What to Do If You’re Pregnant and Can’t Pee at Night

So many incredible and amazing things happen when you’re pregnant.


Then there are the not-so great ones.


And, then, there are the downright WTF-is-happening ones.


We’ll go ahead and put not-being-able-to-pee-at-night in the WTF-is-happening category because it happened to me around week 10 (thankfully it only lasted a week), and, holy cow, it was something.


It was really hard for me to find any resources online about it (because you know my husband and I were Googling “I’m pregnant and can’t pee 10 weeks” at 2 a.m.), so I wanted to share my experience with it and what worked for me. Not because I’m a doctor (obviously, always go to your doctor because not being able to pee can actually be a sign of a bladder infection), but because if it’s 2 a.m., you can’t pee and you’re finding this post, hopefully it’ll give you some relief.


Like, serious relief. (That was a bad pee joke; I know.)

What to Do If You’re Pregnant and Can’t Pee at Night: My Experience and What Helped

So, it first happened in the middle of the night. I woke up and had to pee, BADLY. I made it to the bathroom, sat down, and nothing. I was only 10 weeks at the time, but it felt like the babies we’re straight up sitting on my pee parts and pushing down in a way that made not only the urge to pee stronger, but also the ability for the pee to come out impossible.

I tried a number of different positions: legs up, legs up on a stool like the Squatty Potty, leg crossed over the leg, standing in the shower (yeah, I was that desperate). I even tried meditating and deep relaxation with visualization of the pee moving out and down. Because, really, the pressure of having to pee that badly but not being able to wasn’t painful in an acute way, but it was definitely panic-inducing.

What eventually worked for me — and I only had this issue at night or when napping — was getting up at regular intervals throughout the night so I never built up too much pee, and walking around for a few minutes before even attempting to go. Once I walked for awhile, I found that if I sat on the toilet with my torso and head leaned as far over and as close to the ground as I possibly could with my legs out while bearing down and pushing the pee out as hard as I could, I could get the smallest of streams out. (No such thing as TMI around here.)

Honestly, it felt like a workout.

It took while, and it was a process each night, but the extra time spent (and sleep lost) of getting up every few hours and walking around really helped me and was TOTALLY WORTH IT. And, again, I’m happy to say that within a week, the babies moved positions and I haven’t had an issue since.

For more info, here’s a good thread I found on the topic — some women did have to go to the doctor / ER for help. I’m glad I didn’t have to do that, but if you find yourself in that position, do what you gotta do!

Anyone else have this happen to them? What worked for you? —Jenn

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  2. AmazMom says:

    Happened to me for a couple weeks. Like you said, it’s definitely panic inducing. What I found was mine was due to my tilted uterus. The research I found said it’d stop after the first trimester when the uterus shifts due to size of Baby. Though I heard some women had to end up cath-ing it. That freaked me out. Mine did clear up but in the meantime I would try walking but what really helped was just sitting up in bed for about 10 mins. I’m also trying to do the getting up more often but it’s so tiring!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Bless you for this post. The exact same thing is happening to me and it’s started to really worry me. Like you, I only have this issue in the middle of the night when my bladder is very full. I’m 13 weeks and have a tilted uterus. From reading the comments here, that seems to be the cause. It’s so strange because I don’t have any issues peeing during the day….only at night.