Should you hold your pee?

There are times when nature calls, we don’t answer at once. There are a lot of reasons why people hold in their pee. Maybe they’re watching their favorite movie or TV series and they don’t want to miss a certain part, maybe they’re in the middle of a conversation or they’re driving, or they’re just lazy.

Whatever the reason is, you may have done this before as well. Before you feel too guilty about stopping yourself from going to the bathroom, it is not that harmful particularly if this isn’t a habit of yours. However, if you do this frequently, there are definitely health consequences:

1. Urinary Retention: If you find yourself unable to completely empty your bladder, this is known as urinary retention. The main cause of this disorder is constantly holding your pee, which can ultimately weaken the muscles in your bladder. This gets worse as you get older.

2. Urinary Tract Infection: Because you hold pee for long periods of time on a regular basis, you are holding in bacteria as well since urine contains dirty and unhealthy components. Therefore, this can increase your chance of developing urinary tract infection.

But how do you know you’ve been holding pee for an unacceptable amount of time? It actually depends on the person. Adults normally hold up to half a liter of pee, which is equivalent to two full cups.

Once your bladder reaches its capacity, the receptors found in your bladder wall will send the brain signals that it is time to empty the bladder. While some people will feel the need to rush to the bathroom, some have better control over their bathroom urges, which is quite useful if there are no facilities nearby.

Keep this sign in your mind, don't hold your pee.
Keep this sign in your mind, don’t hold your pee.

There are individuals who have the physical capacity to keep their pee in for three to six hours. But for some who have been holding their pee for long periods of time regularly, such as truckers, they can train their bodies to hold their pee for longer. All in all, it depends on several factors, including bladder capacity, hydration status, water or fluid intake, size and sensitivity of bladder, and the capacity of a person.

Although the risks associated with holding pee in are not truly life-threatening in most cases, this habit if continued could bring other health dangers, such as swelling of the bladder, cystitis, and even kidney stones since urinary tract infection can spread to the kidneys. If this happens, this can lead to other serious conditions, which can put your life in danger.