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Why ‘Just In Case’ Bathroom Visits Aren’t a Good Idea

A sign shows a male and female stick figure with an arrow pointing to a bathroom.
AR30MM Ariel Ruff/Shutterstock.com

Before a big road trip or presentation, you might head to the restroom as a just-in-case measure. While that seems like a good idea, it could be counterproductive.

Going to the bathroom when you don’t really need to can actually train your bladder that it has to go when it really doesn’t. Then, even if it’s only slightly full, you’ll feel the need to go anyway. Over time, this can lead to more serious issues.

Why does this happen? When you pass urine, your bladder muscles contract, and those near the urethra and pelvic floor relax. When you force yourself to pee, that delicate balance gets all out of wack and your bladder will contract at the wrong times.

Plus, your bladder can hold quite a bit more than you probably think—about 400-600 mLs per day. When you use the bathroom when you don’t actually have to, your bladder gets used to holding less than its capacity.

If you’re a chronic “just-in-caser,” though, there’s hope. If you don’t have any pre-existing bladder condition, you should be able to break yourself (and your bladder) of the habit.

Essentially, just be more cognizant of the false urges and the real ones. The best way to do this is to attempt to resist going for short periods. Don’t cause yourself any distress in the process, but this will rebuild your tolerance over time.

Kegel exercises can also be helpful for retraining your bladder, and the best part is, you can do them anywhere!

[Via The Conversation]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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