If there is does not happen to be a toilet nearby, there is nothing dangerous about holding your pee for a while. It happens to everyone, and the unpleasant feeling will be forgotten as soon as you finally have the opportunity to relieve yourself.
However, frequent and prolonged urinary retention to feel orgasm-like pleasure is less desirable and can even be harmful.
Cashiers, assembly line workers, kiosk salespersons, truck drivers, and even teachers—in some jobs, not being able to pee during work hours is a regular problem. Everyone has experienced an urgent need to urinate and no opportunity to do it at some point, for example as a passenger on a bus with no toilet. When it is finally possible to go, there is a feeling of blissful relief; for some the pleasure is so great it can almost feel like a sexual climax.
This phenomenon can be explained by female physiology—the clitoris, vagina, and urethra (which connects to the bladder) are very close to each other. When the bladder is full it can push on some of our most sensitive and excitable areas, such as the internal structures of the clitoris, thereby causing sexual arousal. (Here are some facts about the clitoris you need to know).
The elusive G-spot is also close to the bladder, located where the back of the internal clitoris meets the urethral network. This can help explain why having a full bladder can contribute to a heightened sexual experience; it also explains why you might feel like you need to pee during sex, even when you know your bladder is empty.
This anatomical peculiarity has inspired a relatively new female sexual practice—the peegasm (a mashup, or portmanteau, of pee and orgasm). The peegasm is the orgasm-like feeling that can appear as you relieve yourself after holding your pee for an extended period. As you pee, the release of the pressure of your bladder pressing against the pleasure structures of your pelvic region can stimulation of the pelvic nerves and mimic an orgasmic response.
This practice is not without dangers, however. Stressing the urinary system in this way risks damaging the bladder and kidneys. To avoid unpleasant consequences, don’t hold in your pee the point where it hurts and don’t make a practice of doing it just to feel the pleasure.
If you have an overactive bladder, holding your pee can be an important part of bladder training. Symptoms of overactive bladder include needing to go to the bathroom more often than usual, being unable to hold your urine, experiencing leakage when you need to urinate (incontinence), and/or needing to urinate several times throughout the night. Regular bladder training can help you develop a more convenient urination schedule.
However, before you start any such training, make sure you have a doctor’s diagnosis. Go see your doctor and discuss your symptoms. If the problem is really something else, bladder training may worsen your condition.
Remember, refraining from voiding the bladder when needed can greatly increase the risk of urinary tract infections caused by bacteria that accumulate in urine.
Woman who are pregnant are already at an increased risk for urinary tract infections. If you’re pregnant, holding your pee can further increase this risk.
A urinary tract infection can spread to one or both kidneys, which can cause lasting damage. If you suffer from kidney disorders, neurogenic bladder, or urinary retention, holding your urine can increase your risk of infection or kidney disease.
Symptoms of a kidney infection might include:
A strong and persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation or pain while urinating, nausea and vomiting, pus or blood in the urine, or urine that looks cloudy and smells bad can all be signs of possible kidney infection.
A kidney infection requires immediate medical attention. If not treated properly, a kidney infection can permanently damage your kidneys and the bacteria can spread to your bloodstream and cause a life-threatening septic infection.
Sometimes a urinary tract infection can lead to urinary incontinence, a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity ranges from occasionally leaking when you cough or sneeze to continually experiencing such a sudden and strong urge to pee that you can’t reach the toilet in time.
If urinary incontinence is affecting your daily activities, do not hesitate to see your doctor. For most people, simple lifestyle and diet changes can treat the symptoms. There are also exercises and medications that can help, and various medical interventions that can be used to alleviate the most severe cases.
Holding in large amounts of urine on a regular basis can weaken the bladder muscles and increase the risk of urinary retention as you age. Urinary retention is the inability to completely empty the bladder despite feeling the urge. If the problem persists in the long term, you can learn to use a urinary catheter to relieve the pressure.
A healthy adult bladder can hold about 300 to 500 ml of urine before feeling the urge to urinate, but the bladder is quite flexible and can hold considerably more. It is important to remember that the uterus takes up space in a woman’s abdominal cavity, so in women the urge to urinate arises at lower volumes.
In women, the urethra (the tube through which urine leaves the body) is about 4 cm long, while in men it is 18 to 20 cm long, so men require greater pressure to expel urine through the longer tube.
Even if you are very conscientious, you may experience an unforeseen situation now and then in which it is impossible to void your bladder and you must be patient.
The more urgent the feeling, the more difficult it is to think of anything else. Redirecting your thoughts can help, so try listening to music or a podcast, or call a friend to chat.
Sitting is easier than standing if you want to relieve the pressure on your bladder. Sit with your upper body straight and your back slightly arched. Try to relax your pelvis and abdomen muscles. Concentrate on your breath, then visualize your urethra relaxing as you visualize the different parts of your body in yoga class. You can also try crossing and uncrossing your legs, as the change in sensation can help.
If you absolutely must be standing, cross your legs to compress the urethra. That should feel a little better. Avoid leaning forward or pushing your pelvis forward as that contracts the abdomen.
If you have any intestinal gas bothering you, releasing it will relieve the pressure on your bladder.
Avoid laughing! It is well known that laughing puts pressure on the bladder and can quickly make you want to pee. A full bladder is a serious thing! :D
Normally we are encouraged to hydrate your body. But in moments of crisis when to toilet is available, limit your fluid intake until you find a place to relieve yourself.
And finally, when you can go to the bathroom, empty your bladder completely—the world can wait a few minutes while you take care of yourself. Incomplete emptying of the bladder not only increases frequency of urination, but it can also accustom your body to urinary retention.
In short, pay attention to your body and attend to its needs. When you are kind to yourself, you have more to give.
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