You shouldn’t force yourself to pee if you don’t have to for medical reasons. If you do have to force yourself, here are 10 strategies that may work:

1. Run the water

Turn on the faucet in your sink. Sit on the toilet. Try to relax, close your eyes, and focus on the sound of the water.

2. Rinse your perineum

The perineum is the area of flesh between the genitals and the anus. Sit on the toilet and try to relax. Use a squirt bottle to rinse your perineum with warm water.

3. Hold your hands in warm or cold water

Fill a shallow bowl with warm or cold water and place your fingertips into it. Hold them there until you get the urge to pee, and then try to do so into the toilet.

4. Go for a walk

Physical activity can sometimes stimulate the bladder. Try walking around a room or a hallway until you feel you need to pee.

5. Sniff peppermint oil

The smell of peppermint oil may give you the urge to pee. Place a few drops on a cotton ball and bring it with you to the toilet. Sit on the toilet, relax, and sniff the cotton ball. You might also want to try putting the peppermint oil directly into the toilet.

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6. Bend forward

Sit on the toilet and relax. When you’re ready to try to pee, bend forward. This may stimulate your bladder.

7. Try the Valsalva maneuver

Sit on the toilet and bear down, as if you were having a bowel movement. Use your forearm to press gently on your lower abdomen — but take care not to press directly on your bladder. Urine that moves back up into the kidneys can cause infection or damage.

8. Try the subrapubic tap

Sit on the toilet and relax. Use your fingertips to rapidly tap the area between your navel and pubic bone (for women) or penis (for men). Tap once a second for up to 30 seconds.

9. Use relaxation techniques

Sit on the toilet and relax as much as you can. To relax further, close your eyes and begin breathing deeply. Make an effort to relax all of the muscles in your body, from head to toe.

10. Touch your thigh

Sit on the toilet and relax. Stroke your inner thigh with your fingertips. This may stimulate urination.

Have you ever wondered how your body knows when it’s time to urinate? Your nerve system directs your body to alert your brain when your bladder is full. When you have to pee, you feel a pressurized sensation in your abdomen, signaling that it’s time to visit the bathroom.

In some situations, you might have to force your body to pee. This might be when your doctor asks you to give urine for analysis at a checkup. This is called a urinalysis. Your doctor will give you a sterile plastic container into which you urinate, and they’ll run various tests on your urine sample.

Or you might have trouble after surgery if you develop a common condition called neurogenic bladder, which interferes with your normal nerve signals from the bladder to the brain. This makes it difficult or impossible for your body to figure out whether or not it has to release urine. Urine contains waste products that can be dangerous to the body if you “hold it in.”

Many medications can cause temporary urinary retention.

The key to urinating on command is being able to relax enough to let it happen. While it can be difficult to do this, for medical reasons it’s sometimes necessary.

If you still have trouble passing urine after attempting these techniques, alert your doctor right away. You may require catheterization, or you may have a condition that’s impairing your ability to urinate.

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