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Constipation and frequent urination can occur together or separately, and there are a variety of possible causes for both issues. Eating a diet low in fiber or taking narcotic medications can lead to constipation. Being constipated can then lead to bladder pressure, which may cause you to urinate more frequently. Frequent urination also can occur for a variety of reasons on its own, including a bladder infection, interstitial cystitis, an over-active bladder or drinking too much caffeine. Depending on the cause, you can treat constipation accompanied by frequent urination using a variety of tools, including over-the-counter (OTC) medications, prescription medications and a change in diet.
There are several OTC products available to treat constipation. Laxatives are available that can stimulate your intestines and cause a bowel movement to occur. Stool softeners, which make your stool easier to pass so you do not end up with fecal impaction, are an alternative. Taking medications should only be a short-term fix for treating constipation. It is best to add more fiber to your diet and exercise consistently to keep your bowels healthy.
Once you change your lifestyle, you may notice your constipation and frequent urination are no longer issues. If you are able to get your bowels regular and you still are suffering from frequent urination, then it may be best to make an appointment with a doctor. Constipation and frequent urination sometimes go hand in hand, but frequent urination also can have a completely separate cause. If you are experiencing pain when you urinate frequently and your urine smells odd, then you may be suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI). Your doctor will need to perform a urine culture to confirm the diagnosis and give you antibiotics to clear up the infection.
Another reason for frequent urination is having an over-active bladder. Contractions may be occurring in your bladder that give you the urge to urinate more often than normal. Your doctor can give you a prescription medication that can calm the bladder so you will urinate less often.
You also can experience frequent urination because of chronic inflammation of the bladder; this is known as interstitial cystitis. This illness can strike anyone, but women are more prone to the disease than men and children are. There is no cure for interstitial cystitis, but symptoms can be managed using medications that coat the bladder. Your doctor also may choose to do a bladder instillation, in which medication is inserted directly into the bladder via a catheter.
Interstitial cystitis patients may experience bladder and pelvic pain along with frequent urination. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you narcotic pain medication to help manage this discomfort. Narcotics often can cause constipation as a side effect. Constipation and frequent urination can be related, but making an effort to stay regular while taking pain medication can help ensure that your frequent urination does not increase as a result.