I can think of a hundred embarrassing situations when the urge to pee takes over, and all you can think is how do I ignore nature’s call. Personally, my capacity to hold urine is quite good (my record would be a whopping 6 hours), but there are times when my bladder will decide to go against me. For instance, when I’m on a road trip with my friends and finding a working public toilet is out of the question. Though the pressure isn’t enough to make me want to go to the bathroom real bad, it is precisely then that my bladder will try its hardest to remind me every 3 minutes that I should do something about it. But seriously, what other option does one have when they need to go and they can’t. I know what I would do, hold it in till I can find a toilet which I’m sure almost everyone does (especially the girls).
I’m sure the scenario I’ve talked about has happened to most of you and a lot of times you’ve wondered if this is a good thing or not. Well, this blog is going to talk about any doubt you may have regarding your bladder capacity and what exactly goes on inside your body when you hold your pee too long.
How much can your bladder take?
According to various studies, the average human bladder can hold 300 to 500 ml of urine which means that you (only) have to go to the bathroom around 6-7 times during the day. In simpler words, your bladder can comfortably hold 1-2 cups of water, and if you’re in the habit of holding your pee for more extended periods of time, your bladder might be able to retain more.
Since your bladder is also a muscle, there is only so much that it can take without being overworked so when you feel the urge to empty your bladder, you should do it.
Busting the myth before bursting the bladder
Have you heard about Tycho Brah, a 16th-century Danish nobleman? If you have, you’ve heard of various rumors related to his death, one of them being that he died from a burst bladder. Before you start recalling all the moments that you’ve had to hold in your pee, and wondering whether you’re next, let me tell you that he probably died from an infection, which brings me to my next point, holding your pee is more likely to might make you prone to a urinary tract infection.
When your bladder has to store urine for a more extended period, your body becomes a breeding ground for bacteria allowing them to build up and multiply. This can lead to infections that cause symptoms like frequent urination, pelvic pain, and a burning sensation when you urinate.
This means that you are unable to prevent your urine from leaking out. If you hold pee in too long, it is likely that it might add strain to your sphincters which are the muscles that control the flow of urine. It can result in urinary incontinence as your bladder will override your willpower and your brain’s attempt to delay urinating, and you’ll end up wetting your pants.
Those who have high mineral content in their urine such as uric acid and calcium oxalate are more likely to develop kidney stones. Kidney stones are also common in people who don’t consume enough liquids and if you hold in your pee too often.
Even though holding your pee now and then isn’t harmful to your health, it doesn’t mean that you should test the capacity of your bladder.