What Causes Pressure in Lower Abdomen and Frequent Urination?

Throughout our lives, we experience various health problems and symptoms that represent them. 

Sometimes we notice pain and discomfort in addition to other symptoms and don’t even think they’re related. 

Good examples are pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination. 

While it may seem unrelated, these symptoms could occur together for a specific reason. Learn more about it below. 

What is pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination?

Pressure in the lower abdomen is a feeling of heaviness or fullness in the abdomen. The abdomen sits between the lower margin of the diaphragm and the public bone. Pressure also appears as pain and discomfort. 

Frequent urination is the urge to urinate more often than usual. Also known as urinary frequency, it’s not a standalone condition or disease. Instead, frequent urination is usually a symptom of a more serious problem in men and women. 

Both pressures in the lower abdomen and frequent urination signify something is wrong and have the potential to affect a person’s quality of life. 

Causes

Sometimes pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination appear individually. On other occasions, they occur together. 

A single cause behind the combination of these symptoms doesn’t exist. Various causes are involved here. 

The most common causes of pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination appearing together are listed below:

Anxiety 

This is the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults. Anxiety affects physical health, not just mental health and wellbeing. 

It releases cortisol (stress hormone) which leads to excessive production of stomach acid. Acidity can irritate the esophagus and cause various problems, including stomach pain or pressure. 

Plus, when a person is anxious, their muscles become tense, and the body increases pressure on the abdomen and bladder. This can lead to frequent urination.

Hyperparathyroidism 

This is a condition wherein one or more parathyroid glands become overactive and release too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). 

Abdominal pain is a common symptom of hyperparathyroidism (1). Excessive PTH can increase calcium levels in the blood, which can cause various symptoms, including frequent urination.

Kidney stones 

Kidney stones are hard deposits made of salts and minerals that form inside the kidney. 

As the stone moves from the kidney to the urinary tract, it can cause abdominal pain and pressure. Kidney stones also induce urinary symptoms such as frequent urination.

Prostatitis 

This is inflammation of the prostate gland. There are various types of prostatitis

Chronic prostatitis (chronic pelvic pain syndrome) is the most common type, which can cause pain or pressure in the lower abdomen. Also, frequent urination is one of the hallmark symptoms of prostatitis (2).

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Urethritis 

This is inflammation of the urethra. In many cases, urethritis can cause abdominal pain and pressure and frequent urination because the urethra is inflamed and irritated.

Other causes

Besides the abovementioned conditions, there are many other causes of lower abdominal pressure and frequent urination. 

These include:

  • Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • Diabetes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Fibroids
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Urethral stricture
  • Vaginal infection
  • Right-sided heart failure
  • Bedwetting 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Cystitis and interstitial cystitis 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Epididymitis 

When to see a doctor

Sometimes the pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination aren’t signs of concern. This is particularly the case when the symptoms are mild. 

But, it’s always important to keep in mind they indicate the presence of a potentially serious health problem.

Ideally, men and women who experience these symptoms should see a doctor if they don’t resolve within 24 hours. 

Don’t ignore them or wait for these symptoms to go away on their own. This is particularly the case if these symptoms are accompanied by chest pain, blood in stool or urine, persistent vomiting, and shortness of breath. 

Other symptoms that require seeing a doctor, in addition to lower abdomen pressure and frequent urination, include fever, excessive thirst, loss of appetite, discharge from the penis/vagina, and foul smell of urine.

Pregnant women with severe pain and pressure in the lower abdomen should seek emergency care.

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Treatment

Treatment for pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination depends on the underlying cause. 

If the cause of these symptoms is a condition that includes infection (e.g., UTI), a healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics. 

Management of the underlying cause will help eliminate abdominal pain and reduce the frequency of urination. 

For example, treating anxiety can help tackle these symptoms in people who experience pain in the lower abdomen and frequent urination due to this mental health disorder. Being proactive about anxiety goes a long way. The same applies to other health problems.

In cases of kidney stones, a patient may need to take medications that break them up. These medications make it easier for stones to pass, thus alleviating pain and improving frequent urination. 

Some causes of these symptoms may need surgery if other approaches fail to work. A good example is a urethral stricture. The doctor may recommend surgery to widen the urethra if other treatments are ineffective. 

Treatment of these symptoms may also require some lifestyle adjustments. For example, you may need to avoid or reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine, which irritate the bladder and worsen urinary symptoms. 

Instead of an unhealthy diet and fast food, opt for a fiber-rich diet and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Make sure the fruits and vegetables aren’t acidic, though. 

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Can you prevent pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination?

In some cases, you can prevent pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination, but in others, you cannot. It depends on the underlying cause of these symptoms. 

Some causes are preventable. However, there’s always something you can do to reduce the risk of these bothersome symptoms. 

You may want to:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Lose weight or maintain it in a healthy range
  • Manage stress and anxiety
  • Practice yoga
  • Avoid or reduce intake of alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated beverages
  • Use condoms during sexual intercourse
  • Practice proper hygiene in the genital area
  • Wear clean and dry underwear 
  • Stay hydrated

Conclusion

Pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination can occur due to a wide range of causes. These symptoms can affect men and women alike. 

You should see a doctor if symptoms are severe or they’re accompanied by fever and other problems. The doctor will recommend the most suitable treatment based on the underlying cause. 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle could help reduce the risk of pressure in the lower abdomen and frequent urination. If symptoms are persistent, don’t ignore them.

Explore More

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How to Calm an Irritated Bladder.

Sources

  1. Taniegra ED. Hyperparathyroidism. Am Fam Physician. 2004. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14765772/
  2. Khan FU, Ihsan AU, Khan HU, Jana R, Wazir J, Khongorzul P, Waqar M, Zhou X. Comprehensive overview of prostatitis. Biomed Pharmacother. 2017. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28813783/

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