Urinary Frequency ICD 9 – Causes and Diagnosis

Touseef Riaz

September 16, 2021

urinary frequency icd 9

Have an urge to pass urine more often than usual? The technical name for your problem is frequent urination. Normally, the bladder stores urine until the time it is convenient to go to the toilet, usually four to six times a day. Needing to go more than that means that there might be an underlying health problem that requires attention.

Frequent urination can disrupt your daily routine, mess with your sleep, and can lead to serious health issues if left unchecked. It is important, therefore, to identify and get treatment as early as possible to prevent complications.

ICD 9 Urinary Frequency – 788.41

The ICD 9 code for urinary frequency is 788.41, which is a billable medical code used for diagnosis and reimbursement purposes.

However, since the ICD 10 code set has effectively replaced the ICD 9 from October 1, 2015, 788.41 can only be used for medical claims for cases with a date of service before this date. For cases after the date, use the equivalent ICD 10 code for Frequency of Micturition i.e. R35.0

Approximate Synonyms

  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate)
  • BPH w urinary frequency
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Urinary frequency due to benign prostatic hypertrophy

For healthcare physicians and doctors, it is important to properly diagnose the symptoms, identify the underlying cause, provide proper treatment, and then document the process using the right ICD codes to help compile administrative data.

What is Frequent Urination?

Urination is a natural process through which our body gets rid of waste fluids, with the bladder playing a vital role in the process. The urine, which contains water, toxins, waste fluids, and uric acid, is stored in the bladder until it reaches a point of fullness and an urge to urinate.

Frequent urination can be defined as the urge or need to urinate more than 7 or 8 times in one day while drinking no more than 2 liters of water/fluid.

It is important to note here that frequent urination is not the same as urinary incontinence, where one has little control over the bladder. Instead, you just feel the need to visit the toilet more often. Frequency can occur alongside incontinence but are not the same.

Causes of Frequent Urination

Frequent urination can be a result of various problems including:

Enlarged prostate: An enlarged prostate can put pressure on the urethra, blocking the flow of urine. This causes the bladder to become irritated and contracts even when there is a small amount of urine present.

Diabetes: This is a very common cause of frequent urination. In fact, frequent urination is often an early symptom of diabetes. The body tries to get rid of unused glucose, resulting in more need to urinate.

Pregnancy: From the early stages of pregnancy, women feel an urge to urinate more often than usual. That is because the growing size of the uterus puts pressure on the bladder.

Diagnosing the Cause of Frequent Urination

To diagnose the cause of frequent urination, your doctor will perform a physical exam and take a medical history, asking questions such as the following:

  • Are you taking any medications?
  • Are you experiencing other symptoms?
  • Do you have the problem only during the day or also at night?
  • Are you drinking more than usual?
  • Is your urine darker or lighter than usual?
  • Do you drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages?

After the physical exam, your doctor may suggest additional tests including:

Urinalysis: It is a microscopic examination of urine specimens to measure and detect the various compounds that are passed in the urine.

Blood tests: Routine blood tests can check for kidney function, electrolytes, and blood sugars.

Cystometry: This is an advanced test that measures the pressure inside the bladder. It is useful to check how well the bladder is performing.  

Cystoscopy: A test that allows your doctor to look at the inside of the bladder and urethra using a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope.


Eating a balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle can help moderate the output of urine.

This may mean limiting alcohol and caffeine intake and cutting out foods that can irritate the bladder or act as a diuretic, such as chocolate, spicy foods, and artificial sweeteners.

Eating high-fiber foods can also help reduce constipation. This may indirectly improve urine flow through the urethra, as a constipated rectum can put pressure on the urinary bladder, the urethra, or both.

What Is The ICD 9?

The International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, is the official system of identifying and assigning code to medical procedures and diagnoses in the US. Until recent years, the ICD-9 was used to classify and code mortality data from death certificates, which has now been effectively replaced by the ICD-10 code set.

The ICD-9-CM consists of:

  • A tabular list containing a numerical list of the disease code numbers in tabular form;
  • An alphabetical index to the disease entries; and
  • A classification system for surgical, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures (alphabetic index and tabular list).

ICD-9 codes are used in medical billing and coding to describe diseases, injuries, symptoms, and conditions. It consists of thousands of codes to describe medical services and procedures.

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