Though the bladder is without a doubt a key part of your general health, you're unlikely to pay much attention to it at all if it's working properly. A properly-working bladder will allow you to hold around 16 ounces of urine, but it's going to start drawing attention to itself when it's about half full under most circumstances. When you answer its call and void your bladder, being able to do so promptly, with a decent stream, without pain or discomfort, and without any involuntarily leakages in between trips to the toilet are your basic signs that your bladder is serving you well.
Is Holding Your Urine In When You Have The Urge Bad For You?
It happens to all of us — we feel the, sometimes even quite desperate, urge to pee, but the situation simply really doesn't lend itself to actually doing it right there and then. Is it bad to have to jump up and doing hoping you don't pee yourself for half an hour?
Let's put it this way: the body is pretty clever (if you want to assign it intelligence, of course), and the urge to urinate doesn't simply come when your bladder reaches a certain volume under all circumstances. Most people are, for instance, able to continue sleeping at night even when their bladder is already quite full. This does not do us any harm, and in fact allows us to get the sleep we need. During the day time, your body will start signaling much earlier. Unless you have any urinary tract problems at all — whether related to your kidneys, prostate, or bladder — this will not do you any harm.
In fact, training your bladder to last longer between urination sessions is a key part of interstitial cystitis treatment, and it is also something young children learn as they are working on becoming potty trained.
People should not, on the other hand, habitually ignore the warning signs that it's time to void their bladders by holding their urine in for prolonged periods of time. This can lead to bacterial proliferation and increased risk of urinary tract infections, as well as a weakening of the muscles involved in holding your pee in over time. (This can, in turn, cause you not to be able to hold them in very well at all in the long run!)
Bottom line: If you hold your pee in occasionally and you have a healthy urinary tract, there is nothing to be worried about.
What If You Hold Your Pee In Because Urinating Is Hard Or Painful?
Research has shown that many people experiencing urinary tract symptoms fail to report them to their doctors and instead try to manage their symptoms on their own, because they are embarrassed.
If you actually find that your urinary stream is slow or sprays, if you find it hard to start peeing or need to strain to be able to go, or if urinating is painful for you, it's a sign that you have a problem. It could be one of numerous things, from bladder outlet obstruction and interstitial cystitis to bladder cancer. Never let worries about your doctor's opinion of you rob you of the chance to receive a diagnosis — and the treatment you need. They have seen it all before and will be glad you help you.
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