When you gotta go, you gotta go! But what happens if you don’t?
Stuck in a horrible jam, fidgeting uncomfortably in the cinemas until the movie ends or refusing to enter dirty toilets – for whatever reasons, we’ve all “held it in” before!
That in mind, does holding off urinating do any damages to our bodies? Or more interestingly, what about the belief that your bladder will explode if you hold it in too long?
First things first, don’t worry about exploding – it is entirely a myth. The origin of this saying dates back to Tycho Brahe – a famous astronomer who reputedly died from a burst bladder after he refused to leave a banquet table in fear of being rude. However, after years of investigation, most theories and scientists have concluded that the cause of his death is mostly linked to bladder infection, mercury poisoning, or both.
However, that’s not to say that it’s all right to hold in your pee. Below are some health concerns that might from delayed urination.
Urinary Tract Infections.
Urinary Tract Infection, or commonly known as UTI, is caused by an infection in parts of the urinary tract. Having UTI is a very painful ordeal – you’d feel a strong urge to pee, pain in your urethra, blood-streaked urine, or a burning sensation when you use the bathroom.
As shared by Dr. Bali of Toronto Naturopathic Health Clinic, “the longer you hold your urine, the bladder can become a breeding ground for bacteria to grow.” Said bacteria might lead to infections, which can spread to kidneys and then cause greater damages to the body.
More commonly known as Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS), this broad term is used to describe conditions where there is a lack or poor coordination between the bladder muscle and the urethra. This might lead to symptoms such as wetting yourself (incontinence), difficulty emptying and filling the bladder, symptoms during sex and poor quality of life.
Urinary Incontinence (UI) is the loss of urine control. Common in older people, this inability to hold in your urine until you can reach a restroom might be due to past UTIs, which resulted from holding in your pee.
The bottom line is this: if you have the urge, it is recommended to just go and locate a restroom.