Medical Q&As

Urine volume - how much per day?

Is there such a thing as an average amount of times a man should need to urinate in a 24-hour period? What is too much, and what could be done to rectify the problem?

Apart from urination the body loses fluid through breathing, perspiration and defaecation. The rate of fluid loss through each of these routes varies depending on the level of physical activity, ambient temperature and humidity. Therefore if you were in a warm and humid environment you might shed more fluid in the form of sweat and consequently excrete very little fluid in the form of urine. However, assuming that you are not engaged in excessive physical activity and are not exposed to extreme temperatures you would on average expect to pass between one and two litres of urine per day. Sometimes it is possible to urinate more frequently without increasing the total amount of urine being passed. For example if you had a urinary tract infection the stinging sensation associated with such infection might make you wish to void more frequently. Similarly if you were very nervous you might find that you would need to go more often but again the total volume of urine being excreted in a 24-hour period might not have increased significantly. Sometimes excessive urination can be an indicator of disease. For example a person developing diabetes might experience great thirst accompanied by excessive urination. If you feel that you are passing more urine than usual then that can be assessed fairly simply by your GP.