How to Hold in Pee when You Can't Use the Bathroom

Having to hold in pee may be difficult or unpleasant. But if you are without acceptable facilities, privacy, time, or opportunity; or if you're not allowed to use the restroom - there are ways to cope.

edit Steps

  1. 1
    Close your urethra inward. Most people do this automatically when a slight urge to pee is first felt. As the urge to pee grows, tensing unnecessary muscles can waste effort and may make the problem worse. Focus instead on isolating and squeezing muscles surrounding the urethra while allowing other muscles to relax on their own. Use the genito-urinary muscles to exert closing tension at the pee outlet. Relax the pelvis and abdomen to avoid inner pressure on the bladder.
  2. 2
    Consider if you are standing, sitting, or moving.

    • Cross your legs when standing. Don't cross your legs when sitting. Doing this can result in pain or possible loss of bladder control. When standing, crossing your legs helps you "hold it in" by compressing the urethra, surrounding tissues, and (in females) the genito-urinary opening. However, when sitting any position which raises one or both thighs towards your abdomen causes pressure on the bladder - making it harder to holding it.
    • Opening your legs as wide as you can will help you hold it it the long run. Opening your legs will make you feel like you are about to loose controll, but if you let that feeling pass (which usually taked about 20 seconds) you will be able to hold it much longer.

Sit upright but relaxed. Don't "slouch". Raise your upper-body and allow you back to arch taking pressure off your bladder, but do not "stretch" your abdomen as this will add pressure. Relax your abdomen.
Position your legs what ever way is most comfortable. Don't cross your legs above the knee. If you cross your legs, cross them at the ankles or shins. Press your thighs together, but avoid over-tensing them. Let your pelvis roll or tilt to ease your bladder.

Do not lean forward, pull the front of your pelvis up, or squeeze your abdomen inward.

  1. 1
    • Stand using your legs to close your urinary structures, either by squeezing or pulling tight. Choose positions you can keep your balance in naturally without tensing. Relax the rest of your lower body. Reposition your legs and thighs as needed.
    • Allow your lower abdomen to tilt slightly forwards, if it does so on its own. This may relieve tension from your bladder.
      Allow the small of your back to arch so your chest and head remain upright.
      Let your abdomen expand and your front pelvis "tip" downwards (raising the buttocks).
      Don't assume this position unless it happens naturally, standing this way deliberately can become awkward and create tension.
  2. 2
    Avoid jarring or shaking your body.

    • Stay sitting, if sitting. Remain standing, if standing. Unless it achieves greater comfort.
      Use smooth and careful movements if you do sit or stand (ex., when standing after a long movie).
      Avoid changing positions too suddenly.
    • Keep movements as fluid and graceful as possible when you walk or perform other activities.
      If you notice your hips tend to swing more as you walk let them do so. It allows the pelvic floor muscle to remain tightened. But don't exaggerate this movement if it shakes your bladder.
    • Avoid tense, abrupt, or sudden movement. Remain smooth and natural.
      It actually makes it worse to "run to the bathroom" when you can go.
      Walk with strong steps, do not run.
  3. 3
    Fidget, but not excessively. Gently shifting your legs and hips, and other subtle movements, interfere with urinating and help encourage your body to "wait". However, excessive or exaggerated fidgeting increase tension and pressure.
  4. 4
    Minimize drinking anything while you need to pee. But drink enough to maintain normal hydration.
    Avoid beverages, if holding pee occasionally for short periods.
    Drink enough to stay hydrated, if holding pee for long periods, but avoid unnecessary beverages.
    Drink when you are actually thirsty, don't drink a beverage “just because it’s there”.
  5. 5
    Avoid any thoughts about letting out pee. Do not to think of anything that may make you want to pee more.

    • Do not think about using the bathroom, until you are actually there.
      Do not think about trying to get to a bathroom, until access to one is likely to become available or allowed.
      Keep your mind away from words and images representing toilets. - Pictures of toilets/toilets seats, model bathrooms displays, different words for toilet, etc.

    • Repeatedly tell yourself you do not have to go. Give yourself reasons not to go.
    • Know you cannot actually “burst” your bladder. Your body’s reflexes will prevent serious injury.
      So long as you are still able to "hold-back", your bladder is not in serious danger.
      Feeling like you’re going “explode”, or in some other way hurt yourself, is an illusion.
      Primitive instincts combined with increased discomfort when the bladder contracts.
      The feeling will soon pass, and you can control the feeling till the contraction is over.
      (Read the Myths section of this article)
  6. 6
    Stay Focused

    • Use other things to distract you from your bladder.
      Do not let your bladder distract you from other things.
    • Don't immediately think about going, when a restroom becomes available or permission is given. Remember first to hold it till you actually get to the restroom, then proceed to go there without being in a rush or hurry. This will reduce the sensation of your bladder "becoming excited" once the prospect of a restroom is near.
    • Do not compromise if not absolutely sure you want to compromise.
      Remember your original reasons to not pee.
      Determine if the situation might end soon.
      If it will - resolve to hold on till it does.
      If not - resolve to hold on if there is any doubt about peeing in your mind.
      Don't "debate about peeing or not". Hold-it unless you are absolutely sure about letting go.
    • Always remain sure in your decision.
      Being "unsure" or "debating" about "waiting to pee or not" are thoughts that make you want to pee more.
      They also mean you're not really sure if you want to pee.
      Resolve to continue holding your urine when you are unsure.
      Only change your mind if you're absolutely sure you want to.
  7. 7
    Resolve the situation so you can pee - on your terms.
    Not someone else's terms, the situation's terms, or your bladder's terms.

    • Try to find a restroom once one is possible, if availability is the problem. But keep your mind off the idea when unlikely to be available.
    • Try to get permission, if permission is being denied. Say it's an emergency. But avoid "crying wolf" (claiming an emergency every time) if the situation is one you are likely to encounter regularly.
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edit Video


edit Tips

  • Easier ways to hold your pee are, if you're standing sucking your stomach in (not too much),if you're sitting bending forward a bit, and if you're walking, don't stop walking; keep moving. Those ways relieve the pressure and aren't that noticeable. Or you could cross your legs, but not tightly.
  • If there is no possible way or place to pee, or you start to feel pain near your bladder, the smartest thing to do it to roll up a towel and wet yourself, this may be diffucult if you are wearing a skirt, if you are try to put a towel between your legs.
  • Apply the steps described in a sensible way. They are most effective when done naturally and there is no need to feel embarrassed about the issue. Over exaggeration or "acting out" can make the situation worse and increase tension on the bladder. But trying to hide or disguise your situation can interfere with asserting control.
  • Maintain a light, firm, positive attitude. Project the belief you can hold pee in as long as you want.

    • It's important to understand every thought, feeling, and impulse affects the behavior of your body.
      So does what you project or believe you project to others, and the response you perceive in return.
      Thoughts are things, patterns of energy which affect both our behavior and our body's reflexes.
    • Project the concept of being successfully able to hold your bladder.
      In a way believable to your own mind, and convincing to any would be observers.
      Be not "desperate", but not "in denial" about the urge.
    • Apply the effort needed to hold it in, but no more than this.
      Acting like control of your pee requires more effort, falsely adds to your own sense of needing to pee.
      Excessive "struggling" and fidgeting encourages thoughts of not being in control.
      "Running to the bathroom" implies being "near your limit" and "unable to wait", and tells your body subconsciously you "will reach a toilet sooner" and "need to go right now".
    • And, no less effort either.
      Limiting the effort to control pee interferes with actions used to hold it.
      "Hiding" the urge to pee creates tension, feels silly, suggests immaturity, and can imply that you're control is only "an act".
    • Acknowledge having an urge to pee which you are in complete command over.
      Project this state by acting accordingly. Don't try to hide it, but don't exaggerate it.
      Personalities vary. So it's fine to either let others know or not, which ever best suggests control of your bodily functions at the time.
    • It is an "urge" to pee, not a "need" to pee.
      Except if asking for permission to use the restroom, consider your situation as you have/feel an urge but don't need to go yet. Make it clear (especially to yourself) that you can wait.
  • When having to hold it happens often, do not habitually restrict fluids to reduce pee.

    • Dehydration causes urine to become concentrated - irritating the bladder and increasing the "urge" to let go. Regularly avoiding beverages to reduce pee may lead to infection. Making long term bladder control more difficult.(see Warnings)
    • Peeing your pants should be avoided, unless harm to your body will occur.
    • Drink enough to maintain hydration, only unnecessary beverages should be avoided.
      You should be able to do this and still “hold-the-water”.
    • Drink small amounts frequently, not large amounts at once.
      Drinking large amount of water at once causes the excess water to end up in your bladder. Use small amounts at a time to maintain hydration while drinking less.
    • Choose water or hydration drinks.
      Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks unless you have a specific reason to drink them.
      Hydration drinks and water hydrate you better with smaller amounts than sugary drinks.
      Alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration and make you pee more at the same time.
    • Practice "Kegel" exercises.
      These where designed to improve continence by strengthening pelvic floor muscles. The muscles used to hold it. Although intended to help incontinent people, they can give anyone extra control to hold it longer.

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edit Warnings

  • Holding your urine, when done too often, can cause a build up of bacteria in your urinary tract and lead to possible infection.
    These instructions are intended to aid in holding urine only when the situation calls for it.

    To reduce associated risks
    "Flush" your urinary tract between times of having, or choosing, to hold pee by drinking plenty of fluids when not holding pee.
    If you expect to hold your pee back often, drinking cranberry juice has been shown to reduce the associated risks.
  • Avoiding fluids to reduce urine is unnecessary and harmful, and can cause dehydration and heat injury (if in a hot environment)
    Dehydration causes urine to become more concentrated, may increase the likelihood of bacteria and infection, and may be counter productive as concentrated urine can increase feelings of urgency.

  • Can only be held for so long

These steps deffintely work but some time or another the build up will become to hard to hold off. If you seem to be having trouble holding in there may be to much build up. When this happens, you must go to the bathroom ASAP, regardless of the consequences. If the is literally no bathroom around anywhere, go outside. If you're specially being told you can't go by someone of higher authority, *after* telling them it's an emergency, then simply go to the bathroom. Teachers are told to let students go if they explain that it's an emergency. If you get in trouble, argue that it was very urgent, and ask them (sarcastically) if they expected you to pee in your pants, and continue to explain that if held in any longer, there would have been a UTI.

edit Myths

Myth - Tycho Brahe died by holding his bladder out of politeness till it burst.

  • Origin - Tycho Brahe's death occurred in the 1600's, before modern medicine understood why you cannot burst your bladder this way. The original 1600's diagnosis was that a "stone" kept him from passing urine, later his "bladder burst". He was never diagnosed with death by trying to holding pee too long. Kepler recounted that during a banquet 5 days before Brahe's death, Brahe didn't want to empty his bladder and would wait until he got home; later he was unable to do so. There is no evidence politeness or social protocol was a reason for waiting; difficulty passing urine was more likely the reason. Also, the problem was that he could not pass urine after getting home, not that he held too long.

  • Truth - In 1991, scientists found that Tycho actually died of mercury poisoning. Tycho's symptoms—unable to pee, blood in urine, fever, delirium—are symptoms of mercury poisoning. The original diagnosis of "burst bladder by stone" is now known to not be medically possible. The kidneys and ureters cannot produce enough pressure to burst the bladder. When there is an obstruction, the kidneys fail first. In the case of trying to hold it, the body would protect the kidneys by reacting violently, forcing the person to wet themselves.

Myth - Jennifer Strange died from holding in her pee, in the "Hold your wee for a Wii" contest.

  • Origin - In January of 2007, Jennifer Strange died after the "Hold your wee for a Wii" contest, from drinking a glass of water every ten minutes while trying to hold her pee as long as she could, in order to win a Wii game console.

  • Truth - Jennifer Strange died from drinking too much water in the "Hold your wee for a Wii" contest. Holding her pee had nothing to do with it. Her death was caused by hyponatremia, which occurs when electrolytes are washed out by drinking too much water. It does not matter if you hold the pee or not: when you drink too much water, the electrolytes and water both end up leaving the blood.

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