Mind over bladder
June 28, 2004 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Say you really really really have to pee, and there isn't going to be a bathroom opportunity for at least 30-60 minutes. And you're a chick. Is there any way to trick your brain/bladder into thinking it's not all that bad?
posted by ferociouskitty to Health & Fitness (27 answers total)
According to the women I know, no.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:09 AM on June 28, 2004

standing vs. sitting seems to make a difference
posted by mecran01 at 11:18 AM on June 28, 2004

I'm still trying to figure out how girls pee to begin with. They never taught us in gym class.
posted by Hankins at 11:24 AM on June 28, 2004

posted by machaus at 11:27 AM on June 28, 2004

Every time I have wet myself has been me being calm and knowing I could make it, and then at the last moment, getting really scared and making a break for it. I think getting excited works on humans the way it works on some dogs, so STAY CALM (piece of advice #1.)

Also, a physical trick is to sit down anywhere and rock back and forth until the sensation goes away. I'm not sure why that works. On the same note, if there's a wall to press your butt against while bending over and leaning against something, that works too.
posted by precocious at 11:36 AM on June 28, 2004

Hankins, how badly do you want to know?
posted by Karmakaze at 11:39 AM on June 28, 2004

Say you really really really have to pee, and there isn't going to be a bathroom opportunity for at least 30-60 minutes

I lost you there. See, when I have to pee, there is most definitely going to be a bathroom opportunity. I don't wait. I suggest you implement a similar policy.

No, there is nothing that absolutely has to interfere with your peeing.
posted by yesster at 11:45 AM on June 28, 2004

Well, if you're straddling and defusing a nuclear bomb, then you should probably hold it at all costs.

But I think you will have better luck convincing your brain to let go of the embarassment, and just pee.
posted by scarabic at 11:52 AM on June 28, 2004

This is even better than the urinal splash conversation. Mazel tov.
posted by ChrisTN at 12:13 PM on June 28, 2004

Well, remember that even if your bladder fel like it's about to burst, it won't. You'll wet yourself first. So all you can do is distract yourself from the discomfort by focusing on something else -- go through mental to-do lists, call a friend, do a crossword puzzle, whatever gets you to stop thinking about it.

That works with me, anyway -- and I'm ideologically opposed to stopping for bathroom breaks on long car trips, so I've got some experience.
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 12:18 PM on June 28, 2004

I saw some videos once...
posted by bondcliff at 12:24 PM on June 28, 2004

Cross your legs, and shift position constantly. Works for me.
posted by GaelFC at 12:35 PM on June 28, 2004

Well, remember that even if your bladder feels like it's about to burst, it won't.

Unless, of course, you're a copper-nosed astronomer chatting-up a dame.
posted by bonehead at 12:44 PM on June 28, 2004

Squirm, think of ANYTHING else. Do the pee-pee dance. If you're sitting, tap your feet. Clap your hands. Anything but thinking of anything water related. Do not laugh. Sing along really loud to some music. Etc. Stretch out your legs to the flattest position possible, to prevent your body from compressing any part of your bladder.

A rapid activation of your sympathetic ("fight or flight") nervous system will clamp down on your bladder sphincter AND relax your bladder wall, but it's only temporary, AND depending on the situation, can be hard to activate.
posted by gramcracker at 12:50 PM on June 28, 2004

Sounds like a job for Kegel exercises.

Obviously, as with any exercise, it will probably take some time for the full benefits to be experienced.
posted by tommasz at 12:54 PM on June 28, 2004

try sitting with the heel of your foot in one's crotch helps. I think it puts pressure there and offsets the downward pressure. or maybe it's like pinching your leg if your arm hurts - distracts yourself. anyway, that's helped me before
posted by evening at 2:01 PM on June 28, 2004

I've heard that tickling the roof of your mouth with your tounge helps. Maybe that's just more distraction though.
posted by Capn at 2:40 PM on June 28, 2004

Sexual activity (or the body's belief that it's imminent) shuts down the bladder.

Hankins, did they teach you that in gym class?
posted by waldo at 3:00 PM on June 28, 2004

Best answer: My doctor recommended Kegels (as mentioned above) when I had problems with this as a kid, which seemed to help.

These days, I try to reduce the panic factor by making my thoughts positive (holding is easy, I can wait) instead of negative (worrying about not making it) - staying calm is the best thing you can do, which is why distracting yourself helps.
posted by jheiz at 3:39 PM on June 28, 2004

I'm not going to say you're all wrong, but I am somewhat of an authority on piss.

The best thing to do is to using relaxation techniques. This is a strict case of mind over matter. Control your breathing, use creative visualization (unless driving), and other similar medatative measures.

This is mind over matter.
posted by pissfactory at 3:44 PM on June 28, 2004

Mr Bunnsy, that's bad for you.

Frankly I always try to plan ahead for bathroom needs, but being a middleaged woman who has had kids kinda dictates that as a given.
posted by konolia at 4:16 PM on June 28, 2004

I live by the words: "Better let your pride burst than your bladder."
posted by Krrrlson at 7:15 PM on June 28, 2004

Response by poster: Um, for those of the "just let it go" philosophy, I was in a job interview at the time.
posted by ferociouskitty at 7:30 PM on June 28, 2004

I was in a job interview at the time.

Unless it was for some sort of job that requires tremendous bladder control, it probably wouldn't hurt your chances too too much to just apologize and let them know about the exigencies of your situtation.
posted by juv3nal at 8:30 PM on June 28, 2004

Additionally, your chances of getting the job would likely be hurt far more by rocking, wiggling, putting your heel in your crotch or doing the pee-pee dance than by a simple "Excuse me, but would it be possible to take a short break so that I can use the restroom?"
posted by donnagirl at 9:47 PM on June 28, 2004

Response by poster: Actually, I think it might have helped. I have a tendency to be really long-winded in interviews, and today I was certainly concise.
posted by ferociouskitty at 10:36 PM on June 28, 2004

My only trick, besides the ones mentioned above, is to remember that if I haven't been drinking water recently, the pressure on my bladder is unlikely to get much worse, so if I can handle however uncomfortable it is now, then I will be okay. If I have been drinking water recently, then I really try to find an excuse to run to the bathroom [I'm with yesster on this one, I'll pee in an alley rather than make myself sit through a ride home with a full bladder] because I know it will only be getting worse. Besides, having to pee badly makes you stressed out, with all the associated side effects of stress, and stepping out for a pee makes you come back in all smiling-buddha-like which I'm sure would have a good effect on your interviewer ["look at how happy and charming that one is!"
posted by jessamyn at 6:40 AM on June 29, 2004

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