As newborns, infants and toddlers, we eventually start to learn how to control our bladders only as we grow older. At the initial point, peeing is uncontrolled simply because our brain only knows that when we have to go, it’s time to go, and for many of us, we’ll need to go around 6 or 7 times a day.
After some training we learn to control when we go, and how long we’re able wait before we get to a bathroom. Sometimes however, we wait a little too long either because we were too busy or no facilities nearby.
But holding it in isn’t necessarily a bad thing, until it becomes a habit. That’s when problems begin to arise, some more severe than others. These are the negative changes that occur when you stop yourself from peeing when you ought to.
Your Bladder Can Only Take So Much
Your bladder is only capable of holding so much and it that is about two cups of water comfortably. The quantitiy is much lesser for kids, about half a cup of water.
Your bladder is a muscle which when overworked can affect other things such as your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor muscle is what controls whether or not you’re going to keep urine in, or let it out. That is why you should go when you have to, to avoid going back to your infant days.
Your Bladder Stretches
Believe it or not, the more you put off emptying your bladder, the more it stretches out. Once the bladder stretches, your brain can lose its ability to know when you have to go. The critical message your bladder sends to your brain when it’s time for you to go peeing, can go unnoticed. Which could potentially mean…
Uncontrolled peeing is embarassing and could possibly be the worst case scenario. As your bladder gets fuller and fuller, there’s a good chance you aren’t going to make it to the bathroom on time. A lot of us have experienced that barely made it scenerio where the bathroom line may have been just slightly too long, after you sprinted to get there.
This is more likely to happen to young children and the elderly, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you if you push your bladder too far.
Your Muscles Could Stay Clenched
Not only will you cause yourself discomfort by holding in your urine, but the muscle doing all the work can end up staying clenched. Holding your pee for too long can cause lower abdominal pain which can stay around longer than you would like.
Urinary Tract Infections
About half of all women will have a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) at least once in their lives. These infections occur because bacteria has made its way into the urinary tract, which then causes symptoms like burning, the need to urinate frequently, and pelvic pain, among others.
But UTI’s aren’t actually a direct result of holding in your pee for too long. If you don’t empty your bladder enough, your body becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which can then cause a UTI.
Your Kidneys Can Become damaged
Your bladder connects to your urinary system, which includes your kidneys. The kidneys create urine from the excess water in the blood stream, and by filtering waste. The Kidney and Urology Foundation says that if urine travels back up the tubes that connect your bladder to your kidneys, it can cause infections and kidney damage.
In long term cases of holding in your pee, elastic tissue can become damaged and eventually be replaced by scar tissue, which then can cause kidney damage down the road.