Morning Urination – Causes of Frequent and Urgent Urine Passing

Urinating in the morning is a normal occurrence for most people. After hours of not urinating the bladder will fill to some extent, if not completely, and there may be an urge to urinate immediately upon waking. However, when there is a recurrent urgent need to urinate every morning and frequent urination during the morning then this may be a sign of some underlying condition.

Excessive Urination and Urging in the Morning

The production of urine reduces when we are asleep. This slow down in kidney function is not unique. Many organs become less active during sleep. Therefore if the bladder is properly emptied before bedtime, as many people do, then it should not be filled to capacity upon waking. As a result there should be no extreme urging to pass urine upon waking or even the need to pass urine frequently upon waking.

However, this does occur in some people and it is important to understand why it may arise. Normally water is reabsorbed by the kidney to conserve fluid. There are several diseases where this water reabsorption is disturbed and excess fluid is lost in urine. This is one of the reasons for frequent urination. Disorders of the urinary tract and prostate can irritate or press on the bladder and also cause frequent urine and urgency.

Causes of Morning Urination

There are many possible causes of frequent urination and/or a persistent urge to urinate. These causes are not always specific for morning urination. Therefore the urinary symptoms may be present throughout the day and even night and is unrelated to sleep.

It is important to note that any person will experience frequent morning urination and urging to urinate by consuming large quantities of fluid before bedtime and even awakening to repeatedly drink fluids. This can even occur in people who have no underlying disorders that may cause these urinary symptoms.

Read more on frequent urination.

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common problems, especially in girls and women, due to a shorter urethra in females. Most infections start in the urethra as microbes gain entry through it. From here the infection quickly spreads to the bladder.

Inflammation of the bladder can causes symptoms like urgent and frequent urination. It is important to note that the inflammation of the bladder due to any reason may cause these symptoms. An infection is the most common cause of bladder inflammation.

Urinary Stones

Bladder stones are hard masses that form from substances with urine in the bladder. It is more likely to occur when the bladder is not completely emptied due to other problems like an enlarged prostate or neurogenic bladder due to nerve damage. Bladder stones may also be caused by bladder infections. One of the symptoms is frequent urination which can occur throughout the day.

Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder is where there is a sudden urge to pass urine even though the bladder may not be full. Sometimes it can lead to incontinence – involuntary passing of urine. One of the reasons is that the musclar bladder walls contract suddenly and with force. This is known as bladder spasms. It is usually related to disorders of the muscles and/or nerves of the bladder.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and mainly affects males. The cancer may start in the bladder itself or spread from surrounding organs, like the prostate in men or even the colon and/or rectum. Infections, radiation exposure, certain drugs and other risk factors common to any type of cancer, such as smoking, may increase the risk of bladder cancer.

Prostate Problems

An enlarged prostate may occur for several different reasons. As a result it may restrict urine outflow and press against the bladder in men. The most common cause in older men is benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). This is an enlargement and at times hardening of the prostate that is not due to any malignancy (cancer).

Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate. It is most often caused by an infection which tends to be more common in men with benign prostatic hypertrophy. Prostate cancer is a common and deadly cancer in men. The cancer also rapidly spreads to the bladder. All of these conditions can cause urgent an frequent urination.


Long standing diabetes mellitus eventually results in diabetic nephropathy, particularly if the diabetes is poorly managed. One of the major symptoms is polydipsia (large volume urine). This is a common cause of nocturia (nighttime urination). Apart from waking at night to urinate, there may also be frequent urination in the morning. In some people with mild diabetic nephropathy there may be no nighttime urination only frequent morning urination.

Read more on nocturia.


Frequent urination, urging to urinate and even nocturia (nighttime urination) are common in pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester. It is mainly due to enlarged uterus pressing against the bladder. Women who develop gestational diabetes may also experience frequent urination. There may also be an increased risk of UTIs which can further contribute to these urinary symptoms.


Some substances can irritate the bladder. However, frequent and even urgent urination is more likely to occur with diuretics (“water pills”) and alcohol. These substances increase urine output. Caffeine may also have a similar effect. If these substances are consumed just before bedtime then it is more likely to lead to morning urination and may even contribute to nocturia (nighttime urination).

Excessive Thirst

Excessive thirst (polydipsia) is a symptom of several conditions, such as diabetes. Naturally it will lead to increased fluid intake which in turn will contribute to frequent urination. Sometimes a dry mouth is mistaken for thirst or a person may drink fluids constantly to moisten the mouth.

Once again, there will be frequent urination due to the increased fluid consumption. Morning urination is more likely to be a problem if large amounts of fluid are consumed before bedtime or a person awakens during the night to drink water.

Other Causes

  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Pelvic tumors, especially of neighboring organs like the prostate, colon or rectum.
  • Anxiety or psychological stress
  • Non-infectious cystitis (bladder inflammation) such as interstitial cystitis or radiation cystitis

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