How to avoid a leading cause of bladder infections

Holding on when you need to pee, is a leading cause of bladder infections. While peeing when you need to may seem like a simple thing to do, the fact that so many of us suffer from bladder infections, kidney stones and other problems associated with holding on, obviously it is not. Here are some practical tips on peeing when you need to:

Disgusting public toilets:

If you are somewhere super gross, then pee by squatting above the toilet. This is not ideal practice as we will talk about later, but it is preferable to not peeing at all. Take a wide leg stance and squat until you can pee without touching the toilet but still not peeing on your shoes. You may need to lean forward to get the right angle and not pee on the floor. If you are in a grotty place, your pee on the floor may actually be the cleanest thing on it – so don't worry about that too much. If you have to put your hand on the toilet door to support yourself, then do it. This technique comes in useful if you are peeing in a disgusting pub toilet after drinking a few too many. If there is no toilet paper or soap, well that's obviously not your ideal scenario but in my opinion better than a bladder infection.

Mother nature:

I used to have such a problem peeing outside. There's the whole worrying about people seeing you and got nothing to wipe myself with as you balance precariously on a cliff top. Sounds strange but the more you do it, the more you like it. It's not that I have a preference for peeing outside instead of in a toilet, just that now I don't worry so much any more.

Take a nice wide leg stance and squat down low but not so low you get splash back from the ground. You can hang there a little longer than you normally would to air dry if you have time,but if a group of tourists are just coming over the crest then you'll be forgiven for pulling up your pants fast and whistling casually as you look out over the view. Peeing outside is much easier if you have a lookout buddy to keep watch for you and cause a distraction if someone is coming your way.

Since moving to Australia a few months ago, I have had the added thing to think about – snakes and spiders. I have gone with the theory that the more noise I make as I get to my pee spot, the more time they have to get away or attack me while I still have my clothes on. So far haven't seen a single snake or spider outside – long may that continue!

Another good tip is to make sure to bring a torch – a head torch is best, so if you do have to answer the call in the middle of the night, you don't have to worry about stumbling around in the dark.

Being organised:

OK. This is not one of my strong points, when it comes to my leisure time but peeing before you leave the house, and scheduling stops for peeing is probably a very smart idea. As is taking hand sanitiser and wet wipes just in case you are in a situation where you need them.

Stick to your guns:

If you are going on a long trip, then make sure the driver understands that when you gotta go, you gotta go. I went on a two week road trip through the South Island of New Zealand with 6 guys. (Yes I know I am crazy).

Head waters of the Waimakariri river, South Island of New Zealand
Travel is one of my favourite things to do - but often triggered bladder infections in me

Had a fight the first day when one of them complained that I made us pull over to pee too often. I hate confrontation so this was a massive deal for me. I would like to say I calmly explained that I need to pee often, I need to drink lots of water and that it affected my health if I didn't.

Unfortunately this is not how it panned out, instead I cried and stormed off to find a bathroom leaving them waiting not knowing where I was – incredibly mature! However I think he got the point and didn't say another word about it. More importantly I didn't get a bladder infection which was something I often used to get on long trips.

On a ferry, Milford Sound, South Island of New Zealand
I had a great trip and didn't get a bladder infection

Since we were potty trained as children, we have been taught that holding on is the polite and respectful thing to do. However this is not right and respectful to your body.

If you work in a place where you have to ask for pee breaks, then explain to your boss that it is important that you go. If you work in a place where you can't have regular toilet breaks, then it is time to talk to your boss about how you can implement a way that you can.

Peeing when you need to, can take a bit of courage. I have peed in the bushes at a park in the middle of a concert with 200,000 other people wandering around, I have peed on train tracks, I've peed in public toilets that were so filthy someone had left a poo on the floor next to the toilet. Once I was even peeing in the bushes as the police riot squad ran down the road in full combat gear. This is not how I would choose to pee, but I no longer think that it is OK for me to hold on when I need to go.

Everybody pees, but sometimes it's just not convenient!
Share your story of where you had to pee

Do you have a great story to share about when you have had to pee somewhere embarrassing? It's great to hear your stories so everyone knows it's happened to us all.

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