Sure, you have places to be and people to see. Your to-do list is mighty long and you’ve barely met your daily target. So you decide that some things can take a backseat, including emptying your bladder. If it’s not urgent, it’s not worth the two minutes, right?
Wrong. Holding your pee for too long can have some effects on your health. If you form a habit of ignoring your bladder until you’re close to exploding, this can be very dangerous.
A healthy adult bladder can hold up to two cups of urine. So the good news is that if you had a cup of coffee, you’re probably fine for a while. But if you’ve had more three more cups of any kind of liquid with no restroom in sight, you’re playing with fire.
When you hold your pee, the cylindrical sphincters in your bladder close up tightly to keep all of the urine from leaking through your urethra. These little muscles do a great job when you need them to. However, if you work them too long and too often, they can weaken over time. And these can lead to other side effects including;
Weakened urethral sphincters
When those sphincters are overworked, they lose the ability to do their jobs effectively. This means, as time goes on, your body won’t be able to hold in as much urine and you’ll have the urge to urinate even more frequently. This can also cause a condition known as urinary incontinence, where you sometimes pass urine unexpectedly such as when you cough, sneeze or laugh.
Holding in pee may lead to the formation of kidney stones in people with a history of the condition or those with high mineral content in their urine.
Urinary tract infections
Holding your pee a lot can also increase your likelihood of developing infections including UTIs. This is even more likely if you’re prone to them.
In summary, holding your pee occasionally is likely harmless. The risks are only increased when you do so regularly.