Have you ever noticed that as the temperature begins to drop, you find yourself taking more trips to the bathroom? If the answer is yes, it’s no coincidence. When our bodies are exposed to cold weather, we tend to sweat less. As a result, less fluid is lost through the skin, and we produce more urine instead. Continue reading to learn about cooler temperatures and urinary conditions.

Temperature And Urinary Conditions

For most people, cooler temperatures and the increased urge to urinate do nothing but add a few extra steps to your day-to-day. However, for those with urinary conditions, as the seasons change, their daily life can be affected. At Alliance Urology Specialists, our goal is to provide the highest level of specialized urology care no matter what the season. Continue reading to learn more about the change in urinary conditions during cooler temperatures. 

Cold Diuresis

Cold diuresis involves the kidneys and the overproduction of urine. This condition occurs when your body is exposed to cold temperatures. When this occurs, there is reduced blood flow to the skin and more blood flow toward the center of your body. As a result, your blood pressure rises, and your kidneys have more blood to filter than normal— thus, they end up producing more urine, and you experience an increased urge to urinate. Although this can be irritating, cold diuresis is a way for your body to protect you from the cold. 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

According to the National Library of Medicine, cold stress as a result of whole-body cooling at low environmental temperatures can increase the likelihood of lower urinary conditions such as urinary tract infections. Some UTI symptoms to be on the lookout for in cooler weather include:

  • Increased need to urinate
  • Burning sensation or discomfort during urination
  • Inability to empty the bladder completely
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or dark urine

Many studies have even suggested UTIs are often a direct result of cold diuresis as a way to protect your body from hypothermia. 

Overactive Bladder (OAB)

Being an abnormality of the bladder, OAB typically presents itself as a sudden and frequent urge to urinate. A 2019 study published in the International Urology Journal found that colder weather agitates OAB symptoms more so than moderate and warm temperatures. Because cold weather causes a decrease in body temperature, muscles around the bladder often tense. Since OAB is caused by bladder and muscle spasms, cold weather can increase urgency and lead to incontinence.

Precautions And Exercises For The Cooler Months

If you are experiencing an increased need to urinate during the cooler months, there are a few things you can do. 

  1. Keep warm: By staying warm, your body is less likely to feel the need to guard against hypothermia, decreasing your chances of cold diuresis. In cooler temperatures, make sure you wear layers of clothing and have access to a warm indoors.
  2. Stay hydrated: Due to an increased frequency of urination, you may be losing more fluid than usual. Although the increased need to go may make you want to avoid drinking water, staying hydrated helps your body to function properly.
  3. Be mindful: When experiencing any of the conditions listed, be mindful of any serious changes that may occur. 
  4. Get help: If you are experiencing an increased urge to urinate and it is getting in the way of your daily life, contact a urologist today.

For diagnosis and treatment of any problem related to the bladder, reproductive, or genitourinary system, schedule an appointment with one of our providers. Our state-of-the-art services and procedures at Alliance Urology can help alleviate your urologic disorders, including a wide range of urinary conditions. For questions and inquiries, please call our office in Greensboro at (336) 274-1114.