Every one has been in that frustrating situation - a traffic jam, no toilet, public toilets (if you are a lady maybe an FUD could help you out in these tricky situations), crowded events etc. - where relieving your bladder is not an option. What is your back-up plan? For most of us, it is to simply hold it in until we can no longer bare it. But is this the best idea?
No, holding in your pee is not the best idea. Yes, sometimes a toilet is not available (if you have a TravelJohn or Happee this wouldn't be an issue) but the fact of the matter is, your health may be at risk if you hold it for too long or find yourself waiting too often to head to the loo.
Our bladders can hold an average of 400 - 750 milliliters of urine. Receptors in our bladder tell our brains when our bladder is filling up and give us the urge release our liquid gold. Sometimes we do not have this luxury and consciously need to hold back this urge. This is not detrimental to our bodies if it doesn't happen often, but if you find yourself putting the urge "to go" at the bottom of your priorities, the consequences can be painful!
Here are a few of the worse case scenario, negative physical symptoms of holding in your pee for too long:
Loss of Concentration
This may seem like common sense. Have you ever tried finishing the last few sentences of an essay while having to pee really badly? Or maybe try explaining someone directions while wiggling from side to side? Try it next time you have to answer nature's call (or don't, because if you have been reading this you know it's bad for you), or just take my word for it. It is difficult to concentrate on anything but relieving your bladder!
When urine is stored in the bladder for too long it can become a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to a bladder infection which can in return, cause a lot of pain while peeing, feeling the urge to pee when you actually do not have to and cramping. In severe cases this infection can travel to the kidneys which has been known to also cause a lot of physical pain and fever. Holding in your pee too often, can progress to kidney disease. Not so enjoyable.
Over time, if you are someone who holds in your pee too often, you can actually lose control over your own bladder. This unfortunate physical weakness is know as voiding dysfunction. According to the Department of Urology at Cornell University in New York, voiding dysfunction is the lack of coordination between the bladder muscle (detrusor) and the urethra. Therefor, causing the bladder to leak without out bodies telling it to.
To learn more about this dysfunction, click here.
There have been rumors that if you hold your pee for too long, it will burst. Dr. Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical School puts this rumor to rest. "The bladder is a mighty strong muscle. It is unlikely to rupture just because you hit the snooze button a few extra times. It’s much more likely that the urge to go will eventually just take over, and you will urinate whether you want to or not."
All in all, our bodies are trying to tell us they need to eliminate contaminates in our body when nature call's. So answer. Try to get to the nearest toilet, FUD or tree.