Is it safe to hold your pee?

 In Medical & Health

The urinary system, commonly referred to as the renal system, plays a vital role in maintaining the internal balance of the body. This system, which consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra, is responsible for filtering waste materials from the blood, regulating fluid balance, and removing toxins through urine.

The bladder is a pear-shaped, hollow organ that is a part of the urinary system. The bladder’s role is to store urine until a person is ready to use the toilet.

The capacity of the human bladder varies slightly between individuals, healthy adult bladder can hold about 1.5-2 cups or 300-400 millilitres (ml) of urine during the day. At night, the bladder can hold up to about 4 cups or 800 ml. Children have smaller bladders because their bodies are still growing.

A healthy bladder can stretch and accommodate large amounts of urine. However, it is better for a person to urinate at regular intervals.

When the bladder is half full, it sends a signal to the brain that it is time to urinate. The brain creates the urge to urinate when told to hold the bladder. Ignoring the need to urinate disrupts this complex process and sets the stage for various health problems.

The Dangers of Holding Your Pee

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) : When you hold your pee, you allow bacteria to multiply in the stagnant urine that accumulates in your bladder. This increases the risk of developing painful urinary tract infections that affect various parts of the urinary tract, causing discomfort and requiring medical attention.
  • Bladder Dysfunction : Regularly delaying urination can weaken your bladder muscles over time. This can lead to decreased bladder capacity, inefficient emptying and increased chances of urinary retention.
  • Kidney Health : Kidneys filter waste from the blood and produce urine. Retention of urine can cause waste products to accumulate and compromise kidney function and health.
  • Incontinence : Ironically, holding your pee can weaken the muscles responsible for bladder control. This can lead to urinary incontinence, involuntary leakage and affect your self-confidence.
  • Chronic Pelvic Pain : The pressure buildup from urine retention can lead to chronic pelvic discomfort. Your quality of life may be negatively impacted by this persistent discomfort. People who regularly ignore the urge to pee may feel pain or discomfort in their bladder or kidneys. When a person finally reaches the bathroom, it may also be painful to urinate (painful Micturition). Muscles may spasm partially after passing urine, leading to pelvic cramps.
  • Damage to pelvic floor muscles : Frequent urinary retention can harm the pelvic floor muscles. One of these muscles is the urethral sphincter, which closes the urethra to prevent urine from leaking out. Damage to this muscle can lead to urinary incontinence. Performing pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels can help strengthen these muscles, and repair muscle loss, or prevent leaks.
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