Medically reviewed by: Dr. Kimberly Langdon (M.D) on 4 January 2022
Frequent urination is a common symptom of many sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs).
First things first: what is considered frequent urination?
Frequent urination is when you feel the urgency to get your bladder empty. It can also wake you in the middle of the night. It may or may not be accompanied by pain.
Yes, frequent urination and STDs are closely linked.
In this article, we'll shed light on the 4 major types of STDs that cause frequent urination.
We will also learn more about its diagnosis, treatment, and when to see a doctor. Let's begin!
Which STIs cause you to frequently urinate?
When you pee more frequently, especially when there is no increase in the amount of urine, you must consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible, and get treatment earlier.
While you may not always be suffering from an STI, however, you must not ignore any health conditions that cause you to urinate more frequently.
Why Are The Reasons Behind Frequent Urination?
Many health issues can lead to frequent urination, like having kidney disease, a bladder infection (urinary tract infection or UTI), or drinking too much water.
However, a urinary tract infection (UTI) can hike in response to sexual contact, even if it is not sexually spread.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia cause persistent frequent urination.
Also, these two STIs are widespread in the U.S., thus, making them enough reasons for frequent peeing in many individuals.
The moment you realize unusual bodily changes, you become more conscious of learning about STIs.
Other Reasons for Frequent Urination
Some non-STD conditions, like Diabetes Types 1 and 2 can lead to frequent peeing, too.
Sometimes drinking too much water or caffeinated drinks can lead to frequent peeing. Thus, examining your habits is vital. Also, see a doctor immediately and tell him/her openly about your issue.
For pregnant women
If you are pregnant, you might be suffering from frequent urination. Yes, that's an early symptom of pregnancy.
Frequent urination during pregnancy is due to an increase in hormones.
These are named human chorionic gonadotropin, estrogen, and progesterone.
However, the urgency to pee decreases in some women when in their second trimester since the uterus is higher that time.
Thus, leading to low pressure on your bladder.
Additionally, your bodily fluids start to increase when you are pregnant. This means your kidneys are responsible for taking out the extra fluids from your body.
Thus, resulting in an increased amount of urine, along with the number of times you urinate.
When you are in your third trimester, your baby-to-be grows in size. This exerts more pressure on your bladder. Thus, making you wake up many times to urinate, even during the night. There is a hike in urgent urination, too.
However, along with frequent urination if you exhibit the following could you that you are suffering from an STD:
- ● Skin rashes
- ● Unusual vaginal discharge
- ● Anal bleeding
- ● Sores on your genitals and mouth
- ● Loss of weight
- ● Persistent diarrhea
- ● Fever or chills
- ● Abdominal and pelvic pain
If you see any of these symptoms, go to a doctor immediately! This holds especially if you're sexually active.
Untreated STIs can lead to several complications for you and your baby.
Your antenatal checkups include getting tested for STIs.
Which STIs Lead To Frequent Urination?
The majority of the STIs with this symptom should prompt you to get quickly tested since this is a feature of the given four STIs:
- ● Chlamydia
- ● Gonorrhea
- ● Trichomoniasis
- ● Herpes
Frequent urination in men and women is one of the main symptoms exhibited by chlamydia.
Many people with chlamydia may or may not show any symptoms.
However, if symptoms do occur, they may be associated with painful urination, too.
This is the telltale sign of chlamydia and bladder infections.
With chlamydia, you might experience penile and vaginal discharge, painful sexual intercourse, and spotting between periods. In the same way, bleeding from the anus can also occur. Although this may be rare.
It is advised that you reach out to your doctor for Rapid STD testing for multiple STIs, the moment you suspect an STD.
If left untreated, STIs can lead to infertility in males and females. However, if treated on time, they can be well-managed and prevented from advancing into chronic stages.
Gonorrhea is also one of the widespread STIs that causes frequent urination.
Like chlamydia, it is also so treatable with antibiotics.
Gonorrhea may or may not be symptomatic in many individuals.
However, if symptoms do occur, these may involve:
- ● Painful urination
- ● White, yellowish, or greenish discharge from the genitals
- ● Painful sex
- ● Spotting between periods
- ● Rectal pain
- ● Swelling in the testicles
- ● Abdominal or pelvic pain
Similar to chlamydia, gonorrhea if left untreated, can lead to infertility in males and females.
Moreover, in women gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease¹ (PID), if not treated on time PID is a medical condition and a severe infection.
Make sure to get tested as soon as possible, if you have early symptoms of gonorrhea.
Most females who have gonorrhea do not show any symptoms and many females often mistake it for a vaginal or yeast infection.
Trich (that's what you call trichomoniasis), is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that also causes you to urinate frequently.
A distinct feature of trich is that it increases the number of times you urinate without an increase in the amount of urine.
As aforementioned, a person infected with trich may or may not exhibit symptoms.
In males, it can cause scrotal pain and dysuria — which could be a burning urination cause.
However, in females, it can lead to foul discharge from the vagina, and pain during urination.
However, frequent urination is very rare in women with trich.
If you suspect any of these symptoms, it indicates an urgent need to see a healthcare professional.
You should waste no time visiting your healthcare professional sooner.
Your health care provider will give you the right type of medications for your case type, thus making you heal faster.
Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that has two variants:
● HSV-1 & HSV-2
In general, HSV-1 leads to oral herpes while HSV-2 leads to genital herpes.
One of the symptoms of herpes also includes frequent urination.
In the U.S. almost 50-80% of adults have herpes, as per the CDC.
Almost 572,000 individuals develop herpes each year. The number is likely higher because many people do not have symptoms of herpes.
Also, HSV-2 infection is widespread among females compared to males.
This is because the spread of genital infection more occurs during penile-vaginal sex from males to females.
Many people with herpes may not show any symptoms at all.
However, its symptoms do occur, these may be:
- ● Pain during urination
- ● Urethral inflammation
- ● Frequent urination
- ● Burning during urination as urine spills over the sores
- ● Visible sores or blisters in or surrounding the genitals or mouth area
It is important to know about these symptoms and be cautious against these infections for your better sexual health in the long run.
Does Frequent Urination Always Point Towards an STI?
A need to urinate frequently does not always mean that you carry an STI.
Both males and females can suffer from UTI, which takes place when the urinary tract has a bacterial infection.
In the same way, you could be suffering from other medical conditions, which could be making you urinate more times than usual.
Some conditions may include:
- ● Kidney problems
- ● Overactive bladder syndrome
- ● Pelvic tumor
- ● Diabetes type 1 and type 2
- ● Vaginitis
- ● Prostate enlargement
Wondering how to stop frequent urination?
Well, if you drink any caffeinated drinks, that may also be the reason for your increased bathroom trips.
In case you wake up to urinate during the night, try cutting out your water intake before bedtime.
If these problems continue to take place even after adjusting your caffeine or water intake, it is best to speak to a doctor to know about its real cause.
Irrespective of the reason, frequent urination should make you visit a doctor promptly.
Many of the STD and non-STD causes can have profound damage to your genitals and urinary tract, if not dealt with caution.
While many people may get embarrassed while discussing their habit of frequent urination, it is important to have an honest discourse with your physician.
This way your doctor can have an accurate diagnosis of your root cause.
When To Visit a Doctor Because of Frequent Urination?
Whenever you notice that you pee more often than usual or if it hurts to pee, call your doctor immediately.
Whether the cause is a UTI or an STD, frequent urination symptoms could point towards something more.
When not treated on time, frequent peeing can lead to more health issues in your urinary tract.
Fortunately, there are treatments available for many STDs and also for UTIs.
Also, if you take water pills (diuretics), you may urinate frequently.
However, if you spot a hike in thirst and fatigue, call your doctor quickly since this could be a sign of diabetes.
If you have tested negative for all these non-STD conditions and are still suffering from the symptom of frequent urination, then you may be carrying an STD.
A few other signs to look for apart from frequent peeing to spot an STD include:
- ● Night sweats
- ● Burning sensation during urination
- ● Change in the color of your pee
- ● Sudden loss of weight
- ● Diarrhea
- ● Extreme fatigue
Also, if you spot any of these, go to your doctor within a day or two. Especially if you've:
- ● Bloody urine
- ● Unusual discharge from the vagina or penis
- ● Bleeding from the anus
- ● Fever
- ● Prolonged period
- ● Chills
- ● Shingles
- ● Extreme back pain
- ● Consistent vomiting
- ● Leg weakness
- ● Spotting between periods
- ● Sores on your genitals or mouth area
- ● Skin rashes
- ● Pain during sex
If you experience any of these problems in your day-to-day life, go to your doctor and talk about your symptoms: how many times you have bathroom trips, how much do you urinate, etc. This would be helpful for your doctor to go to the root cause of your cause of frequent urination.
To learn more about the symptoms of STIs and types of testing, you can reach out to an STI clinic nearby or call your primary health care provider.
If you suspect that you may have an STD, it is extremely important to refrain from any sexual activity, including oral sex during this period.
Also, if you should have sex using dental dams and condoms is the next best option.
The main lesson that is to be learned today is that regular testing is vital to keep track of your sexual health.
You could be carrying multiple STIs, especially if you don't get frequently tested.
Getting tested regularly for STIs helps you diagnose, treat, and prevent STIs in their acute stages.
An average STI panel detects more than 10 STIs at the same time, including herpes (HSV-1 & HSV-2), gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia³, HIV/AIDS, trichomoniasis, etc.
Therefore, it is always advised to reach out to your physician to get tested for other STIs as well. This is because you are never 100% sure about how many STIs you could be developing at the same time.
This holds true if you are sexually active, pregnant, or have had an STI/multiple STIs in the past, or have been sexually assaulted.
So, you should find a trustworthy doctor to discuss details about your current as well as past sex life.
That way you'll not only benefit yourself but also your entire sexual health for many to come. This is true for your spouse, too.
To get tested, you will have to go to your doctor's office or order an at-home STI testing kit.
You will have to provide a swab, urine, or blood sample. These may be collected by either you or a nurse.
Make sure that you handle these samples cautiously if you take these samples.
Results often come back within 1-3 weeks via a direct post, or your registered email, or your mobile number.