By Penny K
Where it comes to holding pee, I stand guilty as charged. The issue of holding in urine is a health-related topic we don’t talk about as often as we do today about sexual health and alternative therapy although it is one that’s worth its salt.
Holding in urine is more damaging to your body than you could probably imagine. In your mind, you think “I’m just going to do this one last thing before I go”, but not only are you putting your bladder through serious boot camp by testing its limits, you could potentially be infecting your urinary tract.
The urinary tract is made of four parts:
Kidneys that are fist-size organs in the middle of the back.
Ureters that drain urine from the kidneys.
Bladder is the reservoir to hold the urine until it is expelled.
Urethra is the tube that empties urine from the bladder to the outside.
Holding in urine can cause urinary tract infection (UTI)
An infection of the urinary tract usually occurs when bacteria from the digestive tract attaches to the outer opening of the urethra and begins to multiply. Most infections originate from a type of bacteria called Escherichia coli (E. coli), which normally lives in the colon. However, other types of bacteria such as Chlamydia and Mycoplasma can cause UTIs in both men and women, although these infections tend to remain limited to the urethra and the reproductive system. Bacteria can be introduced to the urinary tract in many ways (among others, catheters, contraception, hormones, hygiene, tight-fitting clothes, sexual intercourse) including holding in your urine. Waiting too long to pass urine causes it to stay in the bladder for a long time, germs can multiply, and worsen a UTI.
Women tend to suffer from UTIs more than men. This is because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women since the urethra is shorter in women than in men and bacteria have a shorter distance to travel. The outer opening of the urethra is also located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections.
Drinking plenty of fluids and urinating frequently is the way to go. Those few steps to the bathroom could save you all the trouble later on. The next time you tell yourself that it’s ok to hold your pee, perhaps thinking about the far-reaching consequences of doing so will help you let it go – in the loo, of course.