It is commonly heard people, especially girls and women, holding urinary urge till they reach home/ office with the explanation that they just CANNOT use public facilities (even in restaurants/ malls)!
A bit of physiology of micturition (passage of urine).
Urine is continuously being formed in the both kidneys, which later passes through two tube like structures called ureters and gets collected in the urinary bladder in the lower pelvis. From the urinary bladder it passes through the urethra and through the urethral opening it is passed out.
The urinary bladder hold on an average about 150 to 300 mlof urine and an average adult void urine about6 to 8 times a day. The urge to void comes when the bladder is filled with approximately 150ml of urine and is a signal by our body that it will be healthy to void NOW!
Whether you are busy in a meeting, taking a lecture or busy shopping and have no facility close by or you just hate using the public facilities – in all scenarios you are forced to suppress the urge and hold urine.
Compare holding urine for long periods to water logging on the roadside for days on end. As the water is breeding ground for mosquitoes; holding urine for longer periods may be and is a breeding ground for bacteria to grow in the bladder, whichfurther leads to infection. The infection may then spread to the kidneys and if untreated may also damage them.
While males may relieve themselves anywhere (they are seen releiving themselves on roadside or at any corner!), females are more prone to such infections as they have to hold urine for longer periods due to unavailability of hygienic restrooms. Many of them are also embarrassed to visit public facilities.
Risks of holding urine for longer period may predispose to the following conditions
- It makes the bladder muscle lax and makes voiding (initiating a reflex) difficult
- Urinary tract infections
- Leaking of urine (after prolonged holding)
- Pain in lower abdomen
- Restlessness in legs
Take home message
When you get the urge to urinate, go and relieve yourself at the earliest, or you may end up damaging your kidneys or suffer from urinary tract infections.
Dr Satish Kanojia, Practising Homoeopathy & Biochemic since last 20 years; He is Assistant editor of National Journal of Homoeopathy, India’s largest Homoeopathic Journal. Dr Satish has rich experience in writing research articles, creating MCQs, Academic Crosswords and Sudokus