How often is too often to urinate? The answer depends on the circumstances.

Some days you might get up from your desk to pee once or twice. Others, you might be going every hour. Is that too much? Consider these factors before answering.

You’re drinking lots of liquids.

If you’re drinking more water or other liquids, it’s totally normal to go to the bathroom more than usual.

You’ll especially find yourself running to the loo on the reg if you’re drinking more alcohol or caffeine. And remember, caffeine isn’t only coffee; it’s also in sodas, teas, energy drinks and chocolate.

You changed your diet.

If you’ve recently started eating more fruits and veggies in an effort to eat more healthfully, good for you. In addition to getting more fiber and vitamins, you’re also most likely upping your water intake thanks to that added produce, which naturally makes you have to pee more. Watermelon, grapes, berries, bell peppers and celery, in particular, act as natural diuretics.

You recently started taking a new medication.

Some medications are diuretics, including those taken for high blood pressure, kidney stones and glaucoma. If this is the case, ask your doctor or pharmacist if frequent urination is a known side effect of the medication.

Your period is late.

If you’re experiencing the need to pee more, are a sexually active woman and your period is late, you should take a pregnancy test. Frequent urination is an early symptom of pregnancy.

When you have to go, you really, really have to go.

If you’re finding that that urge to pee comes on suddenly and urgently, you be experiencing overactive bladder (OAB).

It hurts to go and/or your urine is cloudy or discolored.

These are signs that you may have a urinary tract infection. If this describes you, make an appointment to see your doctor. UTI’s typically need to be treated with antibiotics and it’s important to get treated early because it could turn into a kidney infection.

When you go, you only go a little.

This can be another sign of a UTI and requires a doctor’s attention. It may also be a symptom of OAB.

“Patients with OAB and UTI can both have bothersome symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency and urinary incontinence,” said David Ginsberg, MD, associate professor of clinical urology at Keck School of Medicine and a urologist at the USC Institute of Urology at Keck Medicine of USC. “However, UTI symptoms tend to come on more acutely and are associated with pain or discomfort with urination.”

You’re going so much it’s disrupting your life.

If you’re waking up two or three times during the night to pee and feeling tired all the time, that’s too much. Or if you find it’s interrupting your ability to work or enjoy an activity like going to a movie or taking a yoga class, it’s also too much.

Frequent urination can be a symptom of various diseases and conditions, including diabetes, an enlarged prostate in men, or kidney or bladder stones. Your doctor can work with you to identify the underlying cause and help you find an effective treatment. For instance, UroLift is an innovative, in-office procedure for enlarged prostate that can offer relief for OAB for men.

“UroLift is a minimally invasive treatment for benign prostatic hypertrophy, also known as enlarged prostate,” explained Leo R. Doumanian, MD, associate professor of clinical urology at Keck School of Medicine, who practices at the USC Institute of Urology of Keck Medicine of USC. “Such symptoms men experience with an enlarged prostate includes waking up in the middle of the night several times, urgently and frequently having to go to the bathroom, having to push to get the urine out and having a decreased force of stream. A UroLift procedure can be done in the office in as little as 10 to 20 minutes under local anesthesia.”

If your frequent urination is negatively impacting your life, make an appointment with one of the urology specialists at Keck Medicine at USC. If you are in the Los Angeles area, schedule an appointment by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting urology.keckmedicine.org/patient-information/request-an-appointment.

By: Anne Fritz