How Long Can A Person Go Without Peeing And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on November 24th, 2022

We’ve all been there – holding it in, trying to make it to the next bathroom break. But how long can a person actually go without peeing? And is there any reason to hold it in? We break down the science behind urinary urgency (and relief) here.

Exact Time: 5 to 10 Hours

woman in black and white floral dress sitting on white ceramic toilet bowl

Urination, or peeing, is the natural act of excreting urine from the body.

Urine is stored in the urinary bladder, passes via the urethra, and exits the body. Peeing is also known by the medical terms voiding, micturition, emiction, or enuresis. Pissing and weeing are more common names.

A healthy human or animal will urinate up to seven times a day. Urination is a self-controllable process in a healthy person. However, newborn newborns and certain elderly persons are unable to regulate their pee output deliberately, and urinating is usually a reflex.

While postponing nature’s call for an hour or two will not hurt your health, it is possible to harm your body by holding urine for too long or creating a practice of not releasing yourself frequently enough.

A healthy bladder can store around 2 cups of pee (400-600ml) before it is deemed full. The average person produces 1.5 liters of pee per 24 hours. It takes your body 9 to 10 hours to create 2 cups of urine.

That’s about as long as you can wait and still remain in the safe zone without risking organ damage.

In the worst-case scenario, your bladder may extend to hold more than 2 cups of liquids.

However, if you are unable to urinate for any reason, or if you observe that your child is not urinating, you have reason to be concerned.

How Long Can a Person Avoid Peeing?

Peeing is a necessary function that should be performed on a regular basis in order to maintain physical equilibrium.

Urination necessitates the cooperation of the autonomic, central, and somatic nervous systems.

The brain areas responsible for urine control are the pontine micturition center, the cerebral cortex, and the periaqueductal gray. Males urinate through their penis.

Females, on the other hand, urinate through the urethral hole in the vagina. Before it is necessary to extract the pee from the bladder, it is retained in the urinary bladder for a period of time.

Urine is composed of around 95% water and the remaining 5% is made up of waste materials. Nephrons in the kidneys aid in the processing of blood and the production of urine through reabsorption, filtration, and secretion.

The urine excretes a variety of nitrogenous wastes, including creatinine, urea, uric acid, and ammonia. Hormones regulate resorption by controlling water and sodium transport based on an individual’s physical state.

Age Group Of an IndividualMaximum Duration Without Urination
Children or individuals below the age of 12Five to six hours
Individuals aged 12 or moreNine to ten hours

The greatest amount of time that a person may spend without peeing is largely determined by the age group in which the individual falls.

Children under the age of twelve usually have an underactive bladder and can hold their urine for up to six hours.

Individuals above the age of twelve, on the other hand, have a healthy bladder and can tolerate the pee flow for up to 10 hours.

Why can a person go so long without peeing?

As a person grows older, he or she has more control over his or her urine bladder. That is why a healthy bladder can regulate pee for so long.

However, as a person ages, the body loses control of the urinary bladder and may urinate at irregular intervals.

This is particularly common in older adults suffering from renal disease. If a person is unable to control their pee flow on their own, there are a variety of drugs available to assist them overcome this disease.

It has been shown that consuming a lot of water causes urine to occur in a shorter period of time. The use of alcohol and caffeine also hastens the pace of urination.

Not only can this illness in the urinary tract or bladder cause frequent urine.

The body, on the other hand, generates substantially less urine throughout the night. As a result, a person may sleep well without having to get up at regular intervals to urinate.

If a person needs to urinate more than twice during the night on a regular basis, he or she may be suffering from nocturia.

One of the most common causes of delayed urination is dehydration. If a person’s body lacks the necessary fluids, the urinary bladder cannot generate urine effectively. Excess fluid intake may be the cause of persistent urine discharge.

However, if a person is drinking fluids on a regular basis and still cannot urinate for an extended period of time, it is best to visit a medical professional.

Possible Causes of Your Constant Need to Pee

You might pee too often and want to know reasons why? Here are a few reasons:

  • Your understanding of “always” may be incorrect.
  • You could have a tiny bladder.
  • You’re not drinking enough water.
  • You have a kidney infection or stones.
  • Your pelvic floor muscles are sluggish.
  • Your bladder is unquestionably hyperactive.
  • You already take medications.
  • You could have diabetes.
  • You’re shivering.
  • Something more serious is taking place.

How many times a day should a person pee?

A person typically urinates approximately 8 times per day and no more than once per night after going to bed.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, children should not urinate less than three times each day.

The frequency with which a person pees is determined by how much he or she drinks and other factors such as convenience. A person should pee every 3–4 hours on average. Certain bladder problems can affect how frequently a person pees. These are not typical signs of aging.

Anyone experiencing urinary symptoms should see a doctor, especially if they suspect they have one of the problems listed below.

You may need to relieve yourself from time to time, but you are unable to do so. Certain medical disorders might impair your capacity to pee. Among these conditions are:

  • kidney failure
  • urinary tract infections
  • enlarged prostate
  • bladder control problems, such as incontinence, overactive bladder, interstitial cystitis
  • a blockage that prevents bladder emptying (urinary retention)

The Dangers of Holding Urine

Most of the time, holding in urine for a short length of time until there is a time and place to go is not detrimental. Holding in urine, on the other hand, is connected with a slight increase in the risk of urinary tract infections.

This is due to the fact that the presence of urine in the bladder might promote the growth of germs. Getting plenty of fluids and voiding them on a regular basis is the greatest approach to avoid bacteria overgrowth, which can lead to illness.

Warning Signs That Something Is Wrong

Because your body produces less pee as a result of dehydration and other health issues, it is simpler to hold it in. When this occurs, you will urinate less frequently than is deemed normal. You have reduced urine production if you urinate less than two cups of urine in a 24-hour period.

According to MedlinePlus and the Mayo Clinic, this might be the outcome of one of the following medical conditions:

  • Acute renal failure
  • Dehydration
  • Blockage of the urinary canal due to an enlarged prostate
  • Loss of blood
  • Infection that is severe
  • Several drugs (diuretics, some antibiotics, anticholinergics, etc.)


Overall, it can be stated that urination is a procedure that a healthy human does on a regular basis. The urinary bladder is in charge of urine production.

Urine is made up of water and waste materials. More fluids in the body result in more frequent urine flow. Dehydration causes reduced urine output.

Individuals can regulate their urine flow for five to ten hours on average, depending on their age group.

Children pee more frequently than adults because they have an underactive bladder as opposed to an adult’s healthy bladder. Uncontrolled urination might create a few issues, therefore it’s best to seek medical assistance in such circumstances.


Editorial Staff

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