My interest in this sort of thing is probably a bit different to the rest of yours, it's out of necessity - I'm a military fast jet pilot - the problems are obvious! I've recently finished training (I'm 25) on an aero plane that will do 4 hours at a time, but I'm starting on a type that often does 10 hours with in-flight refuelling. The general rule is that the blokes do these long transit flights, but even they can't really pee whilst flying because we wear about 4 layers of overalls, including a waterproof dry suit - damn near impossible and dangerous to try. I've insisted to be included on these long flights - equality and all that - and need to enlarge my bladder to cope!
10 hours may not seem like too long, but with briefings you're talking 11 - 12 hrs and we have to stay well hydrated for the whole flight + the reduced pressure high up and pressure oxygen breathing play havoc with you're body. I've v nearly wet myself twice, once in only 2 hours (drank too much b4hand!). I've got a fairly good bladder for a small person (5'6'') but it needs to get better or I will end up wetting myself! At the moment I can hold 1750ml**, but that is v painful, realistically I can only hold 1200ml whilst concentrating enough to fly an aero plane! A mate (female) at university had a party trick whereby she would go to the bar at 6.30 and sit on the same stool all night (11.00) without leaving whilst drinking 9 pints - anyone beat that!?! She was 6' but must have had a bladder capacity of over 2000ml, so it is possible. Also a male friend of mine did a study at university on bladder capacity (human biology 1st year) and tested 25 girls aged 16 to 23.
The results were amazing, ranging from 650 to 3120ml (that one was her best of 3, I witnessed the 3rd and was amazed. she was 16, 5'9'' ish, physically fit and a keen sailor - (used to crossing her legs!) so it is more than possible, the question is how? By the way, female average was 1580ml, male (similar study)1260ml if I recall correctly.
I have a number of questions all responses are welcome.
1. There are some very big bladders out there - it is just a muscle so can be trained. I've spoken to a Doctor friend of mine who assures me that holding it for as long as possible will not damage anything provided you don't get hit in the abdomen. How would you guys recommend I train my bladder? I reckon I can manage 2000ml with training, hopefully 2500ml because then I'll be able to ignore it until the same point that I can't hold it any longer now. It seems that I need the loo from 1/4 of total capacity, at 1/2 I'm uncomfortable but it's easily managed, at 3/4 I get restless and it really starts to get painful - it's this point that I need to improve to improve my "functional capacity" How am I going to try it?
2. I've done some experiments by drinking a set amount of water every 20 mins (300ml) and recorded how I feel every 10 mins (you then know how much was in your bladder at that time by measuring how much you pee when you can't hold anymore then using the times noted - you can assume a linear filling pattern so long as you spend an hour drinking before you wee and then start timing. I've tried to put into words how my bladder feels and the physical shape of it from feeling my abdomen. At 1750ml it sticks out by about 2 inches and goes up to within an inch of my tummy button - but there's lots more room - think of pregnancy - the limiting factor is the actual size of my bladder not the space it has available. I'm sure some of you have done this sort of thing - if not, try it. It would be very useful and interesting if you could send me your results, especially if you have a v big bladder or re physically small but can hold a lot. I'm sure lots of you can beat me but don't be embarrassed if you can't. What would be very useful would be the points at which you: first begin to need a wee; would stop the car for a wee on a motorway; begin to be distracted by the need; discomfort turns to pain; restlessness begins; cannot think about anything else; would not be able to drive a car; unable to walk properly; unable to do a sit-up without wetting yourself, not necessarily in that order. That way I can compare myself.
3. I've never actually wet myself but I think I've been very close, both when flying and when drinking. Each time I've made the conscious decision to wee and record the amount or, in real life, got to a toilet and been for a very thankful and pleasurable wee. I assume that if you carry on and ignore the pain there comes a point when despite holding it as hard as you can your sphincter muscles can't cope and it starts leaking gradually. The pain has beaten me first in private but if I was going to wet myself I'd hold it to this point. What does it feel like and has anyone held it to this point in public. I'd like to compare how I feel and consider whether I need to train my sphincter as well as my bladder to improve my capacity. The 5 people I've seen wet themselves didn't noticeably leak, they just let go which seems to me to suggest that they gave up and could have waited longer if they'd wanted to. Describing those last stages would be useful...also what do you all do to take your mind off your bladder and to persuade yourself to wait longer...also do you find that certain physical positions are better? I need advice on all of this. What about drinking lots and then putting yourself in a predicament that you simply have to hold it? Does that work?
4. Who has got the biggest bladder out there, what did it feel like, how did you do it, have you ever genuinely wet yourself and how did it happen? I intend to train mine to rival you - I'm working on it!
I can see how people can get into this! It would be great to receive as much advice as possible and information on how big people have made their bladders. Many thanks to all who respond, I don't want to wet myself in the air and then sit in a dry suit for the remaining 5 hours - please help.
Cheers, Sarah e-mail me
PS. Does anyone have a party trick similar to my university mate's - I thought that was impressive!
** Amendment: I've made 1920ml now, still working on it!