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Quiz: Is My Pee Normal? Test Your Urine Knowledge

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Most people get up during the night to pee.

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Most people get up during the night to pee.

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Most people can sleep 6 to 8 hours without having to urinate. But it's usually not a big deal if you get up once a night to pee. Drinking caffeinated drinks or alcohol or just drinking too much liquid too close to bedtime can cause it. If you're concerned or waking up several times to pee, you may want to see your doctor. Excessive nighttime urination can also be caused by medications; diabetes; or kidney, heart, prostate, or other health problems, so it’s worth getting checked out.

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Why does asparagus make your pee smell?

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Why does asparagus make your pee smell?

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Asparagus can make your urine smell funky because of how your body digests it. It breaks down into something that is sulfur-like -- the same stuff responsible for that rotten egg smell. Some other foods that can cause strange-smelling pee? Fish and some spices. Musty or sweet-smelling urine is something to get checked out by a doctor.


Fun fact: Whether your pee stinks or not when you eat asparagus is genetic.

You need to drink eight glasses of water a day to keep your bladder happy.

You need to drink eight glasses of water a day to keep your bladder happy.

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While eight glasses of water a day will likely help keep you well-hydrated and help flush toxins from your body, you don’t need to be so rigid. How much H2O is enough? When your pee is light yellow or almost clear, you’re drinking enough water. When you don’t drink enough liquid, your pee can turn dark gold.

If your pee is pink, you should call the doctor.

If your pee is pink, you should call the doctor.

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Unless you’ve eaten beets -- or maybe blackberries or rhubarb -- lately, you probably want to call your health care provider. While vitamins or medicines can turn your pee neon colors, red or pink may be a sign of blood in your urine. That could point to an infection, kidney stone, or sometimes a more serious problem like kidney disease, bladder cancer, or internal injury. You should get it checked out. Cloudy pee also is a sign of infection.

Urine is germ-free.

Urine is germ-free.

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Urine is pretty germ-free when it's inside your bladder. But on its way out of your body through the urethra, it’s exposed to bacteria. That’s one reason that it’s not a good idea to taste or drink urine (some people are curious) or pee on a jellyfish sting. Both can put you at risk for a bacterial or STD infection. If you get a jellyfish sting, slowly pour seawater over it. Vinegar works even better but may be hard to find seaside.

There's no such thing as a shy bladder.

There's no such thing as a shy bladder.

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Some people do have trouble going to the bathroom around other people. Officially, shy bladder is called paruresis. While the exact cause is still debated, it's considered a type of phobia or social anxiety disorder. Around 7% of Americans live with shy bladder syndrome. But with the help of health professionals, people with shy bladders can get relief. Scheduling bathroom times and getting behavioral exposure therapy are a few of the techniques that may be helpful.

If you "hold it" for too long you could get:

If you "hold it" for too long you could get:

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Waiting too long to pee can raise your risk of bladder infections and urinary tract infections, especially for women. So when you need to go, go!  Other bathroom habits that put you at higher risk of infection include:

  • using panty liners or pads every day
  • wiping from back to front, which can transfer bacteria from your anus to your urinary tract

Going to the bathroom a lot could be a sign of:

Going to the bathroom a lot could be a sign of:

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If you guzzle a couple of bottles of water because you’re thirsty after a hard workout and then find yourself running to the bathroom, that’s normal. But being thirsty frequently and peeing a lot, over days or weeks, may point to a problem. It can be a symptom of diabetes. If you’ve noticed other possible symptoms of diabetes, such as being very tired, slow-healing cuts and bruises, and numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, see a doctor right away.

How often do most people go to the bathroom?

How often do most people go to the bathroom?

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Most people urinate between six and eight times a day. But if you’re drinking plenty, it’s not abnormal to go as many as 10 times a day. You may also pee more often if you’re taking certain medications, like diuretics for high blood pressure.

Men don't get urinary tract infections (UTIs). 

Men don't get urinary tract infections (UTIs). 

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Women do get more UTIs than men, because their shorter urethras make it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder. But “low risk” for men doesn’t mean no risk. Men do get urinary tract infections -- and when they do, they are at a greater risk of getting repeat infections. That’s because bacteria can lurk deep inside prostate tissue.

You can prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI) by drinking cranberry juice.

You can prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI) by drinking cranberry juice.

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While there may be some truth to the belief that cranberry juice is good for your bladder and urinary tract, the science behind it isn’t 100%. Drinking cranberry juice won't hurt you and may help prevent UTIs, but if you already have a UTI you probably need to take antibiotics. Staying well-hydrated afterward -- whether by drinking cranberry juice, another acidic juice, or plain water -- may help prevent future infections.

Peeing after sex may help a woman avoid a UTI.

Peeing after sex may help a woman avoid a UTI.

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Urinating after intercourse can help clear bacteria from the urinary tract. Women who use spermicidal foam and diaphragms have a higher risk of UTIs, so if you’re prone to UTIs, you may want to consider other birth control options.

If it hurts when you pee, it could be a sign of:

If it hurts when you pee, it could be a sign of:

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Most people think that painful urination means you have a urinary tract infection, but that’s not the only possible cause:

  • Some STDs cause pain or burning.
  • A kidney stone could be stuck near the entrance to your bladder.
  • You may be sensitive to the chemicals in soaps, douches, or even toilet paper.
  • Or you could have interstitial cystitis, an inflammation of the wall of your bladder.

If it hurts to pee, you should always see your doctor.

If you pee a little when you sneeze, what may help?

If you pee a little when you sneeze, what may help?

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Lots of people -- especially women -- leak urine when they sneeze, cough, or lift something heavy. It's called stress incontinence because it happens when your bladder is under pressure. It can happen during pregnancy and may go away -- or not -- after your baby is born. It can also happen after menopause.
 

The good news? It’s often treatable. There are exercises you can do called Kegels and other treatments that help leakage, so see your doctor to learn more. Sometimes if you’re overweight, some weight loss can help.

Drinking coffee or beer really makes you pee more.

Drinking coffee or beer really makes you pee more.

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Both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, meaning they stimulate you to pee more and perhaps more often. That’s why both types of beverages can cause dehydration. Some recent research also suggests that drinking or eating a lot of caffeine might be linked to incontinence. If you drink a lot of coffee and you’ve been having strong, sudden urges to urinate, it probably can’t hurt to replace a cup or two each day with a glass of water and see what happens.

The sound of water makes me have to pee. Is that normal?

The sound of water makes me have to pee. Is that normal?

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The sound of running water can definitely trigger the need to pee. But if you also sometimes suddenly go from not having to pee at all to, “Oh no, out of my way,” you may have urge incontinence. Many things can cause it, including certain medications; conditions like thyroid problems and diabetes; and conditions affecting the nervous system, like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Sometimes there is no known explanation. See your doctor to get a better picture and help.

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