WHETHER you're on a long summer walk or waiting in line for the toilet, we've all had to hold our pee in at some point.
While most of the time it's not through choice, one expert has warned that it could be dangerous to keep hold of your urine.
Intimate health guru and founder of Kegel8, Stephanie Taylor, said ignoring your bladder for too long can cause a host of issues.
She explained: "Holding in a wee could damage your pelvic floor.
"Holding in your wee too often can cause the muscles in your bladder to lose the ability to contract when you need them to, leading to urinary retention where you can’t empty your bladder – even when you’re bursting to go.
"Not just that but it can also cause uncomfortable dryness (urogenital atrophy) and incontinence – where you pass urine without meaning to."
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The average adult bladder can hold two cups of urine before it’s considered full.
It sends a message to your brain when it is about a quarter full.
If you hold in your pee for too long then harmful bacteria can build up, which can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI).
UTIs are agonising, causing pain during urination and a constant urge to go to the toilet.
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“If a UTI is left untreated and the infection spreads, it could turn into life-threatening sepsis," the expert previously said.
The guru added that there are several tell-tale signs that might indicate your pelvic floor isn't in peak health.
"These include leaking during a cough, a sneeze or exercise or constantly feeling the need to wee.
"You may also notice pain in your pelvic area or pain during sex.
"Constipation or a straining pain during your bowel movements may also mean that your pelvic floor is weak," she added.
But there are things you can do to avoid further complications, and Stephanie gave some quick solutions to tackle it.
She explained that as people head to festivals and outdoor events this summer, it's likely many will be waiting in long lines for the loo.
Booze is usually involved and Stephanie said alcohol is a diuretic that increases water loss through your urine.
"Not only that, but alcohol can also irritate the bladder, which can make overactive bladder symptoms worse.
"If you’ve noticed that you need the loo more and more, consider cutting back on the number of drinks you have or set a limit at which you know you feel comfortable", she suggested.
She also recommended considering a portable urine device to help out in awkward situations.
Stephanie also said that towards the end of your period, your pelvic floor muscles are at their weakest due to lower oestrogen levels – which may make you feel like you need to go to the bathroom more often.
"Swapping your pad or tampon for a menstrual cup will hold five times more blood and hygienically last for up to 12 hours," she suggested.
When it comes to long-term solutions, Stephanie said a weak pelvic floor can make it feel as though you always need to go the toilet.
"If your pelvic floor muscles are too weak, you will find it difficult to hold urine. If you’re waiting in long lines at festivals, this can be particularly stressful.
"Strengthening these muscles over time can ensure you don’t constantly feel the urge to go."
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She recommended adding manual Kegel exercises to your daily routine – you’ll need to contract and relax your pelvic muscles three times a day for at least six weeks, she said.
As your pelvic floor muscles are critical for supporting the bladder, strengthening them will help avoid leakage and improve bladder control so that you feel more in control of your urge to pee at the next music festival.
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