Just imagine how many people pee freely in public pools. Wait, don’t. It’s too disgusting. (By the way, experts estimate ONE in FIVE people urinate while swimming. Thank goodness for chlorine and hot showers).
My daughter would happily stay in her grandparents’ pool all day if we let her—minus the dozen or more times she has to get out of the pool to pee. And not just a tinkle. We’re talking bucketfuls. Literally. To save the poor child from drying off every ten minutes to use the toilet, my mum fashioned her a makeshift outdoor-bucket-potty.
“AGAIN?! There’s no possible way. She just went.” my husband would exclaim, shaking his head in disbelief.
“What do you mean we need to pull over and use the bathroom at the grocery store? We’re almost home, can’t you hold it?” I’d whine, trying hard not to sound pissed off. Pun acknowledged.
During swimming lessons Avery has to leave the pool to use the bathroom two to three times at least. We knew there had to be a scientific reason because on dry land, she’s just as dry as a camel, so what gives? My friend Sharon told me she experienced the same thing and that there’s a “sciencey” name for it.
The sciencey name is Immersion Diuresis.
Immersion diuresis occurs when the body is immersed in water and is mainly caused by lower temperature and by pressure.
1. The temperature component is caused by water drawing heat away from the body, causing the cutaneous blood vessels to constrict to conserve heat. The body detects an increase in the blood pressure and inhibits the release of antidiuretic hormone, causing an increase in the production of urine.
2. The external hydrostatic pressure due to being immersed in water causes a shift in blood from the periphery to the central circulation. The body detects the shift and assumes that blood volume is too great. This results in reduced secretion of ADH so less water is reabsorbed in the kidneys. Hence…. the pee bucket. Source
Why this affects some people more than others is a mystery of science. I actually have high blood pressure. By all accounts, shouldn’t I be peeing like a fish? Wait, do fish even pee? I mean race horse. (And why do race horses pee more than regular horses? Is that why they can run so fast? They’re running for an open field to let ‘er rip?)
I’m just glad to have a sciency answer. And a potty-bucket. And access to a private pool that is mathematically proven to have a lower urine-to-H2O ratio than a public pool. Though according to the math, if ONE in FIVE people pee while swimming and there are five family members swimming in my parent’s pool, one of must be peeing. I’m placing my bets on Grandma. Just kidding mum. 😉