Health and Medicine

What Happens If Hold Your Pee In For A Really Long Time?

January 16, 2016 | by Tom Hale

Photo credit: Fotos593/Shutterstock

Holding in your pee can be an unpleasant, foot-tapping, leg-crossing experience. But don’t get swept away by urban legends: your bladder probably won’t pop. Probably.

That said, holding in your pee likely won't do you any favors, either. Years of regular pee-holding can increase your risk of urinary tract infections and a condition called urinary retention, where you bladder cannot fully empty.

As Gerald Timm, a urological researcher at the University of Minnesota, told Popular Science, "The bladder's kind of like a pond. Not draining properly allows bacteria to build up, and that leads to infection."

Check out this video by YouTube channel SciShow, all about the science of taking a leak, and why it’s unlikely (although not impossible) that you’ll ever catch a nasty case of popped bladder.