General Question

Les's avatar

Does cold weather make you have to pee more frequently?

Asked by Les (10005points) August 31st, 2009

I think I remember hearing from somebody that when it is really cold outside, you have to pee more frequently. Does anyone here know if this is true, and if so, does this effect have a name?

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14 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

Yes. You don’t sweat so much and all that water has to go somewhere.

augustlan's avatar

It does for me, but I have no idea what it might be named.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yes but I don’t know why it happens.

@Lightlyseared is the fact that we don’t sweat as much really the reason why?

Shuttle128's avatar

You tend to contract your muscles more when cold. This could certainly increase the pressure on your bladder causing you to feel the need to use the bathroom more often.

Les's avatar

Yeah, I get the thing about not sweating a lot, but I don’t think that’s the only reason. It could be what @Shuttle128 said about muscle contractions, too. Hmm… How many times can I go to the bathroom in one day?

Darwin's avatar

Animal studies have shown that cold weather itself increases the feeling of urgency, that is, you feel more that you need to go. It does that by making the bladder muscles more active. In addition, as others have said, you sweat less but possibly drink as much as you do in the summer, meaning your body has more fluid to get rid of.

And there is one other possibility: when you are cold the surface blood vessels contract, resulting in less volume of blood needed. The extra fluid is then removed from the body in urine. Additionally, blood flow to our internal organs is increased to keep our organs warm.The increase in blood flow to the kidneys causes more blood to be filtered thus producing more urine once again.

And finally, sometimes folks drink more fluid than they realize in cold weather, including coffee, tea and hot chocolate. All of these contain caffeine, which is a diuretic and thus increases how hard your kidneys work.

Les's avatar

@Darwin: Ah, excellent. Yes, I have been drinking a lot of water, because it is soooooo dry here, but I wouldn’t say it is more than I normally drink. And as for the other things, ( coffee, tea, H.C), I haven’t been having too much of that, but you’re right. All that does work against you, I suppose. Oh well.. Thanks for the answers, guys. Back to the bathroom I go.

augustlan's avatar

@Les I take it you are back in Antarctica? Despite the extra pee, you must be thrilled!

Les's avatar

@augustlan – Yep. It is pretty good so far… but super cold. Yes, I know it is Antarctica. Yesterday and the day before: -35 F with 40 mph winds. That’s a windchill of about -85 F. COLD. I’m working on getting a shot of Dr. J on the ice, too. Stay tuned for that.

I guess I’ll just have to deal with the constant bathroom breaks. As long as I’m staying hydrated, I guess it is OK. ;-)

augustlan's avatar

@Les Just thinking about being that effing cold makes me need to pee!

Les's avatar

@augustlan – Haha! Yeah, maybe you can go have a pity pee for me. ;-)

PrancingUrchin's avatar

It may seem like nothing to you now Les but a cold front came through lil ol’ Dekalb and caught me with only shorts and a tee. Needless to say, I found myself standing in front of the urinal several extra times today. I noticed it so it’s really funny to see this question come up today.

Les's avatar

@PrancingUrchin – Oh, bummer! Yeah, I think that happened to me a couple times there, too. That is funny! I’m glad I posted the question, then! Have a good year at NIU!

Darwin's avatar

Well, a cold front came through here yesterday, too, but only dropped the temperature to a chilly 85 F. That’s a positive 85.

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