We have all said it at one time or another; lemme go to the bathroom before I leave “just in case”. Then in our mind and in our bladder we feel better. And for some, this happens only once in awhile but for others, it can become more of a habitual thing that is, going just in case. So what’s the big deal?
When it comes to controlling urinary leakage, having good bladder habits is just as important to staying dry as it is to do Kegels. However, there is a longtime misconception that if we hold our urine in the bladder for too long, we could get a bladder infection. So it only seems natural that we would want to avoid this at all costs and well, pee whenever we have the opportunity “just in case”.
Unfortunately, peeing just in case could lead you to urinary frequency and may even make you question whether you have overactive bladder. To set the record straight with what we know about the infection misconception today, I asked Dr Google the question (disclaimer; I am a avid researcher of current evidence and use only highly reputable resources). So far, research shows that holding urine is not a likely a cause of infection. However holding too long can lead to other issues like urinary leakage, or bladder pain. What else did Dr.. Google say on the question of how long is safe? What I found is that there is no guideline of what is a safe amount of time to hold your bladder!
What we do know is that bladder infection, or cystitis, is an inflammation or infection of the bladder. And that a urinary tract infections (UTIs) may occur when the conditions are right for bacteria make their way into the bladder via the urethra, the tube that urine travels through to exit the body. A woman is more likely to get a bladder infection because they have a shorter urethra than a man. Sexual activity is also a common cause of UTIs and bladder infections for women and men. Bladder infections may make you to feel like you have to pee all the time — one of the most common symptoms of these infections is feeling the urge to urinate very frequently. As I have mentioned in past tidBits, sometimes the urge can occur stronger and sooner than normal depending on what we eat or drink. As always, if you are experiencing unusual urinary frequency and urgency, it is best to follow up with your healthcare provider sooner than later to get things checked out.
A Girlfriend’s Guide Self- Hack
If you are going ” just in case”, ask yourself “do I really need to go or can I wait (5 more minutes or till the next errand)?”. Remember, we feel the 1st sensation of urge to void when our bladder is about 1/2 to 1 cup full. But our bladders can hold up to 2 cups of fluid. At that capacity, you will feel undoubtedly full. So ask yourself again, “Am I full” or “how much did I drink” or “is this the coffee irritating my bladder”. The reason for the questions is to stop and think about your next step. Too often, we act on the convenience of having a bathroom close by and can be tempted to “go” just by seeing a toilet, even when it’s not necessary! Be mindful of your bladder and attentive to what the urge is really telling you. The sensation of urinary urge is primal and can cause us to fear the potential of an embarrassing situation…leakage! If you have an episode of leakage, that keeps this fear cycling and thus, more trips “just in case”.
I could go on forever on this,.. email me if you have questions and I can discuss in the next newsletter or hit me up with an email, I would love to hear from you.
With a grateful heart,
Looking for more tidbits on intriguing topics? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter below:
Don’t worry, I don’t even know how to spam!