Have you ever had the urge to pee but couldn't because there was no place for you to go? Going to the bathroom is a necessity for everyone but some the place to go is just not available. In most cases, holding the urge to pee for a short time isn’t harmful, however, holding it for a long period and ignoring the urge might increase the risk for certain problems which can be detrimental to your bladder and health in general. Below are 10 dangers of holding in your pee for a long time.
One of the worst things that could happen to your bladder when holding your pee for too long is that it could burst and cause urine to leak into your abdomen, which can result in death from peritonitis. Although bladder rupture is very rare and usually only occurs with trauma, it could happen from something as trivial as bumping into a kitchen counter with an over-distended bladder.
Think of your external sphincter muscles as the gatekeepers to your bladder that control when you empty your bladder and how much liquid exits. When you urinate, holding your external sphincter muscles tightly will keep urine in while relaxing them allows it to escape down.
Over time, sphincter muscles can become loose because of holding in pee too frequently, which stretches the muscle. Loose sphincter muscles can lead to a leaky bladder, which can be embarrassing at times. Conversely, damaged sphincter muscles may also have trouble relaxing, leaving the bladder unable to release its contents.
3. Stretched Bladder
If your bladder becomes too full for long periods, the liquid causes the muscles and membranes to stretch around it, making it more difficult for you to pee in the future because the bladder has lost its elasticity. In severe cases, a tube is required to aid in excretion.
4. Bladder Pain Syndrome
This causes inflammation and pain in the bladder where the urine is stored. People with this condition tend to urinate more often and usually with smaller volumes of urine than most people. It's usually caused by a bacterial infection and the common symptoms include painful pelvis, persistent urge to urinate, and in some cases urinating more than 60 times a day. There's currently no cure for this condition but treatment is given to ease the symptoms.
5. Loss of Bladder Control
This happens when your body struggles to control the urge to visit the washroom. Something as simple as a sneeze or a cough could cause a leak. It’s caused by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that are located between your legs and are shaped like a sling and hold all your pelvic organs in place including your bladder.
6. Bladder Stones
Bladder stones are hard masses of minerals in your bladder that develop when the minerals in concentrated urine crystallize and form stones. This often happens when you have trouble completely emptying your bladder or you hold your pee for too long. Small bladder stones may pass without treatment but sometimes bladder stones need medication or surgery.
7. Abdominal Pain
Another consequence of holding your pee is abdominal pain. You know that painful feeling when you need to visit the washroom then finally you do and it disappears? While holding on for too long can mean that, awful pain in your lower abdomen continues once the pain signals have been triggered in the lower abdomen. The pain may stick around your muscles, are holding tightly, and are almost in a spasm so they're unable to relax. It can take longer before the pain subsides, maybe even days.
8. Damage to Kidney Function
The first order of damage when you hold your pee voluntarily or involuntarily is to the bladder; it can over-distend and cause injury to the bladder wall. If that goes on long enough the pressure inside your bladder can build and get transmitted up to the upper tracks of the kidney, which are then damaged as well. If that goes on long enough, it can start to damage your kidney function.
9. Kidney Stones
You've definitely heard of this painful condition before kidney stones are formed when waste products in the blood form crystals and develop over time. They're more common if you don't drink enough liquids and hold your pee too often. Most kidney stones are small enough to be passed painfully in your pee but some may require surgery to be removed. If you have kidney stones, you may experience a persistent ache in your lower back, nausea and pain and blood when you pee.
One potential risk of holding pee in too long is getting a urinary tract infection. Whether you're busy at work, running around doing errands or driving long distances, it's important to remember not to hold urine in. Urine that remains in the bladder for longer periods places you at a greater risk for an infection in the urinary tract
If you're a bathroom procrastinator, in the middle of finishing an important task or just hooked up in a video game, just get up and go to the washroom to empty your bladder and save yourself from a lot of bladder troubles.
Thanks for reading. See you in the next article.
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