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Why You Need to Let It Flow….When You Gotta Go

By DuPage Medical Group Urology

Whether you are trying to avoid a public restroom, or just busy at your desk answering emails, don’t procrastinate when it comes to having to tinkle. While you probably don’t want to give in to every slight sensation that could send you to the bathroom, ultimately you need to maintain healthy voiding habits.

Urinating is a completely natural process that allows your body to eliminate excess waste product that it doesn’t need. Most people’s bladders can hold about two cups of urine before feeling the urge to go. Ultimately how often you need to go (most people need to go roughly every 3-6 hours) will depend on the amount of urine your body produces which is determined by your hydration status (fluid intake), actual size of your bladder and bladder sensitivity.

While having to “take a leak” doesn’t always occur at the most convenient times, holding in your urine for long periods could actually lead to medical consequences in some cases.

  • Weakened Bladder Muscles
    • Constantly ignoring your urge to go can weaken your bladder muscles. This can lead to urinary retention, a condition that prevents you from being able to fully empty your bladder when you urinate, which makes you feel like you have to go all the time.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
    • Holding in large amounts of urine for extended periods of time exposes your body to bacteria that can be harmful to your body. Commonly, those that hold in their urine are more likely to develop urinary tract infections (UTIs) as well as encounter frequent and painful urination.
  • Kidney Stones
    • It has been found that people who don’t urinate regularly and hold in their pee are more likely to develop kidney stones. These are tiny “stones” that form in the kidneys from excess sodium or calcium. If these minerals aren’t regularly expelled via urine, they become stones and are extremely painful when leaving the body via the urinary tract.
  • Cystitis
    • This problem primarily affects women and occurs due to inflammation of the bladder walls, which is commonly referred to as cystitis. Symptoms include pain in the pelvis and burning and pain while urinating.

Many times, conditions related to “holding it” are not life-threatening until they actually are. In very extreme cases, your bladder can actually burst; however, this occurs very rarely and most times you would wet yourself prior to that happening.

Bottom line…if you gotta go…..you gotta go. Don’t hold in your urine for long periods of time. Get to the restroom in a timely manner in order to maintain optimal bladder health.

If you are suffering from a bladder related condition, know that there are treatments that can help. Schedule an appointment with a DMG urologist by calling 630-790-1221.

Topics and Subtopics: Bladder Health

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