Some people brag about their ability to hold their urine for hours before eventually going to the bathroom, but is that good?
It may be impossible to urinate at the exact moment you feel pressed, so it’s ok to keep it together for a bit, especially when you are in a meeting, in transit or in places where there is no restroom or a clean one for that matter. But what happens when you hold your urine for too long until you begin to dance around in discomfort? It is very healthy.
Women tend to hold urine more than men because women don’t have the luxury of letting it out anywhere and women are also susceptible to UTIs/infection, that’s why they go only in bathrooms they are comfortable in.….
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that help the body get rid of toxins and unwanted wastes through the production of urine. When urine is produced, it is transported to the bladder where it is stored briefly, the bladder can take up to 300-400ml of urine comfortably before it is passed out but it can also take more than that but you shouldn’t make that a regular thing. Holding back urine comes with its own complication though it may feel great at first.
Here are six reasons why you should never hold your pee for long.
1. Bladder bursting: I bet you may not have heard of a bladder bursting, but this comes as a result of constantly holding pee. When the bladder is full, your brain prompts you to urinate when it’s convenient and if you still don’t urinate at the time, the bladder will stretch more than it should in order to hold in more waste released from the kidneys. If this case of bladder stretching goes on consistently, it will eventually cause the bladder to burst and become a life-threatening situation because the urine enters the abdomen and requires immediate surgery to fix the bladder and prevent further damage.
2. Risk of urinary tract infection: Urine is a waste product and hence carries toxins and other things your body needs to get rid of, holding the same waste in for a long time can cause bacteria to fester and cause constant urinary tract infection. People who don’t drink enough water are also likely to have UTIs because the bladder is not telling them to pee. This bacteria infection comes with an itchy and stingy feeling, foul smell and pain sometimes. So urinate as often as possible, especially after sexual intercourse, it will flush out bacteria and reduce your chances of getting an infection.
3. Loss of bladder control/sphincter muscle: We talked about bladder stretching earlier but this is also as bad as that. The bladder is the container that holds the urine but it has to pass through other channels before it is released. The external sphincter muscle regulates the control of urine flow from the bladder to the urethra. this control is voluntary, so you can decide to hold it in or let it out when it’s convenient. These muscles can be stretched until you lose control of voluntary urine and start leaking urine when your bladder is full. Although this may take years of holding in pee before it happens, it’s definitely something to avoid. You will also begin to have frequent urination because the bladder will begin to fill up quickly.
4. Urine retention: This is one of the complications that result from loss of bladder control. This simply means that the bladder never completely empties anymore, so, there will always be some urine in the bladder even after urination. This urine retention is unhealthy as the temperature there is perfect for harmful bacteria to breed, you make yourself open to frequent urinary tract infection, kidney damage, bladder damage etc when you can no longer empty your bladder you always get the urge to urinate and that can be very uncomfortable.
5. Kidney failure: You must have heard someone say don’t hold your urine, it will damage your kidneys. This is very true because when you retain so much urine in your bladder for long, it can go back up into your kidneys. Remember the kidney already released this toxic content, having it go back there can cause kidney failure and eventual death. Although it hardly gets to this point, it doesn’t mean you should keep it in, you really don’t want to find out for yourself.
6. Kidney stones: Holding urine can cause kidney stones to form. Kidney stones form when waste products in the blood form crystals over time. Most times kidney stones can be painfully passed out through urine and cause no permanent damage if noticed early. Some other situations may require surgery especially when the stones clog the urinary tract and cause other complications like pain, nausea, blood in urine etc. Kidney stone is found among people who do not stay hydrated. So begin to drink a lot of water and pee when necessary.
So what do you think? Would you want to hold your urine one minute longer when you feel pressed? I don’t think so. Also know that forcing urine out and not positioning properly to urinate can also weaken your pelvic muscle over time, leading to an overactive pelvic floor and urgency in urination. This is more common with women because they tend to avoid using public restrooms and when they do, they don’t position properly because of the fear of contracting UTIs from the toilet.
As much as it’s good to pee when you have to, you should also observe your body to know when you have frequent urination or urgency in urination. These can however be signs of UTIs or other health issues. Consult your doctor whenever you notice unwelcome changes in your body.