally the size of a fist grows to accommodate a 7- to 10-pound baby.

Second trimester: Happily, you'll get some temporary relief in the second trimester. As your uterus continues to expand, it will rise higher in the abdomen, away from your bladder, so you'll have to urinate less frequently.

Third trimester: In the last months of pregnancy, the urge to go frequently will come calling again. The baby will drop lower in your pelvis in preparation for delivery, which puts pressure on your bladder. You may even find yourself getting up to go several times during the night. If this disturbs your sleep too much, try cutting back on fluids after 4 p.m. (make sure you drink the necessary six to eight glasses of water a day before then). Also avoid coffee, tea, cola, and any other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine can increase urination.

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