When it comes to peeing, it seems pretty easy, right?
You feel like you need to go, you walk to the bathroom, you sit down and you do your business.
It’s easy, except for when it’s not.
When drinking a “normal” amount of fluid, our bathrooms should see our backsides 5-7 times in a 24 hour period and our urine stream should last 10-15 seconds. That’s about every 3-4 hours to pee out about 1.5-2 cups of urine per episode. So what is a “normal” amount of fluid? Start with the ole 64 ounce rule and adjust from there. Smaller people need less, bigger people need more. Heavy exercisers need a lot more fluid than little old ladies who sit around in their recliners all day. People who drink more than about 80 ounces of fluid in a day are more likely to pee their pants, so if pants peeing is a problem of yours, try to drink a little less fluid.
What “fluid” should one be drinking?
Well, water. Yes. water. Water is amazing. The Universe gives us our most precious resource by raining it down from the sky! Why would we insult the universe by not drinking it and nourishing our bodies? It’s delicious. Drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning. And then second thing in the morning. You get the picture. Things other than water can often piss our bladders off and make us feel like peeing when we don’t need to, or can cause little accidents when we aren’t expecting it. So if going too often or having too many accidents is a problem, ditch the coffee, tea, cola and sweetener. Even cranberry juice can be trouble for an irritated bladder.
Bladders hold 1-2 cups of fluid. When they are about half full, little stretchers sensors in the bladder wall send a message to your CEO (aka brain) to tell it that things are starting to get a little tight and that it may be time to head to the bathroom soon. At that point, we have to be in charge of our bladders and tell them that we’re busy and to bother us later. So then the signal that we need to pee goes away for a bit until the bladder gets more full and we have to find a convenient time to hit the toilet. On the way there, if Bob from accounting wants to chat, it should be no big deal, plenty of time, we can hold it as long as needed. Trouble with the zipper? No problem. Finally, when it’s all clear, we should be able to sit down leisurely and relax. The pee should just come out all on its own. No pushing.
What NOT to Do
Finally, the VERY LAST THING that we should do, that everyone’s mother in the whole wide world made them do ALL THE TIME is to pee when we don’t need to go. Not before getting in the car, not before church starts, not before leaving the store. Pee when you need to. There’s a bladder at the store and at school and on the road. Peeing when one does not have the urge causes the bladder to begin to feel like it is in charge and before you know it, you’ll be peeing 86 times per day.
To summarize. Drink about 64 ounces of water. Go to the bathroom when you need to, about every 3-4 hours. Don’t go too often or hold it for too long. Holding it does NOT cause bladder infections. Take your time on the way to the bathroom and RELAX when you get there. You know, REST in the restroom. Take this opportunity to breathe for a few moments. Then get back to your day, a few ounces lighter!