Peeing For Longer Than This Amount Of Time Could Reveal Health Issues

Experts have put a number on the ideal session length.
Woman sitting on a toilet holding a mobile phone in her hands
Antonio Hugo Photo via Getty Images
Woman sitting on a toilet holding a mobile phone in her hands

We’ve written before at HuffPost UK about how the colour of your pee can reveal a lot about your health.

And according to experts, how long your wee lasts can reveal potential bladder issues too.

Speaking to The Washington Post, Stephen Freedland, a professor of urology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, advised that an average pee shouldn’t last longer than half a minute.

“Once you get going and it takes you a minute to empty your bladder, that’s a problem. That’s not normal,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Janis Miller, nurse practitioner behind the bladder-based website, puts it at an even stingier 20 seconds, per Well + Good.

So why does my pee time matter?

Funnily enough, most mammals ― regardless of size, so long as they’re over 3 kilos ― spend more or less exactly 21 seconds urinating, due to gravity and a phenomenon called Pascal’s Barrel.

Regularly taking a lot longer than that to pee may mean you’re drinking too much water, that you’re not giving yourself enough wee breaks, or even that you’re overstretching your bladder, Dr. Miller suggests.

If, for instance, you get too used to holding in your urine, a condition that’s sometimes called “nurse’s bladder” or “teacher’s bladder” can happen, urologist Nicole Eisenbrown, MD, told Well + Good.

At this point, your brain becomes less able to pick up fullness cues from your bladder, leading you to empty it less often than you should.

“Your bladder just gets slightly bigger, then slightly bigger, and slightly bigger,” she explained. In the short term, that can make your urination sessions lengthy ― and over time that makes your bladder weaker.

Unusual peeing habits can also sometimes reveal other conditions, including diabetes, neurological disorders or prostate issues, The Washington Post revealed.

When should I seek help?

The odd extra-long pee likely isn’t too much to worry about.

But if you’re regularly spending a lot of time on the loo and aren’t sure why, if it’s interfering with your daily life, and if you have other issues that worry you with your urine, it could be a good idea to chat to your GP.

The Mayo Clinic adds that you should seek medical help immediately if you notice any of the following;

  • Blood in your urine.
  • Red or dark brown urine.
  • Pain when you pass urine.
  • Pain in your side, lower belly or groin.
  • Trouble passing urine or emptying your bladder.
  • A strong urge to pass urine.
  • Loss of bladder control.
  • Fever.