Urinary Frequency

Author: Christian Cobreros
Last Updated: September 2018

Current definition:

Increased Urinary Frequency: Complaint that voiding occurs more frequently than deemed normal by the individual (or caregivers). Time of day and number of voids are not specified. (1)


This definition has remained unchanged since 2002 (2). Urinary frequency is a bladder storage symptom and also related with another similar term "Increased daytime urinary frequency" which is: the complaint that micturition occurs more frequently during waking hours than previously deemed normal by the woman (1), in the standardization for female pelvic floor dysfunction.


The controversy for this term remains in how often is too often and that it depends on a lot of factors that have nothing to do with a bladder storage function such as fluid intake, social behavior, etc. Traditionally seven episodes for waking hours has been deemed as the upper limit of normal, though it may be higher in some populations (3) It is important to distinguish this from the sign of urinary frequency which is determined by objective measure.


1- An International Urogynecological Association (IUGA)/International Continence Society (ICS) joint report on the terminology for female pelvic floor dysfunction. Haylen BT, de Ridder D, Freeman RM, Swift SE, Berghmans B, Lee J, Monga A, Petri E, Rizk DE, Sand PK, Schaer GN, International Urogynecological Association., International Continence Society.Neurourol Urodyn. 2010; 29(1):4-20. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00192-009-0976-9
2- The standardisation of terminology of lower urinary tract function: report from the Standardisation Sub-committee of the International Continence Society. Abrams P, Cardozo L, Fall M, Griffiths D, Rosier P, Ulmsten U, van Kerrebroeck P, Victor A, Wein A, Standardisation Sub-committee of the International Continence Society.Neurourol Urodyn. 2002; 21(2):167-78.
3- Fitzgerald MP (2003) Variability of 24-hour voiding diary variables amongst asymptomatic women. J Urol 169(1):207–209

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