How did we not know this?!
I need to make a confession: I peed my pants twice in grade school and instead of sending me home to change my underwear, I had to stand in front of a heater in the nurse's office to dry them off. I didn't want to pee and thought if I just ignored the I-need-to-go-pee feeling, I wouldn't have to.
In the end, I learned to never ignore the urge to go.
In a piece on Elle, writer Leah Chernikoff admits that she finds having to pee bothersome.
She says, "When I'm in back-to-back meetings or editing a story on deadline or finally finding time to eat my lunch, taking a break to take the time to walk down the loooong hallway to the bathroom to pee interrupts my day. It interrupts my flow."
She goes on to say that she tries to avoid peeing and does this by cutting down on water consumption. In the end, when her bathroom visits are totaled up, she realized that she goes only two times a day.
And just like it's not a good idea to hold it in until you have an accident, only peeing two times a day isn't a great idea. Here's what you should know about peeing.
1. How often should you pee a day?
Normal urinary frequenc is thought to be about seven to eight times a day. However, people are different and the range for normal can be extended from four to ten times a day.
Dr. Gina Sam, MD/MPH, director of the Mount Sinai Gastrointestinal Motility Center says, "Sometimes when you're drinking that much water, you're probably going to the bathroom every hour, every two hours because your body is getting rid of the water, but the kidney's doing its job to kind of get the electrolytes out, so you're going to be urinating a lot."
2. What determines the number of times you pee?
How often you need to go is generally determined by how many fluids you intake, as well as other factors like age and medication (such as high blood pressure medicine.
In a piece on Body and Soul, Dr. Cindy Pan says, "It's [number of times you need to urinate] very dependent on how much you drink and your bladder capacity. Sometimes people overdrink with water, giving themselves urgency of the bladder. [And] other things that can stimulate the bladder include caffeine, soft drinks, and spicy foods."
3. How much water should one drink?
The recommended amount is eight, eight-ounce glasses of water, or approximately 64 ounces.
Dr. Sam says, "Let's say your weight is 100 pounds. You can have that amount, which would be 50 ounces, up to 100 ounces of water. That's like a guideline."
4. Is there a healthy pee color?
If you look at a paint swatch chart of hues of yellow, the Sun Shower looks most like the color of healthy urine and the bumble bee hue looks closest to someone who is dehydrated.
5. What happens if you don't urinate when you need to?
The average bladder has the capacity to hold about 15 ounces of liquid, and holding in your pee for a long period of time can stretch your bladder. The automatic feedback mechanism in the bladder sends a signal to the brain when it's full, which then urges you to get to the nearest toilet.
But if you keep yourself from peeing often, your body could lose the ability to know when it's time to go.
"The longer you hold your urine, the bladder can become a breeding ground for bacteria to grow," says Dr. Chamandeep Bali.
6. When should you go to the doctor?
If you haven't increased your consumption of water and liquids but are having to go to the bathroom more often and have the following symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms include the presence of blood in your urine, dark brown urine, pain when peeing, pain in your groin or abdomen, difficulty urinating, uncontrolled urges to urinate, loss of bladder control, and fever.
Yes, it can be a pain to go to the bathroom all the time, but not going and not drinking water isn't a good idea, either. Whenever nature calls, it's a good idea to take that bathroom break.