When your bladder is about half-full, you will already start to feel the urge to go to the bathroom. As most of you know, this might get you into an uncomfortable situation when there’s no time or place available. Luckily, there are some tricks to help you out.
The Bright Side team put together 9 ways to help you reach the toilet just in time. We’ve prepared a bonus feature explaining how to train your bladder at the end of the article.
1. Pass gas if you have to.
A buildup of gas in your intestines can place additional pressure on your bladder. Alleviating this pressure by passing gas may make you feel more comfortable and allow you to hold in urine for longer.
2. Reposition your body: sit upright but relaxed.
The way you position your body can help you tighten the muscles around your bladder and make you feel like “holding it in” is a possibility. Don’t slouch and sit up straight to relieve some pressure on the bladder. This may reduce the urge of having to pee.
3. Stay warm.
When you’re cold, your body will react to the drop in temperature. One of the consequences is that more pee will be produced. So when you already have the urge to pee, cover yourself up with blankets or turn up the heat.
4. Lie down.
According to this study, the pressure on your bladder drops progressively when lying down compared to a vertical position. When standing up, you will use your abdominals to hold your posture and the weight of the pee will also press on the bladder.
5. Cross your legs while standing.
The urethra is the tube that leads your pee out of your body. You can squeeze this tube slightly by crossing your legs. Make sure you cross them while standing since in a seated position, it might only lead to more pressure on the bladder.
6. Try not to laugh.
When having a good laugh, your core muscles will tense, putting pressure on your bladder. However, the sphincter muscle, which closes the urethra to prevent leaking, relaxes with this increased pressure and that’s when urination occurs. So you’d better try to avoid giggling when you have the urge to pee!
7. Think of a distraction.
When your bladder is more or less half-full, nerves in the bladder will tell the brain that it’s time to go. This need to pee might be less urgent than it feels, so a distraction might override the urge to pee for a while. So next time, try to think about something else or scroll through your phone a bit and you will see that the feeling goes away.
8. Squeeze your butt.
Bladder control depends on the pelvic floor muscles which are the muscles around your peeing tube. Squeezing your butt cheeks together a few times is a quick exercise to tighten those muscles which can help hold urine inside the bladder, preventing leakage. You can do this in any position, standing up or sitting down.
9. Avoid getting into water.
The same phenomenon as explained previously can happen when you’re swimming in cold water. However, we suggest keeping out of the water altogether because when leaving a warm bath, going to a cooler place may suddenly give you an overwhelming desire to pee.
Bonus: Train yourself to hold more pee.
Some people need more frequent bathroom breaks than others. But this may be because you’ve taught yourself some bad habits which, believe it or not, can be reversed. Try this step-by-step bladder-training technique:
- For a day or 2, keep track of the times you urinate during the day.
- Select an interval for training that is 15 minutes longer than you normally take between toilet visits.
- When you start training, empty your bladder first thing in the morning. If the urge hits, use our techniques suggested in this article to delay it until your set interval.
- Start increasing your interval by 15 minutes every day. Over several weeks or months, you may find far fewer feelings of urgency!
Have you ever been in a situation where you could’ve used these tips? Do you have any original techniques of your own that you’d like to share?