What Actually Happens When You Hold In Your Pee Is Kind Of Scary

Health | Did You Know

What Actually Happens When You Hold In Your Pee Is Kind Of Scary


We have all held our pee for longer than we should have from one time to another. Whether it's inconvenience or just laziness, we've all done it at least once.

We all know it's not good for us, but do you know just how bad it is for you, and what the consequences are?

Your body can hold half a liter of pee before you feel like you have to go to the washroom. You get this feeling because your bladder wall is filled with tiny receptors and these receptors tell your brain when your bladder is at full capacity.

Luckily, most of us have the ability to sense that message and either go right then, or put it off. But what actually happens when we ignore that message our brain and bladder is trying to send us?

Doing this once in a while, for a short amount of time isn't a big deal. Your body is able to hold in the pee because your bladder tightens so your pee doesn't leak out of your urethra. These muscles work really well, but they begin to deteriorate the more you use them.

If you hold your pee in for a large amount of time, it exposes your body to potentially harmful bacteria, which can increase your chance of getting a urinary tract infection or bladder infection.

Although quite uncomfortable, a bladder infection is not the end of the world. If you carry this habit and hold in large amounts of urine very often, it could lead to long-term consequences that can be quite serious.

Here are some health consequences from holding in you pee:

Urinary retention

This happens when your bladder muscles get weakened. This condition prevents you from being able to fully empty your bladder when you pee. This means you will always have that uncomfortable feeling of having to pee.

Stretched out

Your bladder won't know what to do with the extra pee so it will begin to stretch out. With a stretched out bladder, your body may start missing cues that your bladder needs to be emptied, and those messages your brain sends to your body that it needs to go to the bathroom are important, because you might wet yourself without even knowing you had to pee.


You know that weird kind of hurt you feel when you have to pee really bad? Well that pain usually goes away right after we go to the bathroom and we get that feeling of relief. But when you hold your pee in for way too long, that pain may not go away. Your muscles are clenching and are almost in a spasm, so they're not able to just relax. Although this isn't very serious, the pain can last for a few days. Can you imagine having that pre-pee pain for days.. It hurts thinking about it.


Okay, don't freak you about this one. This probably won't happen but it has in the past. Tycho Brahe, a Danish astronomer and alchemist, died after his bladder burst open. He was at a dinner and didn't want to break etiquette by going to the bathroom. So, he refused to go to the bathroom, and once he went home and tried to go, he couldn't. He died soon after because his bladder exploded.

This is extremely unlikely to happen, so don't worry too much. Usually, if your bladder can't take it anymore, your bladder muscles will give out and you will pee yourself.

Although you won't die from holding your pee, that shouldn't be an okay to hold your pee for hours at a time when you have to go. If your bladder is telling you, you have to go - go! Although we have all been in situations where we can't go, whether it's a long car ride or an important meeting, sometimes it just needs to wait.

It will be okay to hold your pee once in a while if necessary, but go to the bathroom as soon as you can. And if you're just holding it to avoid getting off the couch, just do it, you'll feel a lot better after, (especially if you end up getting a UTI from holding it in).