A healthy adult bladder can hold up to 16 ounces (2 cups) of urine comfortably, according to the National Institutes of Health. How frequently it fills depends on how much excess water your body is trying to get rid of. Circular muscles called sphincters close tightly to keep urine from leaking.
In rare and serious situations, holding urine for too long can lead to a bladder rupture. “We have seen patients who haven’t urinated in about a week, and they’ll have over 2 liters of urine in their bladder,” Dr. Bandukwala says. “If too much pressure builds up in the bladder, it can rupture.
|Age||Average bladder size||Time to fill bladder|
|Infant (0–12 months)||1–2 ounces||1 hour|
|Toddler (1–3 years)||3–5 ounces||2 hours|
|Child (4–12 years)||7–14 ounces||2–4 hours|
|Adult||16–24 ounces||8–9 hours (2 ounces per hour)|
Bladder training, a program of urinating on schedule, enables you to gradually increase the amount of urine you can comfortably hold. Bladder training is a mainstay of treatment for urinary frequency and overactive bladder in both women and men, alone or in conjunction with medications or other techniques.
Those with nocturnal polyuria experience a high urine volume only at night. Their urine volume during the day is normal or reduced. This is usually due to fluid retention during the day that often accumulated in the feet or legs. Once you lie down to sleep, gravity no longer holds the fluid in your legs.
Under normal conditions in women, the bladder is held in place by a “hammock” of supportive pelvic floor muscles and tissue. When these tissues are stretched and/or become weak, the bladder can drop and bulge through this layer and into the vagina. This results in bladder prolapse, also called cystocele.
What is a normal bladder habit? The volume of urine passed each time by a normal adult will vary from around 250 – 400mls. This is the same as about 2 cupful’s. Most people with normal bladder habits can hold on for 3-4 hours between visits to the toilet.
Most people urinate between six and eight times a day. But if you’re drinking plenty, it’s not abnormal to go as many as 10 times a day. You may also pee more often if you’re taking certain medications, like diuretics for high blood pressure.
Holding your urine for too long can weaken the bladder muscles over time. This can lead to problems such as incontinence and not being able to fully empty your bladder. Holding your urine for extremely long periods of time can also cause urinary tract infections due to bacteria build-up.
Urge incontinence occurs when an overactive bladder spasms or contracts at the wrong times. You may leak urine when you sleep or feel the need to pee after drinking a little water, even though you know your bladder isn’t full.
Incontinence can happen when the bladder muscles suddenly tighten and the sphincter muscles are not strong enough to pinch the urethra shut. This causes a sudden, strong urge to urinate that you may not be able to control. Pressure caused by laughing, sneezing, or exercising can cause you to leak urine.
Ingested water is absorbed mainly in the small intestine. It appears in the blood as soon as 5 minutes after ingestion.
Follow these 13 tips to keep your bladder healthy. Drink enough fluids, especially water. Limit alcohol and caffeine. Quit smoking. Avoid constipation. Keep a healthy weight. Exercise regularly. Do pelvic floor muscle exercises. Use the bathroom often and when needed.
Other treatments and prevention Wear loose-fitting clothing, especially pants and underwear. Take warm baths to soothe the sensation of needing to pee. Drink more fluids. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and other diuretics. For women: Urinate before and after sexual activity to decrease risks of a UTI.
The bladder stores urine until you are ready to empty it. It swells into a round shape when it is full and gets smaller as it empties. A healthy bladder can hold up to 16 ounces (2 cups) of urine comfortably. How frequently it fills depends on how much excess water your body is trying to get rid of.