IT’S easy to do, especially if you are far away from the loo.
But holding in your pee is actually quite bad for your health.
You should always go to the toilet when you feel the need to
Now, we aren’t suggesting you just let it out wherever you are, but you should make sure you find a toilet as soon as you feel yourself needing to go.
In a healthy adult, occasionally holding in your wee shouldn’t do any damage, it’s when you do it all the time that you could cause yourself some problems.
When your bladder fills with liquid it sends a signal to the brain telling you that you need to pee, and your brain also sends a signal back telling your bladder to hold on – otherwise things could get really messy.
But if you hold on for too long you could suffer these problems.
In very rare circumstances your bladder may burst from holding in your wee too much
1. A burst bladder
Yes, this is as horrifying as it sounds.
It’s incredibly rare and unlikely to happen to you, but your bladder can burst if you hold in your wee too much.
When the bladder bursts urine will fill the abdomen and you will require emergency surgery to fix it.
But it is more likely that your bladder will simply stretch or the muscles will become weaker, causing you to wet your pants.
Needless to say, if you think this has happened to you then speak to a doctor straight away.
Studies have shown that holding your wee in for too long can cause the bacteria responsible for UTIs
Anyone who has ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI) will tell you that you absolutely do not want one.
UTIs happen when the urinary tract becomes infected, usually by bacteria.
They can cause pain, burning and stinging when weeing, an urgent need to pee, urine that’s dark and strong smelling and pain in your lower tummy.
Studies have shown that holding your wee in for too long can cause the bacteria responsible for the infection to multiply.
If you don’t drink enough water, don’t pee after sex or don’t pee often enough you are at a greater risk of developing a UTI.
If you have a UTI you may need antibiotics from a GP.
Holding in your wee can weaken your pelvic floor muscles, leading to incontinence
Something no one wants to experience.
Incontinence is when your body struggles to control the urge to go to the toilet.
A simple sneeze or a cough can cause you to leak a bit of pee, and it is more common in women who have given birth.
It is caused by a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles,
The pelvic floor muscles are located between your legs, and run from the pubic bone at the front to the base of your spine.
They are shaped like a sling and hold all your pelvic organs in place, including your bladder.
But the muscles can become weaker if you frequently hold in your pee.
In order to maintain your strength down there you should go to the toilet whenever you need to and practice pelvic floor exercises like kegels.
Holding in your wee can also cause kidney stones to develop
4. Kidney stones
You’ve definitely heard of this painful condition before.
Kidney stones are formed when waste products in in the blood form crystals and develop over time.
They are more common if you don’t drink enough liquids and if you hold in your pee too often.
Most kidney stones are small enough to be passed out – albeit painfully – in your wee, but some may require surgery to remove them.
If you have kidney stones you may experience a persistent ache in your lower back, nausea, pain when you wee and blood in your wee.
Speak to your doctor if you think you have kidney stones.
Your bladder can stretch if you hold in your wee, which can make it difficult for it to empty properly
5. Stretched bladder
Somewhat related to a burst bladder and pelvic floor muscles, your bladder can actually stretch if you don’t pee often enough.
It makes sense when you think about it, your bladder becomes too full and the liquid causes the muscles and membranes to stretch around it – think like water in a balloon.
But when this happens it may make it more difficult for you to release pee normally in the future because the bladder doesn’t bounce back to it’s original shape.
In severe cases a person may need a catheter to help them go to the loo.
If you hold in your wee too much you may experience pain in general.
We are all familiar with that sensation telling us we need to go to the toilet, but that can travel further up into the bladder or kidneys and become more painful.
Your muscles may also stay clenched after you have gone to the loo – because they held on for so long they can find it difficult to relax.