The bladder is very complex in its design. Once the bag-like organ nestled in your pelvic area has sent a signal to the brain to let you know it needs emptying, and you reach a desirable spot and comply, the detrusor muscles contract to squeeze the urine out of the bladder, while the sphincter relaxes to deploy through the urethra and into the urinal/bush/corner of your mate’s bedroom (not again!)
Keep It Regular
An empty bladder is pear-shaped and about two inches long, but grows to six inches and becomes much more oval when full. Healthy people can store around 450ml of wee for between two to five hours—it’s healthy to go up to eight times per day.
Just like Pavlov’s famous experiment where he got dogs to associate the ringing of a bell with food, we associate the sound of running water with urinating. So simply hearing that trickle can trigger our bladders to open. We’re also programmed from childhood to associate the bathroom with the act of weeing, so the closer we get to the nearest bathroom, the stronger the urge okay please get out of the way right now!
In the Pink
There is such a thing as “bladder fitness,” where you can train it to behave itself when you’re out. Professionals recommend: 1) Meticulously emptying it every three to four hours during the day; 2) trying to urinate for a count of “8 Mississippi” every time; 3) drinking enough water to keep your urine a palatable shade of light yellow; 4) avoiding constipation and straining; and 5) urinating before and after sexual activity. What, you don’t work out your bladder, bro?