Having to Pee Every 30 Minutes! Why? (For Women)

For most people the number of times they need to urinate is between 6-7 times in a 24 hour period. This can vary from person to person. Some people can urinate around 4 times a day and others around 10 times. However, they still can be considered normal if they do not have any other associated problems. Urinary incontinence or frequent urination has a prevalence of 38% in women and only 17% in men. Urinary frequency in females can occur due to various causes.

Urinating Every 30 Minutes in Females: What Are the Causes?

Below are some of the health conditions that can cause increased urinary frequency in females:

Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection can lead to increased urinary frequency. Urethra is the part of the urinary tract through which urine flows outside your body. Since the urethra is located near the anus, E.coli that is present in the large intestine can enter through your urethra and infect your bladder and the kidneys. This makes women more prone to urinary tract infections than men. It is reported that 1 in 2 women suffer from urinary tract infection and they can get repeatedly infected. Common symptoms of urinary tract infection include:

  • Burning feeling while urinating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Intense urge to urinate but only small volume of urine comes out
  • Fever, shivering and fatigue
  • Urinary frequency

Some of the factors that increase the risk of urinary tract infection include:

  • Not drinking enough water every day
  • Retaining the urine in the bladder for a long time
  • Not cleaning properly after using the toilet (wiping back to front) which can introduce the bacteria into the urethra
  • Sexual intercourse

Treatment of urinary tract infection includes using antibiotics, painkillers and drinking lots of water to flush the bacteria out of the system.  

Overactive bladder

In overactive bladder there is frequent urge to urinate or urinating every 30 minutes. Females have this condition due to involuntary contraction of your bladder muscles even when the bladder is not full. Urination occurs by the contraction and relaxation of the detrusor muscles in your bladder and the action of these muscles are regulated by your nervous system.

In normal adults the urge to urinate occurs when the bladder contains 300 cc of urine. A healthy individual can retain 600 cc of urine in the bladder by voluntary control of the sphincter muscles at the mouth of the bladder. But people suffering from overactive bladder will feel the need to urinate with even 200 cc of urine in their bladder. This can be due to dysfunction of the detrusor muscle.  Overactive bladder affects 40% of women. Symptoms of overactive bladder include:

  • Urinary urgency (sudden urge to urinate resulting in leaks)
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Nocturia (need to urinate several times at night)

Overactive bladder is not associated with pain or burning sensation or passage of blood while urinating. The exact cause of overactive bladder may not be known but it can occur due to:

  • Injuries
  • Neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis
  • Menopause
  • Obesity which increases the pressure on the bladder
  • Certain medications (e.g. diuretics, antidepressants and oral estrogens)

Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, spicy foods can aggravate the symptoms.

Treatment of overactive bladder includes pelvic muscle strengthening (e.g. Kegel exercises), medications (anticholinergics and antispasmodics), surgery and behavioral therapy.

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence commonly occurs in women. Stress incontinence is characterized by involuntary loss of urine when there is stress on your bladder due to physical activities such as sneezing, coughing, sexual intercourse and lifting heavy things. It occurs when the pelvic floor muscles or the sphincter muscles that control the flow of urine outside your bladder become weak. Hence, urinating every 30 minutes in females can be due to stress incontinence. It usually occurs due to the following reasons:

  • Child birth (Common in women who have had more than one vaginal birth)
  • Pelvic prolapsed, which is a condition where the bladder, urethra or rectum are displaced from their original place and push onto the vagina. This also occurs due to child birth when the nerves and the tissues in the pelvic region are damaged. It appears years after child birth.
  • Injury to urethra
  • Certain medications (e.g. diuretics and antidepressants)

Stress incontinence can occur in combination with urge incontinence when it is called mixed incontinence. Treatment options include behavioral changes, pelvic exercises, medications (e.g. anticholinergics and vaginal estrogen creams) and surgery.


Frequent urination is very common during pregnancy. The increase in urinary frequency aggravates as pregnancy progresses. It is especially worse in women who have been pregnant before. The increase in urinary frequency during pregnancy can be due to the following factors:

  • Hormonal changes: Increase in the levels of the hormones progesterone and human gonadotropin during pregnancy causes an increase in urinary frequency.
  • Increase in blood volume: During pregnancy there is 50% more blood circulating through your body in order to take care of the extra needs of your body. Due to the extra volume of blood, your kidneys are actively processing the fluids and sending them out of the body ensuring fluid balance.
  • Enlarging uterus: Your uterus enlarges during pregnancy in order to accommodate the growing fetus. The enlarging uterus exerts pressure on the surrounding bladder leading to increased urge to urinate.

Urinating every 30 minutes? Females resolve spontaneously after childbirth. After childbirth your doctor may recommend doing pelvic floor exercises called Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles. During your pregnancy you should avoid drinking caffeinated drinks to prevent frequent urination. However, it is advised that you should not reduce your fluid intake as drinking enough fluids is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.  


Menopause may cause bladder control problems and increased urinary frequency in women. During menopause the amount of estrogen produced by your ovaries decreases. This can produce a lot of changes in your body that can cause increased urinary frequency:

  • The muscles in your pelvic floor weakens
  • The elasticity of your vagina decreases
  • The lining of the urethra thins

After menopause women develop stress incontinence, urge incontinence and nocturia. You can improve your symptoms by doing Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks and reduce your fluid intake during the later part of the day. If the symptoms get worse vaginal estrogen creams and antispasmodics may be prescribed by your doctor.

The above mentioned causes of frequent urination are common or specific to women. There are also other conditions that can cause frequent urination. They include diabetes, tumors in the pelvic area, interstitial cystitis, bladder stones and medications such as diuretics.