Does Cold Weather Make You Pee More?

This piece has been medically reviewed by Aleece Fosnight, MPAS, PA-C, CSC-S, CSE, NCMP, IF, Medical Advisor to Aeroflow Urology.

Winter is full of activities we all love- sledding, ice skating, and snowboarding- but it’s hard to enjoy these pastimes when your bladder is full! And if you notice that you feel the urge to urinate more frequently in the cold weather, you’re not alone.

Many people have increased trips to the bathroom and more urges to pee during the winter which are symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB), and it's all in response to the cold.

Find out what you can do to prevent OAB in the winter months.

Cold Weather & Peeing More

There is currently no definite research that tells which temperatures or times of exposure to cold weather cause you to urinate more frequently, and it’s not entirely understood why this happens. But many people still experience certain symptoms.

In the winter, you may notice you:

  • Take more trips to the bathroom.
  • Have an increased need to urinate.
  • Feel that your bladder gets fuller faster.

Check Your Eligibility

2 Easy Steps

Discover the continence care essentials available through your Medicaid plan.

Have your insurance card ready!

Date of Birth Please provide the date of birth for the person in need of continence care supplies (yourself, your child, etc.)

These symptoms occur as your body responds to the cold weather, affecting your pelvic floor muscles and bladder, and can lead to a type of urinary incontinence known as OAB.

The Pelvic Floor

Your pelvic floor muscles are located between your tailbone and pubic bone. Think of the pelvic floor as a hammock; It holds and cradles your bowels, bladder, vagina, and uterus. When your pelvic floor takes on pressure, it can become damaged and lead to urinary incontinence (UI).

Urinary Incontinence

UI is a loss of bladder control and can occur due to:

  • Aging
  • Hormonal changes.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Certain health conditions.
  • Prostate issues, like prostate cancer.
  • Special needs, like autism.
  • Certain medications.

UI is common in the United States and can happen to anyone of any age. While this is true, it’s not normal to experience UI, and it can be reversed.

What Is OAB?

Most people experience these symptoms so subtly that they go undetected. But for some, symptoms like these will become extremely bothersome and can indicate the development of OAB.

According to a PubMed study*, OAB affects 1 out of 7 women and an equal portion of men in the US.

Symptoms of OAB include:

  • Feeling the sudden and uncontrollable urge to pee.
  • Frequently waking up at night to pee.
  • Leaking urine (having accidents) due to intense urges to void your bladder.
  • Peeing often, usually more than 8 times in 24 hours.

Why You Pee More In the Winter

There are several reasons we experience symptoms of OAB in winter. 

1. Tense Muscles

In the winter, your body’s muscles tense up to stay warm, which extends to your pelvic floor muscles. When those muscles tighten, they add extra pressure to the bladder, making you feel like you need to go to the bathroom more often.

2. Less Sweat

You sweat less in winter than in warmer months because you’re most likely exposed to less heat. You also move less in the winter. Since you’re not sweating out excess fluids as you do in warmer months, more fluid stays in your body. When this happens, your body requires more filtration, causing your bladder to fill more quickly and you to pee more frequently.

3. Cold-Induced Diuresis

When exposed to colder temperatures, your body tries to protect you from hypothermia, known as cold-induced diuresis.

During cold diuresis, blood vessels constrict, and blood flow is decreased to keep your internal and vital organs warmer. This causes your blood pressure to increase which causes your kidneys to filter out excess fluid and blood to decrease your blood volume, which causes a full bladder and makes you pee more.

4. Your Urine

Due to a more sedentary lifestyle in the winter and the tendency to eat heavier, less healthy foods, your body takes in extra amounts of calcium. Excess calcium is difficult for your kidneys to filter, causing thirst and frequent urination.

5. Urinary Tract Infections

Even if you don’t notice it, you may become dehydrated in the winter because the air is dryer. However, when you’re dehydrated, your risk of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) increases, which causes you to experience an intense and frequent urge to pee.

Prevention Tips

Use these tips this winter to prevent symptoms of OAB.

1. Drink enough water.

During the winter months, we typically don’t drink enough water. Although this sounds contradictory, increasing your water intake can increase circulation in your extremities (arms and legs), evening out the circulation needed to keep your body warm. Since you’re also urinating more frequently, you’ll need to replace the fluids you lose. Drink as much water as you need to throughout the cold seasons.

2. Wear incontinence products.

Wearing discreet incontinence products, such as bladder pads and protective underwear, will protect you from leaks. These supplies are helpful during winter activities that require wearing warm layers since it can be challenging to take everything off to make it to the bathroom in time.

If you’re diagnosed with a type of UI, such as OAB, you may be able to get your products covered 100% by your insurance plan!

That way, you won’t have to worry about dealing with wet clothes or leaks. 

Aeroflow Urology is an excellent resource for getting free incontinence supplies delivered straight to your door without leaving your home in cold temperatures.

To see if you qualify in under 5 minutes, fill out our Eligibility Form. We don’t share your information with any outside sources, and after completing the form, one of our dedicated Continence Care Specialists will reach out to you and help you with the next steps.

3. Stay warm!

To prevent cold diuresis from occurring while outdoors, keep your body warm. Bundle up in warm layers (down coats, hats, snow pants, gloves, scarves, etc.). If you’re outdoors for long periods, take breaks inside to bring your body temperature up, hydrate, and use the bathroom to avoid accidents.

4. Keep a bladdery diary. 

A bladder diary records your bathroom habits and bladder irritants and triggers. Record when you notice your bladder feeling fuller, how often you use the restroom, accidents, and how long you stay in cold temperatures.

You can use a bladder diary if you visit your healthcare provider to determine your UI symptoms. 

Download a free diary!

5. Listen to your body!

Go to the bathroom when you need to. If you hold your pee, you may develop a UTI.

6. Stay active. 

Stretching and exercising can actually decrease the muscle tension that occurs for the body to keep warm. Focusing those exercises and stretches around pelvic floor muscles can be vital in reducing the pressure placed on the bladder. Try at-home pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels.

7. See your healthcare provider.

If you experience any unusual symptoms similar to OAB, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to determine what type of UI you have.

Aleece Fosnight

Aleece Fosnight, MSPAS, PA-C, CSC-S, CSE, NCMP, IF is a Medical Advisor and Writer for Aeroflow Urology and a board-certified physician assistant specializing in sexual medicine, women’s health, and urology. In 2019, she opened up her own private practice, the Fosnight Center for Sexual Health, and implemented the sexual health grand rounds curriculum at her local hospital and residency program.

Aleece is also the founder of the Fosnight Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and training of professionals in the sexual health field and providing funding for access to healthcare services in her local community.


*Reynolds, W. S., Fowke, J., & Dmochowski, R. (2016). The Burden of Overactive Bladder on US Public Health. Current Bladder Dysfunction Reports, 11(1), 8–13.


Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or care from a healthcare professional. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.