“How long can I hold my pee?” is an age-old question that comes to both the minds of adults who just can’t seem to reach the restroom and children who are holding a contest to see who can go the longest without peeing.
While delaying your urge to pee by an hour or two won’t result in any health issues, it certainly is possible to hurt yourself by holding your pee for too long or by making a habit of not peeing when you feel the need to.
In this blog, we’ll take a quick glance at questions such as: How long can you hold your pee? What happens if you hold your pee too long? How long is too long to hold your pee?
About the Bladder
The bladder is an expandable organ that stores the urine it receives from the kidneys via the ureters. When the bladder expands to a certain extent, your brain receives a signal that indicates that you need to pee.
When you first feel the urge to pee, you still have some time before the bladder reaches its maximum capacity, in instances like this, your bladder will contract to hold the excess urine in. When you’re ready to pee, your brain sends a signal to the bladder to contract and squeeze the urine out through the urethra and out of the body.
How long can a person hold in their urine?
The amount of time a person can hold in their urine depends on various factors like how much they have had to drink, and what they have had to drink.
Ideally, you shouldn’t hold your pee in for longer than the time it takes to reach a restroom. A healthy bladder can hold up to 500 ml of urine before it's full. It takes your body almost 9 to 10 hours to produce 500 ml of urine. That’s about how long you can hold your urine and still be in the safe zone without damaging your organs.
How often should a person pee per day?
Frequency of urination differs widely from person to person. Typically, an average adult should pee six to eight times when they’re awake and no more than once per night after going to bed. An adult should pee about every 3 to 4 hours.
Can a person die from holding in urine?
If you are wondering what happens if you hold your pee for too long don’t worry—you cannot die from holding your urine. Your bladder will simply begin to release urine (that is, start the process of urination) if it isn’t able to hold it any longer.
In rare case scenarios, the increased pressure on the bladder wall can result in a burst bladder or a bladder rapture. A bladder rapture is a life-threatening condition and sufferers must receive medical attention immediately.
Holding in your pee for too long can also result in bladder dysfunction. By making a habit of holding in your pee for too long, your brain may fail to recognize when your bladder is actually full.
When you hold in your pee for too long, you are also holding in the harmful bacteria’s that are meant to be released from your body. This increases the probability of developing a Urinary Tract Infection or UTI.
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Issues that may affect your ability to pee
When you have trouble starting to pee or suffer from an inability to pee, it might be because of the following conditions:
Urinary Tract Infection or UTI
An enlarged prostate gland or Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
When to see a doctor
You should see a doctor if you have any trouble peeing. If your bladder functions in any abnormal fashion, it might be a symptom of some other underlying health problem and should be consulted with a doctor immediately.
You should see a doctor if you experience any of the following:
Frequently contacting UTIs
Waking up several times during the night to pee
Not being able to completely empty the bladder when you pee
Urinary incontinence or involuntary leaking of urine
As a general rule, empty your bladder when you feel the urge to pee. If you are having difficulty peeing or experience any symptoms that might be of a medical condition, speak with a doctor right away.