To pee or not to pee?!
Well, is it really a question? We all know this feeling half into the dive when the bladder starts hurting. Towards the end of the dive it often turns into a fully grown ordeal. The pain escalates. Your brain knows only a single thought. PEE! Just let go! Do it, you stupid monkey!
The urge to just let go, is mounting and sometimes turns the diver into an uncontrolled beast.
Yet if you do, you actually stink like one afterwards!
Therefore, the question whether to pee or not to pee, is answered: No, of course not!!!
The reason is simple. The odour that rises from your suit after resurfacing is bluntly speaking: Disgusting! It has the exact opposite effect of a deodorant and forms a perfectly round circle around the delinquent. Literally pointing fingers at him and leaving him a social cripple. No wide open sun deck, no wind, not even directly applied disinfectant will stop it. Doomed for life as a suit stinker!
But what to do, if the pressure is rising? And why do we have this problem in the first place and on top always during diving?
This famous phenomenon actually has a name. It is called the Gauer-Henry-Reflex that was first described by Otto Gauer and James Paget Henry. The mechanism could be explained with the simple phrase: Atrium full, bladder full.
Pressure receptors in our heart’s atrium control the blood pressure. They trigger the kidneys to produce urine in case the pressure gets too high. And exactly that happens during diving.
During diving, the blood that is usually pulled into our legs by gravity, is redistributed all over our body. Ultimately, this also leads to increased pressure in our hearts, which results in a higher wee-wee production. And this in turn often in a ragingly, stinky suit.
The effekt is further enhanced by tight suits that press even more blood from your arms and legs towards the heart, as well as cold water that triggers your veins to contract in order to reduce the loss of body heat.
Now what can we do about it?
Well, there are actually a number of possibilities. Holding it, is just the most obvious of them and not always possible, especially for the elderly – though age should not be an excuse to be disgusting!!
Another possibility is letting go and washing your suit immediately, right where you are. This means nothing less than opening your entire suit no matter how cold the water is, which is of course also not always possible. Custom-made suits that feature a zipper in the area of question are a great alternative option.
And the last option is of a discrete technical nature and goes under the name of urinal condom. A nifty, little latex device that keeps you from becoming an outstanding stinker, while holding up your social standing. Great!
And finally, the best advise of them all: Go to toilette before diving! Sometimes life can be surprisingly simple.
And to all of you out there that insist that real divers pee in their suits, you are only stinky, incontinent wimps. Get a condom and stop molesting decent divers!
PS: Not drinking before diving in order to reduce your need to pee is simply stupid and dangerous, because it substantially increases your risk for decompression sickness!