What should be has to be. Especially when the bladder is tight, people have little room for maneuver. We can delay going to the toilet and press our thighs together a little more tightly, but at some point the urine has to come out – and ideally not when you can barely hold it in. In the long run, constantly delaying urination when in doubt causes exactly what you are trying to avoid: loss of control over the urge to urinate.

The fact that we can hold back urine at all is a skill that we have to work hard to acquire. Children urinate unconsciously until they are taught to control their bladder and have learned not to give in to the urge. Instead of simply letting the urine flow reflexively like babies do, we use our muscles to close the bladder and thus store the urine as long as possible until controlled emptying is possible. But you can’t delay urinating indefinitely.

Normally the bladder is emptied between four and seven times during the day. Women have to urinate slightly more often than men. There are anatomical reasons for this. There is less space in the woman’s body because the uterus also takes up space in the abdominal cavity. The capacity of the bladder is usually around 250 to 500 milliliters in women and around 350 to 550 milliliters in men.

If we have to go to the toilet, so-called stretch sensors located in the bladder wall report this through the spinal cord to the brain. The urge to urinate begins long before the maximum volume is reached. For women this happens from a filling volume of 150 to 250 milliliters, for men from 250 to 500 milliliters. The body has built in a natural buffer.

If the bladder becomes too full, it functions like an overflow system, said Wolfgang Bühmann from the Professional Association of German Urologists in an interview with Die Welt. If the pressure becomes too great, the organ saves itself and the bladder outlets open. “In an absolute emergency, the bladder opens the sphincter and you wet your pants,” explains Bühmann. A bursting of the bladder is therefore almost impossible. Almost. Because it has happened before, but always in connection with other influencing factors such as falls or blows.

However, it’s not smart to put undue strain on your bladder – especially if it happens regularly. If the urine is constantly held in for too long, the bladder expands. On the one hand, this allows her to collect more and more urine, but on the other hand, the brain becomes increasingly difficult to “interpret” the signals from the bladder correctly. The risk that the “notice” that the bladder wants to be emptied is sent too late is growing. Weakening and overloading of the muscles is also possible. An overactive pelvic floor, bladder pain, urinary urgency or urinary incontinence can result.

Urinary tract and bladder infections are also possible. Because urination also flushes pathogens out of the body. The less often you urinate, the higher the likelihood that bacteria will travel through the urethra into the bladder and cause infections there.

Source: TED, Continence Center, Gesund.bund, FAZ, Welt