We have all experienced the discomfort of holding in a pee for too long, but did you know this can be dangerous for your body?
Whether you’re trapped in a work meeting or stuck in a queue for the toilet, holding in your wee can damage your pelvic floor and lead to a host of issues, warns intimate health guru Stephanie Taylor.
The average adult bladder can hold up to two cups of urine during the day before it is considered full, with a message sent to the brain when it is about a quarter full.
However, the health expert claims ignoring your bladder for long periods of time can actually be harmful.
"Holding in your wee too often can cause the muscles in your bladder to lose the ability to contract when you need them to, leading to urinary retention where you can’t empty your bladder – even when you’re bursting to go,” said Stephanie.
The founder ofKegel8added: "Not just that but it can also cause uncomfortable dryness (urogenital atrophy) and incontinence – where you pass urine without meaning to."
Harmful bacteria can build up if you hold your pee in for too long, which can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI).
These are usually uncomfortable, cause pain during urination and a constant urge to go to the toilet.
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Stephanie told the Sun: “If a UTI is left untreated and the infection spreads, it could turn into life-threateningsepsis .”
A healthy pelvic floor is important for urinary, bowel, and sexual health, and there are some tell-tale signs that something could be wrong.
These include leaking during a cough, sneeze, or exercise or constantly feeling the need to go for a wee, explained the health guru.
She added: "You may also notice pain in your pelvic area or pain during sex.
"Constipation or a straining pain during your bowel movements may also mean that your pelvic floor is weak.”
What solutions are available?
Stephanie recommends avoiding alcohol as it is a natural diuretic that increases water loss through urine.
Especially if you plan to attendoutdoor events and festivalsover the summer period.
She said: "Not only that, but alcohol can also irritate the bladder, which can make overactive bladder symptoms worse.
"If you’ve noticed that you need the loo more and more, consider cutting back on the number of drinks you have or set a limit at which you know you feel comfortable.”
A portable urine device can help out during desperate and awkward situations, advised the expert.
Stephanie also added that towards the end of your period, your pelvic floor muscles are at their weakest due to lower oestrogen levels – making you feel like you constantly need to use the toilet.
"Swapping your pad or tampon for a menstrual cup will hold five times more blood and hygienically last for up to 12 hours," she suggested.
A weak pelvic floor makes you constantly feel like you need the toilet.
Stephanie said: "If your pelvic floor muscles are too weak, you will find it difficult to hold urine. If you’re waiting in long lines at festivals, this can be particularly stressful.
"Strengthening these muscles over time can ensure you don’t constantly feel the urge to go."
Kegel exercises can strengthen your pelvic floor and support the bladder, helping you avoid leakage and improve bladder control.
These exercises involve contracting and relaxing your pelvic muscles three times a day for at least six weeks, explained Stephanie.
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