The answer to how much urine the bladder can hold depends on many factors, including your age, health, and how much liquid you've consumed.
Stress incontinence, a disorder where pee leaks due to increased strain on the pelvic floor, affects one-third of women over 35. At around half of all women over 65, that percentage rises.
This article will answer how much urine the bladder can hold, as well as dive into what happens when you hold your pee.
How Much Urine Can Your Bladder Hold?
The average person can hold about two cups or 16 ounces of urine in their bladder. However, some people have a more robust pelvic floor and can bear more, while others have a weaker pelvic floor and may need to go more frequently. People with bladder problems may only be able to hold a small amount before needing to go.
When the bladder is full, it puts pressure on the kidneys. This pressure may cause pain in the lower abdomen. The average bladder size for adults is 16 to 24 ounces. It's important to note that the amount of urine a healthy bladder can hold is not the same for everyone. It depends on age and health.
How Often Should You Urinate?
It depends on a few things, including how much fluid you're consuming and how much urine your body produces. The average person urinates six to eight times a day. However, some people may need to urinate more or less often, depending on their circumstances. For example, if you're pregnant or have an infection, you may need to urinate more frequently.
Typically, if you drink eight glasses of water a day, you will pee 4 to 6 times daily. Further, dehydration and hydration also impact how often you urinate. The more hydrated you are, the faster your kidneys produce urine. It's essential to stay hydrated throughout the day with fluids like water, juice, or tea.
Is it Safe to Hold Pee?
No, it is not suitable for your health to hold in your pee. While it is not necessarily harmful to do so occasionally, retaining your urine for too long can lead to some problems. These include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and even renal failure.
So, while you may get away with holding it in every once in a while, it is best to relieve yourself as soon as you feel the urge. It is especially vital if you're experiencing any symptoms like an increased frequency of urination or pain during urination.
Risks of Holding Your Urine or Retaining Urine
When you hold your urine, you retain waste products that your body is trying to eliminate. Doing so increases the time these toxins are in contact with your bladder walls, leading to irritation and inflammation.
Holding your urine can also strain your pelvic floor muscles unnecessarily. This strain may lead to problems like urinary incontinence. Below are other risks of retaining urine:
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Urinary retention (inability to empty your bladder)
- Urethritis (infection of the urethra)
- Decreased sexual function
- A higher risk for type 2 diabetes
- Formation of kidney stones
Overactive Bladder (OAB)
Overactive bladder or OAB is a condition in which the human bladder muscles contract too often, yielding a more than usual frequent urge to urinate. It's important to note that bladder conditions like overactive bladder are common symptoms of other health problems.
Overactive bladder results from issues with your urinary tract, which may result from an infection, diabetes, or Parkinson's disease. If you are pregnant, you should pee when the urge arises. This need is because pregnancy already puts you at risk of UTIs, and holding your pee can increase that risk.
Urinary incontinence occurs when you can't control your urine flow and experience leakage when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles may help to avoid passing urine.
You can also boost your pelvic floor muscle through vibration therapy. In this technique, a specific body area focuses on localized vibration therapy.
Urinary Incontinence vs. Overactive Bladder
Overactive bladder is usually a condition in which the bladder can no longer hold urine. You might often feel a sudden urge to urinate if you have an overactive bladder. Urinary incontinence occurs when one can't regulate their bladder's contents.
Urinary incontinence is a symptom of the condition. Incontinence can result from simple acts like drinking too much fluid with failure to control the urine flow. It may also indicate a more severe condition, like a urinary tract infection (UTI).
To achieve better bladder control, some people try bladder training. One way to train your bladder is to urinate at set intervals throughout the day, even if you don't feel the urge.
Start with shorter periods, like every 30 minutes, and gradually increase the time between bathroom breaks. You can also try double voiding, which means going to the bathroom and then waiting a few minutes before going again. It helps empty your bladder more completely.
If you are experiencing bladder leakage or other problems, it is important to consult your doctor to develop a treatment program.
Although you may be able to hold your pee for a while, it is not advisable to do so. When you feel the urge to go, it is best to do so as soon as possible. Holding it in can cause urinary tract infections, kidney damage, and other health problems.