Frequent Urination At Night

Frequent urination during night is called nocturia. It is a symptom of many diseases from trivial to severe.


Enlarged prostate

This is probably the most common cause of frequent night urination in men over 50 years of age. Enlarged prostate tissue compresses the urethra, impairs bladder emptying and forces urine to flow in small and intermittent stream. Affected man feels recurring urge to urinate that wakes him few times during night. It must be emphasized that prostate cancer has similar symptoms.

Heart failure

Nocturia is a warning sign of heart failure when blood accumulates in veins in front of the right half of the heart. If affected person goes to bed ad lies into horizontal position, venous return of blood from the lower extremities increases and blood accumulates in abdominal veins including kidney veins. This leads to local increase of blood pressure in the kidneys resulting in formation of larger quantities of urine.

Treatment with diuretics

Diuretics increase the volume of produced urine and if administered in the evening, they cause frequent nocturnal urination. To solve this problem, it is advisable to prescribe these drugs in the morning or at noon.

Excessive drinking in the evening

High fluid intake before bedtime is related to frequent night urination. It is a harmless and easily solvable condition.

Other causes

There are many factors that increase frequency of urination both during the day and during the night such as urinary tract infections, diabetes, diabetes insipidus, etc.).

Diagnostic approach

Examination should begin with medical history (information about patient’s problems, known diseases, current medication, etc.) followed by physical examination. Urinalysis is also important as well as prostate examination (PSA, ultrasound, indirect prostate palpation during digital rectal exam).


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources