March 3, 2023, 1:04 PM EST / Source: TODAY
By Caroline Kee
Peeing is a routine part of the day and a necessary function to get rid of waste your body doesn’t need. It may seem simple, but there is actually a right way and a wrong way to urinate.
Certain bad habits can lead to a variety of urinary and bladder issues, both in the short term and long term. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make, according to urologists.
Holding it in for longer than you need to
Sometimes holding in your pee is unavoidable — we’ve all had to ignore nature’s calling during long car rides, movies or concerts. However, making this a habit or purposefully holding it in for much longer than you need to can lead to other issues, including urinary infections, Dr. Ashley Winter, a board-certified urologist and chief medical officer of Odela Health, tells TODAY.com.
Not fully emptying your bladder when you go
In the same vein, not fully emptying your bladder when you pee — for example, if you’re in a rush — can also increase the risk of urinary infection and stretching the bladder, says Goldfischer.
But not fully emptying your bladder isn’t always intentional, and you might not even be aware of it, Winter says. This condition is called urinary retention, which can be acute and severe, or chronic and develop slowly over time, per the Cleveland Clinic.
Mistaking an overactive bladder for a “small bladder”
According to Winter, it’s technically possible for someone to have a “small bladder,” but this is usually not the case. “Most people who say they have a small bladder have a normal bladder, and they’re really talking about their threshold for discomfort.”
Overdoing it with caffeine or alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol increase urine production, Goldfischer says, and they’re also bladder irritants, meaning they increase the urge to pee and cause pain or discomfort, per Cleveland Clinic.
Not getting recurrent UTIs checked out
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract (which includes the bladder and kidneys). Symptoms include a painful or burning sensation during urination, frequent urination, a strong urge to urinate and bloody or foul-smelling urine, per Mayo Clinic.
Shrugging off pinkish or reddish urine
The color of your urine is largely based on how much water you drink, says Goldfischer, but certain foods, vitamins and supplements can affect our urine’s hue, as well.
Regularly taking mega doses of vitamin C
“Too much vitamin C can cause kidney stones,” says Winter, adding that since the pandemic, she has seen an uptick in people overdoing it with vitamin C because of its immune-boosting properties.
Caroline Kee is a health reporter for TODAY Digital. She previously worked for Healthline and Buzzfeed News.