An unexpected bit of news swept through some British newspapers last month, as outlets focused on the rise of “Pee-Gasm.” According to multiple outlets, women reported delaying urination in order to experience an orgasm-like feeling when they released their urine.
Some women on Reddit and other forums have also described this practice, although in that case, many women expressed concern that there was something wrong with their bodies rather than a desire to achieve a “pee-gasm.”
But experts say that there is a scientific reason for “pee-gasm,” and in fact, it can be a normal byproduct of women’s anatomy.
And while experts stress there’s nothing wrong with women who have an orgasm during urination, they also don’t recommend women try “holding it” just for fun.
What is a pee-gasm?
It is first and foremost important to note that there is nothing wrong with women who experience pleasure from delaying urination. As family nurse practitioner, Patricia Geraghty, FNP-BC, WHNP, explained, theoretically this feeling is due to the structure of a woman’s anatomy.
“I always talk about the geography of [the pelvic region], everything is close and tight down there,” Geraghty told Healthline. “An over-full bladder is going to put pressure on the other organs, including the clitoris.”
It’s when that pressure is relieved that some women may get more than they bargained for.
“When you have downward pressure from the bladder on the shaft of the clitoris and there’s a sudden release of this pressure, it can cause those nerves to fire off,” Geraghty said. “These nerves firing off is what gives these women that tingly orgasmic feeling.”
This is similar to the feeling you get after holding something heavy for a long time. When you finally put the heavy object down, you feel a release in your arms as the muscles relax.
Theoretically, these women who are delaying urine are simply contracting a muscle for a long enough period of time to set off nerves when the muscle is finally released.
Sex therapist, Janet Brito, PhD, further explained this sensation by pointing out that the urethra is “an erogenous zone” and a full bladder against a sensitive structure can cause a pleasurable sensation.
Is a pee-gasm safe?
While this practice may give women pleasure, it’s actually not a great idea in the long run, Brito told Healthline.
“It is not healthy to hold your urine in to have an orgasm,” Brito said. “Peeing is a natural human function and a way for our kidneys to filter waste. Holding in your pee may lead to urinary tract infections or kidney problems.”
This is because delaying urination also delays the sterilization of the urinary tract, as ascending bacteria is not flushed out quickly enough. These bacteria can get into the sterile bladder, causing all sorts of kidney discomfort and dysfunction.
This practice not only causes higher levels of bacteria in the urethra and bladder, but it can also cause incontinence later down the road.
The bladder is a muscular sac and “when you hold the bladder, you’re overstretching it, when you overstretch any muscle you eventually lose strength in it,” said Geraghty. “So, over-filling is stretching that muscle to a point of no return, where it can’t contract efficiently, which causes incontinence.”
While incontinence during orgasm can be normal and caused by a sudden release of muscles, it can be avoided by simply going when you have to go.
If you’re experiencing the flip side of pee-gasms, urinating during orgasm, there are noninvasive ways to stop this from happening, including pelvic floor physical therapy and various other tissue-rebuilding techniques. Women can also urinate before having sex to preemptively empty their bladder.
What are alternative ways to feel similar pleasure?
So, while this trend of “pee-gasming” is a completely normal reaction of muscles and stimulation, it isn’t the safest way to experience pleasure. If you enjoy the feeling of having a full bladder, you may want to explore g-spot stimulation. The g-spot can be reached by inserting a finger or toy into the vagina and making a “come hither” motion towards the belly button.
If the sensation you’re seeking is the feeling of tingles, either in your head or up and down your spine, instead of holding in your urine you may want to explore the world of ASMR. ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, is a term used to describe physical sensations that happen because of physical, visual, and audible stimuli. Physical sensations are described as tingling, tickling, and chills, especially in the scalp. They’re associated with a sense of peace, calm, euphoria, and well-being.
So, if you are craving that tingly feeling, you may want to explore the expansive world of ASMR on YouTube instead of delaying urination.
In the end, you aren’t weird or abnormal if you experience pleasure from holding in your pee, but unfortunately this pleasurable experience can cause kidney infections and UTIs, which can end up ruining the fun.