We are all familiar with situations when we are too busy to immediately follow our instinct to relieve ourselves. Whether it’s work, lectures or busy schedules, urine retention is something we consciously do on daily basis. As harmless as it may seem, this habit can lead to serious health complications in the long run.
The bladder is an expendable muscular sac that stretches and contracts depending on how much urine it accommodates. Its walls are lined with receptors to gauge how far it has expanded and send a signal to your brain informing it of your need to relieve yourself. The signal is normally sent when the bladder is about half full. However, it’s your brain that has the last word in determining when you’re actually going to pee. Depending on the situation, you may control yourself and ignore the stimulus from your bladder to your brain to urinate.
The Side-Effects of Putting Off Your Need to Pee
1# Urinary Tract Infection
UTI is the n.1 health issue that results from frequent putting off your need to urinate. This happens due to a bacteria buildup around the opening of your urethra. The urethra is the tube that transports the urine from the bladder to the outside, so when urine is retained, bacteria tend to enter it and accumulate. Frequent and regular urination is essential for eliminating bacteria out of the body and preventing bacteria growth.
2# Oversensitive bladder
There are a number of factors that influence one person’s bladder sensitivity and these most often include the food and drinks you consume. However, holding your urine in can also contribute to a sensitive bladder mainly because this affects the proper function of the receptors in the bladder walls. As the bladder expands to accommodate the increasing amounts of urine, the sensors or receptors become overactive, which results in having a frequent need to go to the toilet, at least more often than usual. This eventually leads to UTI as well.
3# Urinary retention
Urinary retention is a person’s inability to completely empty their bladder. Either acute or chronic, this is a potentially life-threatening condition accompanied by a lot of pain and discomfort. Chronic urinary retention lasts for a long time and can trigger other issues such as urinary incontinence – the inability to hold urine, as well as urinary tract infection.
What’s the longest you should hold?
There’s no written rule for this as this differs from person to person. However, from a medical point of view, whenever you feel the need to pee, just go – don’t put this off until you finish what you’re doing. You soon lose your urge and forget about it, but your bladder suffers all along.