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To pee or not to pee....

That is the question...

To pee or not to pee… and whilst we’re at it… why do I need to pee?

No Bunny has ever peed in their wetsuit, none, zero, nada… it is something that instantly disqualifies you from being a DB.  Unless, naturally, you are one of the very, very few bunnies that may have felt the need to answer the call of nature under the waves.

The rest of us simply lie about it, but in the interests of honesty...BRB, need a pee.

But why?  I’m in the water for let’s say 50 minutes, I don’t need a pee when I’m kitting up, I haven’t guzzled half a bottle of wine...

So why do I need to pee halfway through a dive? I’m more than capable of going a couple of hours on the surface! Is it all in our minds, is it just a girl thing or a boy thing or is there something more to it?

Phil was keen to jump on this one - weirdly:

“The need to pee is called immersion diuresis if you’re desperate (ED: we assume pun intended) to know and it’s completely normal.  We all know that being well hydrated is important when diving but this is not the cause – so keep guzzling the water.

“In short, your body has a level of blood and water in it that it is happy with. When we dive we significantly reduce the effect that gravity has on our bodies. This, coupled with the cooling effect of the water, results in more of the fluids that we have, pooling around the chest area.”

Apparently when we are above the water, our old friend gravity means a lot of our blood pools in our arms and legs. When we go diving, we're confusing gravity a little – plus the fact that we’re horizontal, creates the need to pee…sorry, immersion diurresssssrr or whatever.

Phil continued:

“Put simply your body thinks you have too much fluid in you when you dive and it sends a signal to the kidneys to immediately produce urine to lower the fluid levels. Ever wonder why you wake up in the morning needing to pee? Same sort of thing.”

So, what is the answer? For those of us that really don’t want to pee in our wetsuits how do we counter this physiological effect and maintain our dignity?

Phil added:

“You can’t. So just pee in your suit and enjoy. When you surface, the body can’t instruct the kidneys to reverse the process and draw urine out of your bladder, so you will still need to go to the loo and for many dive sites that means…well, you know.”

The Divers Alert Network who really seem to know about these things has an FAQ on this very subject, Immersion Diuresis (Urge to Urinate) as Phil said – if you’re desperate.