Why you shouldn’t hold your pee in for too long
It could lead to serious problems down the road.

Everyone needs to wait to use the bathroom from time to time.

Whether you’re in a meeting, on an airplane, at the store, laying comfortably in bed, or just in the middle of a really compelling tv show, we’ve all put off a trip to the bathroom for at least a few minutes.


But holding your pee too often or for too long can actually be pretty bad for your body.

Our urinary system rids our bodies of waste products and excess water.

Our bodies don’t need these things, so it’s helpful to expel them whenever possible.

The whole peeing process starts in our kidneys, which filter waste products out of our blood.

This matter then travels down through the ureters and into the bladder.


Your bladder is your friend. Trust us.

It’s something you want to treat well. Our bladders do the critical job of not just storing urine but preventing it from leaking out at inconvenient times!

What happens when you hold in your pee?

Your bladder can hold around 2 cups of urine before things start to feel urgent and get uncomfortable.

People who don’t get a chance to use the bathroom that often can actually stretch their bladders over time.

And that’s not a good thing.


Sure, it’s convenient to have a larger bladder, but stretching it out too much by skipping bathroom breaks can also affect your sphincter muscles.

Those are the muscles that allow you to clench hard enough to hold in your pee in an emergency.

If you start to overwork your external sphincter muscles, they can weaken over time.

And this prevents you from being able to control what comes out and when. Luckily, doing this kind of damage takes a long time of bad bathroom habits.

What are the risks of holding in pee for too long?

Holding in your pee occasionally isn’t likely to do your body much harm (but it isn’t going to do you any favors either!).

But the longer you carry on with the habit, the more you affect your ability to control your bladder.


Another risk of holding in urine is that it’s harder to empty it fully.

When this happens, you’ll need to use the bathroom even more often.

But the main problem with holding in urine is that it’s full of toxins you don’t want in your body.

Holding it in too long gives it the chance to breed harmful bacteria that can cause infections in your urinary tract.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

In extreme cases, urine can even back up into your kidneys, which can affect their ability to do their jobs.

While this could be fatal if the situation gets bad enough, it’s tough to hold your pee for so long that it messes up your kidneys.

You’re far more likely to have an “accident” first.

What can we say? Sometimes our bodies need to take over and make good decisions for us.

How will you know if you’re holding your pee too long?

Holding in urine requires effort since your brain constantly sends you signals to pee, so it’s unlikely that you won’t notice that you need to use the bathroom.

There’s really no way to time it because everyone’s urinary system works at a different rate, and the amount of time you can hold it in depends on your particular body.

Flickr - Marco Verch Professional Photographer
Flickr - Marco Verch Professional Photographer

However, if you start to notice discomfort near your kidneys or throughout your urinary tract, it’s best to clean up your bathroom habits.

And you should talk to a doctor about a possible infection if you experience a burning sensation while urinating, cloudy or bloody urine, unusually strong-smelling urine, or pelvic pain.

Check out the video below for more information!

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