How does prolonged holding urine affect the body?

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How Does Prolonged Holding Urine Affect the Body?

Holding back the urine from time to time may not be very harmful however, habitual urinary incontinence may increase the risk of urinary tract infection and can also result in health problems such as bladder spasms, lower abdominal pain or bladder inflammation, etc.

Holding Urine

The size of the bladder is about 500 – 1,000 ml. When there is about 160 – 300 ml of urine in the bladder, or about half of the bladder it causes pain to urinate because the nerves in the bladder are stimulated to send signals to the brain. The brain then sends a signal back to the bladder to hold urine until it is ready to pass.

Holding your urine for a long time can cause the muscles around the bladder to work too hard resulting in urinary incontinence which will adversely affect health. This can cause a risk of infection in the urinary tract especially the occurrence of cystitis.

Disadvantages of Holding Urine 

  • Bladder spasms
  • Ruptured bladder
  • Bacterial infection in the urethra
  • Cystitis
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Kidney infection
  • Infection in the bloodstream


Cystitis is one of the groups of urinary tract infections (Urinary Tract Infection or UTI) caused by bacterial infection in the urinary tract. Cystitis often occurs more in women than men as women have a short urethra resulting close to the vagina and anus. It makes it easy for bacteria to enter the bladder through the urethra.

Symptoms of Cystitis

Patients with cystitis will experience frequent urination, severe pain while urinating, having blood in the urine, lower abdominal pain and a small amount of urine coming out. Common abnormalities can be observed as follows.

  • Frequent urination, sporadic, symptoms similar to urinary incontinence
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, severe sensation, burning sensation during urination 
  • Abnormal colored urine, sometimes there is an unusual smell or the urine containing blood
  • In children, symptoms may include bedwetting, fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, and fatigue.
  • In the elderly, there are no urinary symptoms. But they will show signs of fatigue, confusion or fever.

Although the disease is not severe, when receiving the wrong and proper treatment, the infection may spread from the bladder through the ureter and sometimes to the kidney. This causes inflammation of the ureter and can cause permanent damage to the kidneys if there is a severe infection and may spread into a bloodstream infection and cause death. Therefore, urinary incontinence causes more harm to the body than you think!

If you need a consultation with a doctor, visit PrimoCare Medical Clinic to receive advice from professionals. You can inquire or make an appointment in advance here.


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