Whether it’s during a long car trip, waiting in queue or simply because we are busy, many of us are guilty of holding onto our bladders.
However, waiting to visit the toilet can have real affects on our bodies which worsen over time. If you frequently hold your bladder, or do so for extended periods of time, here’s what to know.
Your bladder can retain up to 500mL of urine before the “need to go” arises. Receptors within the walls of your bladder will alert your brain that it’s time for a toilet trip.
However, toilet training throughout our childhood enables us to “hold”. If you choose not to use the bathroom, sphincters throughout your urethra will clamp tightly shut.
Doing this too often though can have long-term affects. Putting undue pressure on your bladder and urethra can lead to problems like “urinary retention” and “UTIs”.
Urinary retention is the inability to empty your bladder completely, a problem which can be quite uncomfortable for mature-age people.
Meanwhile, “UTIs” are urinary tract infections. These are more likely to occur within people who hold their urine, because their bladder muscles are weaker and attract more bacteria.
In extreme cases, holding on to your bladder for too long can result in your body overriding the brain, and leaving you with an embarrassingly wet pair of knickers.
Bladders have also been known to burst in sick or elderly people who have “held on” too long. So next time nature calls, heed its warning for your own health and wellbeing.