Do we really have to pee more in winter?

Do we really have to pee more in winter?

In cold weather, we often feel like we have to urinate more. Is this a real need or a preconceived idea? Dr. Gérald Kierzek, medical director of TipsForWomens, answers us.

Does the ambient cold affect the functioning of the body and our desire to pee? Does it contract our bladder more? This is the kind of question we might ask ourselves if we make more trips to the little corner in winter. But is this impression based on physical facts?

“Slight” physical changes in winter

There would indeed be a slight phenomenon of “cold-related diuresis” in winter according to scientists.

  • Thus, several experiments carried out since 1918 suggest an involuntary contraction of the bladder due to cold which would theoretically lead to a need to urinate;
  • Under the effect of cold, the body also tends to thermoregulate itself by constricting the blood vessels. “The blood will then flow primarily to the essential organs, including the kidneys which then receive more blood and which, then functioning at full capacity, must produce more urine.“, explains Louis-Guillaume Kan-Lancas, in the book “150 things to know” (First Edition);
  • The heart rate, faster in cold weather, would also be involved: by increasing blood flow, the kidneys, which must filter more blood, must produce more urine.

But nothing very significant for Dr. Kierzek

However, can we say that we pee more in winter? Nothing is less certain for our medical director, Dr. Gérald Kierzek, who twists this belief.

“It remains to be proven, there is no real scientific proof for this idea. The frequency of urination depends more on other factors such as hydration, diet, or even the level of physical activity.“

According to him, on the contrary, we tend to urinate less in winter than in summer: “Winter changes our hydration habits, we feel less thirsty, we think less about hydrating, and our water consumption even tends to reduce.

So yes, under the effect of the heat in summer, the bladder expands and takes up more space, he maintains.

On the contrary in winter, by retracting it can become a little irritated and give the impression of wanting to urinate, but nothing that really changes our habits and does not multiply our pressing desires by two or three”.

A high frequency should invite you to consult

Finally, if you notice that your urge to urinate increases considerably since it’s cold, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor, Dr. Kierzek reminds us. “If you suddenly start peeing more, this is not a sign of getting colder weather, but more of a sign of a urinary infection” concludes our expert.

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