Pollakiuria is a condition that causes frequent urination, mostly in children.
Pollakiuria in young children may be frustrating for parents and caregivers. The condition can last for weeks or even months, but it typically goes away without treatment.
Keep reading for more information on what to expect if a child develops pollakiuria, including some treatment options and how to manage it.
The main symptom of pollakiuria is frequent urination. According to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, a child with pollakiuria will urinate up to 40 times per day, or three to four times per hour.
Pollakiuria does not typically occur with other symptoms. It is important to ensure that there is no indication of a more serious underlying condition, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Symptoms indicating that a condition other than pollakiuria is present include:
- pain during urination
- passing any more than a small amount of urine with each bathroom visit
- excessive drinking
- incontinence or urinary accidents
- changes in bowel movements
- signs of infection or fever
- excessive urination at night
Some children will have recurrent episodes of pollakiuria over 1–2 years.
It is usually unnecessary to treat pollakiuria. The symptoms should subside within a few weeks of starting. In some cases, however, it may take 7–12 months to clear up completely.
A doctor might suggest some practical options to help reduce the symptoms. For example, they may suggest encouraging a child to wait longer before urinating.
It is also helpful to try to identify possible triggers. A trigger could be anything that causes the child stress.
Currently, there are no medications that help with pollakiuria.
Doctors do not know the exact cause of pollakiuria. It tends to affect children around the ages of 5 or 6, but it can also occur in children as young as 3 and as old as 14.
In some cases, a doctor, parent, or caregiver may be able to identify triggers or stressors for the child. A trigger or stressor can lead to urination and may be causing the condition.
Some possible triggers and causes include:
- chemical urethritis
- nonbacterial cystitis
- abnormal urine composition
- emotional or social stressors, such as bullying
- higher bladder sensitivity during colder months
It is not always possible to determine a stressor or the cause of pollakiuria, however.
In most cases, pollakiuria is not a cause for concern. It will go away without medical treatment after a few weeks or months. The condition is not harmful to the child.
However, an increase in urination may also indicate the presence of another underlying condition, such as a UTI. It may be best to contact a doctor if the increase in urination occurs with the following symptoms:
- a burning sensation during urination
- excessive drinking
- urinary accidents
A doctor will first review the child’s symptoms and medical history. They will look out for:
- any history of UTIs
- flank or abdominal pain
- evidence of a change in urination frequency
- excessive thirst or drinking
- pain or difficulty urinating
A doctor may also wish to use urinalysis to rule out potential additional issues. Urinalysis involves taking a sample of urine and analyzing its contents. Doctors will check for:
- blood or protein in the urine
- normal urine specific gravity
- glucose in the urine
- abnormal levels of minerals or other substances in the urine
Treatment primarily consists of waiting for the condition to clear. It may also include identifying and reducing potential triggers.
While a child has pollakiuria, parents and caregivers can help by:
- reassuring the child that they are not in any danger
- not commenting on the frequency of their urination
- not being critical of the symptoms or punishing the child for them
- making sure that all caregivers and teachers are aware of the situation
Adults may experience a need to urinate more frequently at times. However, the cause is rarely pollakiuria.
It is more likely that frequent urination in adults will have an underlying cause. For example, it could be due to a urinary tract or kidney infection. Adults are also likely to experience other symptoms with these changes, such as pain during urination.
Pollakiuria is one of several issues that can affect a child’s bladder or urinary habits. Other conditions that can increase urination frequency in children include:
- Bladder dysfunction: This includes multiple conditions related to a child’s bladder or urethra that can cause incontinence.
- UTIs: These cause frequent urination, pain, and fever. Treatment is necessary.
- Bladder control issues: These cause a child to have frequent urinary accidents during the day and night.
- Kidney infections: These can increase urination frequency and cause pain, fever, and other symptoms.
- Diabetes: Frequent urination and excessive thirst can be symptoms of diabetes.
Pollakiuria is a temporary condition that causes frequent urination, typically in children. It is not usually harmful and will eventually subside without treatment.
It is not clear what causes the condition, but it may relate to a stressor or trigger. It is important to reassure the child that they are not in any danger and avoid punishing them for their symptoms.
Frequent urination can also indicate the presence of an underlying condition. It is possible to identify an underlying condition if there are other symptoms present. For example, this could be fever or pain during urination. Medication is often necessary in these cases.