Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Holding Your Pee Bad For You?

Also Known As: holding your urine



Short answer

Holding your pee is not bad for you, but as soon as you find a bathroom it's best you go!



Long answer

It happens to the best of us. You end up at the wrong place at the wrong time, not a bathroom in sight, and you are way past the "I gotta go" feeling. So, should you worry?

As you consume liquids throughout the day, your bladder begins to fill up. Receptors in the bladder wall send a signal to the brain when it's about half way full (anywhere from 50-500 mL depending on bladder size), telling us it's time to find a bathroom. They also alert the brain to hold the urine (using the detrusor muscle) until you safely arrive at a toilet. Those who are prone to urinary tract infections, should relieve themselves as soon as possible. When holding urine, bacteria in the bladder has the chance to multiply. This could result in an infection, but note that this is extremely rare and is more likely if you have a bad habit of "holding it".

In most cases, holding your pee in too long will simply lead to you wetting your pants. How long you can hold it completely depends on your bladder size and willpower. Myths also claim that holding your urine too long can rupture the bladder, however, research has proven this to be false.

Possible short-term side effects

  • uncomfortable
  • eventually wet pants
  • embarrassment

Possible long-term side effects

  • infection - very rare

Healthier alternatives

  • find a place to urinate

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Written by Kathan Natrajan | 12-27-2015

Written by Kathan Natrajan
Suggest improvement or correction

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