Why someone rarely gets blood while urinating

Be careful when partying: When peeing makes you pass out

Status: 11.05.2018 09:33 a.m. | archive
Just "let out" the pent-up beer? This can be dangerous for men and lead to sudden fainting.

It sounds like a nightmare for men: just happily emptied a few beers, squeezed the bladder - and if a man wants to relieve himself somewhere quickly, it can happen in no time: dizziness sets in, it goes black, suddenly a man strikes himself somewhere bloody head. The phenomenon is anything but invented. It is known in medicine and is called micturition syncope - the fainting when urinating. What happens is a strange reaction from the body. And it can be dangerous.

Brain stops operating

The rapid emptying of the bladder triggers a strong nerve stimulus. This in turn ensures that the heart beats more slowly, as internist Christoph Duisberg from the Hannover Medical School (MHH) explains. The result: a drop in blood pressure that prevents the brain from getting enough oxygen. The body control center stops operating as a precaution - it leads to fainting. This mainly happens while standing, which is why it mainly affects men. If they were to press while peeing, it would be even more difficult for the blood to flow back to the heart, according to Duisberg. The risk of fainting increases. "Usually it only lasts a few seconds," says the doctor. After that, everything is as if nothing had happened.

With open pants in the water

The head of the emergency room at the MHH Hannover, Christoph Duisberg, says: Micturition syncope is rare, but can be dangerous.

If nothing happens while you are unconscious. But that is exactly the danger, according to Duisberg: If you fall over uncontrollably, injuries can occur. In the opinion of the doctor, the risk of fainting is particularly high during large drinking bouts for two reasons: Alcohol removes water from the body, which leads to a drop in blood volume and thus to an additional drop in blood pressure. In addition, drunk men tended to hold back urine for a long time. But the fuller the bladder, the greater the risk of disastrous nerve irritation when peeing and thus fainting. The mechanism is also known in seafaring: stories of men who fall over the railing while urinating and are then fished out of the water with their trousers open are told among sailors.

Death after peeing?

Micturition syncopations are particularly often not registered. In the specialist literature it is said that almost five percent of fainting spells can be traced back to this phenomenon. Duisberg, who heads the emergency room at the MHH, also says: "We have maybe four cases a year". However, very few sufferers went to the emergency doctor with their problem. It is therefore unknown how many men are really affected by peeing fainting. According to Duisberg, it is also difficult to prove, at least medically, whether young men who have disappeared and found dead after party nights had fallen over as a result of urination syncope: "An autopsy cannot provide any clues," says the doctor. The open pants on victims are clearer.

Sitting down saves - and frequent use of the toilet

Incidentally, urination syncope can also affect women and older men - in the latter, however, the reason is more often a pathological enlargement of the prostate, which is accompanied by difficulties in urinating, according to Duisberg. The phenomenon occurs most frequently in young men: Not only when drinking a lot of alcohol, but also in the morning after getting up, when the circulation is not yet in motion. And what can you do about it? MHH doctor Duisberg says: Frequent urination, especially when consuming alcohol. And be careful if you notice signs of micturition syncope, such as sudden sweating and a feeling of warmth, malaise or dizziness: "Then it helps to cross your legs and tense up to hold up the urine," says the internist. If the symptoms then subside, it is better to sit down while urinating - also generally a good idea to prevent micturition syncope. Well, if that's not finally a convincing argument in favor of peeing on your seat ...

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