What is Pollakiuria?
Pollakiuria is pathological condition characterized by frequent urination in children. This condition does not indicate any serious underlying medical condition but can be at times very frustrating for the parents and the caregivers. Pollakiuria does not require any treatment and goes away in a few weeks even though it may persist in some cases for up to a few months.[1,2,3]
A child with Pollakiuria will urinate every 10 minutes or so and occurs only when awake. It is seen mostly in children about 3-4 years of age. A perfectly toilet trained child may suddenly request to go to the restroom every 10 minutes. The child will have to go to the restroom about 4 times per hour and up to 40 times in a day. The urinary output will be very less without any pain or discomfort.[1,2,3]
The frequency of the urination is increased despite no increase in fluid intake. On checkup, there will be no evidence of any medical condition or infection. Pollakiuria is a recurring problem and tends to come again after a gap of a couple of years or so.[1,2,3]
What Causes Pollakiuria?
The exact cause of Pollakiuria is not known. Children between the ages of 3-6 are the most affected. However, there have been cases when children as old as 14 years have had Pollakiuria. In some cases, there may be some kind of stressor or a trigger that may cause Pollakiuria and the parents or caregivers may be able to identify it by observing the patterns during which the child has increased urinary frequency.
There are also certain medical conditions that may be possible causes for Pollakiuria. These include chemical urethritis, hypercalciuria, abnormal urine composition, or emotional stressor such as bullying at school.
What are the Symptoms of Pollakiuria?
As stated, the primary symptom of Pollakiuria is increased urinary frequency. A child with Pollakiuria will urinate up to 40 times in a 24 hour period. Generally, there are no other symptoms with Pollakiuria. However, it is always better to look for any other symptoms which might suggest an underlying medical condition like urinary tract infection.
Some of the symptoms that can be observed which might indicate other condition rather than Pollakiuria include pain with voiding, excessive drinking of fluids, urinary incontinence, any alterations in bowel pattern, and excessive urination even at night. All these symptoms suggest that the child may not be having Pollakiuria but some other condition.
How is Pollakiuria Treated?
Pollakiuria is a benign condition and does not require any treatment. It normally takes about a week for the symptoms to go away. In some cases however it may take up to a year for the symptoms of Pollakiuria to completely clear up. To decrease the frequency, the physician may suggest teaching the child to try and hold urine for slightly longer periods of time before going to the restroom.
In case of an emotional stressor is responsible for Pollakiuria then identifying the stressor and managing it will help reduce the symptoms. As of now, there are no medications specifically meant to treat Pollakiuria. Reassurance on the part of the parents and caregivers is quite effective in dealing with the symptoms of Pollakiuria.
It is also recommended to inform the teachers at school about the child’s condition so that the child does not feel embarrassed in asking the teacher permission to go to the restroom frequently. It should be ensured that the child should never be commented upon about their urinary frequency as it may have a negative impact on the psyche of the kid. Also, the parents and teachers should not be critical of the child about this problem.
In conclusion, Pollakiuria is a benign condition seen in children between the age of 3 and 6 characterized by increased urinary frequency. A child with Pollakiuria will go up to 40 times in a day. However, Pollakiuria does not require any treatment and resolves spontaneously within a week.[1,2,3]
The root cause of this condition is not known but certain stressors like bullying at school may be one of the common triggering factors. Since there is no treatment required and Pollakiuria does not pose any health threat, it is important for parents, teachers, and caregivers to not criticize the child about it or comment about it.[1,2,3]
This may make the child feel embarrassed and dent the confidence. This may result in a variety of other conditions which might be problematic for the child and parents. Encouragement should be given to hold urine for slightly longer so that there is some decrease in the urinary frequency seen with Pollakiuria. In some cases, frequent urination can also be caused by conditions other than Pollakiuria.
However if this is the case then there will be additional symptoms that have been described above. It is recommended to observe for any other symptoms associated with frequent urination and inform the physician about it. This will help in better understanding of the underlying condition and give treatment if required. Other than this, there is no other treatment required and as of now there is no medication specific to Pollakiuria.