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Share All Share Options For: You Can Train Yourself To Pee Less Often – And 8 Other Surprising Facts About Peeing
What Happens If You Pee Yourself In A Car Accident
There are many mysterious aspects to peeing – starting with the color of your urine, how long you can keep it safe and if “breaking the seal” is a real thing.
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With this in mind, I spoke with NYU urologist Benjamin Brooker to ask some of the toughest questions about urine.
As your blood is pumped through your kidneys, the organs collect excess water. At the same time, they also filter out several different types of waste: a molecule called urea (made from nitrogen, a byproduct of your cells’ metabolism), chloride, sodium, potassium, and creatinine.
All of this flows into a small muscular sac: your bladder. “The bladder is made up of many different muscles, cells, nerve endings and blood vessels,” says Brooker. “The urge to urinate comes primarily from stretch receptors in the bladder that send a signal to the brain when the bladder reaches a certain size, telling you it’s time to urinate.”
Recent research with MRIs has shown that this communication system is quite complex: signals are processed by five to seven different areas of the brain, which send signals that cause your bladder muscles to contract and your urethral sphincter (ring-shaped pair) to contract. . muscles) drain urine from your bladder into the urethra) to relax.
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“This system is the reason humans are able to be continous—why we don’t urinate immediately when we have to urinate,” says Brooker.
There is a widespread belief that, ideally, your urine should be perfectly clear at all times – a sign that you are well hydrated. In reality, however, completely clear urine may be a sign that you are actually drinking a lot of water.
“Generally, if a person is well hydrated, the urine will be on the clear side, and if they are less hydrated, it will be darker,” says Brooker. “But it’s a myth that you should always be very well hydrated and clean. For most people, I just say ‘drink when thirsty’.”
Doctors generally recommend that your urine be a “pale straw” or transparent yellow color, although it’s not a big deal if it’s a little darker or lighter (unless you have a condition that requires you to stay hydrated all the time). . Other colors – such as pink, red, orange or green – may be a sign of kidney or liver disorders, or may be the result of food coloring in what you ate.
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No matter how long you can urinate after holding it for a few minutes, your bladder may be too small for you to realize.
“Some people have bigger bladders, some people have smaller bladders, but a normal adult’s bladder is somewhere between 300 and 600 milliliters,” Brooker says. “For comparison, I often compare it to a can of Coke.”
Although it’s generally good practice to go when you have to, if the occasion calls for you to hold it for a while, it probably won’t hurt you.
“Purinating at regular intervals—say, every four to five hours—is probably the healthiest,” Brooker says. “That said, in a normal, healthy patient with no medical problems, would you really harm your body by keeping it for a short period of time? You probably wouldn’t.”
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That’s definitely a myth, meanwhile, keeping it in for too long can cause your bladder to burst (unless you’ve recently had a bladder reconstruction from other body tissue due to bladder cancer). There’s also no evidence that keeping it longer increases the risk of UTIs (more on that below).
The reason is twofold. One is that contrary to popular belief, urine is not sterile. Drinking it carries the risk of infection from the bacteria that live in it.
Another reason is that besides water, everything else in urine is waste that your body is trying to get rid of. Normally, it is only 5 percent urine, but if you are dehydrated, it will make up a larger percentage. Taking in too much urea and other waste products makes you more tired and puts you at risk of kidney failure as the organs work to filter twice (or more) the normal amount.
Although there are many miraculous survival stories involving someone drinking their own urine, most survival experts—U.S. With the Army Survival Manual—recommends not trying it.
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Additionally, people have occasionally advocated drinking their own urine as a way to treat various diseases, including cancer. However, the American Cancer Society confirms that there is no evidence that drinking urine is an effective way to cure cancer.
Finally, there is the somewhat related idea that if you are stung by a jellyfish, urinating on the site of the sting is an effective remedy. As it turns out, this is a myth perpetuated by episodes of Friends — and scientists agree that it probably won’t be effective.
Both women and men can get urinary tract infections, but women get them more often for basic anatomical reasons: their urethras are shorter and located much closer to the anus, which makes it easier for bacteria to jump from one to the other and travel to the bladder. . Usually this e. coli bacteria, although in about 5 to 10 percent of cases it is staphylococcus.
Unfortunately, the activity that actually spreads the bacteria the most is sex—among menopausal women who are sexually active, researchers estimate that sex is responsible for about 75 to 90 percent of UTIs. Using a diaphragm or spermicide makes someone more likely to get a UTI, but despite conventional wisdom, there’s no evidence that urinating or showering after sex, using condoms, or using birth control pills increases the chance. There is some evidence that drinking cranberry juice may help prevent them, but the effect appears to be small.
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A dose of antibiotics is usually effective in controlling the infection, but rarely kills the bacteria completely: 44 percent of women have a second episode within a year of the first treatment.
“I see a lot of patients with frequent urinary complaints or an overactive bladder,” says Brooker. “But mostly it’s a matter of breaking the habit of peeing every chance they get, because then they’re peeing 25 times a day.”
Holding it for a while instead of when you feel the need to urinate will gradually strengthen both the mental communication circuit responsible for keeping your bladder empty and the actual muscles that allow you to do so. (It’s probably a myth, however, that holding it in stretches your bladder so it can pass more urine in the future.)
If you’re stuck in a situation where you need to hold it for a particularly long time, there are a few things you can do. WikiHow’s beautifully illustrated guide has some interesting tips: It’s okay to cross your legs when you’re standing, but not when you’re sitting (because lifting your thighs up to your stomach will put more pressure on your bladder). Don’t move too much, don’t drink anything, and try to think about something completely unrelated to your urge to pee.
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If all else fails, there’s a secret move you can pull off in particularly dire circumstances, though it requires advance preparation. It’s called the neck maneuver, and both men and women can develop the ability to do it over time with exercises like Kegel exercises. Essentially, you try to squeeze the muscles that make up your pelvic floor, then purposely pretend to cough or sneeze (here are some tips on how to find and contract these muscles).
Over time, doing multiple repetitions of this exercise will strengthen the muscles. Then you contract them when you need to pee, says Brooker, “That essentially sends a signal to your brain that it’s not a good time to pee, which then sends a signal to your bladder.”
A common urine myth is that if you drink too much and ignore the urge to urinate, you can prevent your body from producing more urine. However, once you accept and “break the seal”, your body will produce more urine, and you will inevitably have to go more often.
It’s a nice twist, but there’s no evidence that this is the case. Brucker has a more scientific explanation for it. “Let’s say you’ve been in the sun all day, and you don’t need to pee, and then you go to a bar and drink four or five beers,” he says. “Suddenly you’re more hydrated, and alcohol is a diuretic, so you’ll urinate more. As a result, once you start urinating.
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