To Pee or Not To Pee (In Your Wetsuit)

Peeing in your wetsuit

Who here isn’t familiar with that warm and wonderful sensation you get just a second after urinating in your wetsuit. That magical moment when you forget about the cold water around you and everything feels pleasant and fuzzy…

Probably only half of you will admit knowing that feeling, since the diving world is divided in two: Those who pee in their wetsuit with pride and those who will never admit doing it, or just never tried. Which half are you on?

Avoiding heart explosion

Let start with this – You pee in your wetsuit because you have no choice! This is backed up by very good physiological reasons. When our body is immersed in water, the blood volume increases. Luckily, our body has mechanisms to balance that out and keep our blood volume normal, so more blood will flow towards our kidneys and by releasing more liquid from the body, the blood volume will remain normal!

To make a long story short – you pee to prevent your heart from exploding. That reason alone is enough for me… But let’s continue anyway 🙂

Why do I pee more in cold waters?

You’ve probably noticed that cold water increases the urge to urinate. There’s a perfectly good scientific reason for that as well. When we are cold, blood vessels which are close to the skin shrink, causing the blood to concentrate at the center of the body, flowing to vital organs to maintain body heat and increasing blood pressure. This increases the blood volume in the center of the body, causing the same effect as we discussed before – the need to get rid of liquids by urination. This phenomenon is called Immersion Diuresis.

Underwater photography workshops

I won’t drink so I won’t have to pee!

If you think that drinking less will solve the problem, you couldn’t be more wrong!

You will still have to pee just the same but your body fluids would smell a lot worse and you will also risk dehydration, making you more prone to decompression sickness.

The warm and fuzzy feeling

Ahhhhhh….. If you have already decided to shamelessly soil yourselves, enjoy it! It will keep you warm during the dive, especially at the end when you might be cold and shivering.
I should add a disclaimer here. Some say that the warm feeling is actually an illusion since it heats us up for a moment but in the long run lowers body temperature. I still enjoy it 😉

Peeing in your wetsuit

 

Always wanted to be an astronaut when you grow up?

Another fun fact on behalf of science – the feeling of weightlessness increases the urge to pee as well. This has been first discovered among astronauts in outer space.

So to sum it up, looks like the answer is clear – Say YES to peeing in your wetsuit!

Alright alright, to keep the argument fair, I have gathered some reason against peeing. Let me know what you think:

It stinks

That’s true. BUT, the more you drink, the less it will smell. If you are properly hydrated, your urine should be clear and almost odor-less. Besides, this is why god invented wetsuit shampoo! Just wash your suit after the dive and you will get rid of the smell (most of it at least…).

Diaper Rash

It might cause a rash, but this is quite extreme and can only occur if you stayed in your wetsuit, soaking in your own urine for a long time after the dive. That can easily be solved – don’t stay in your wetsuit after the dive, and if you do because you are too lazy to put it on again, flush it down with water after the dive to remove all the trapped water and other liquids…

Urine can hurt your seams

The only thing I can’t find a solution for, is that it might ruin the suit in the long run, especially the seams. However, I have had suits that lasted over 1500 dives (3000-4500 urinations. Ewww…), so I’m pretty sure that if you clean your suit properly after each dive, it could survive nicely. That’s actually something I should be doing more often 😉

Do you pee in your wetsuit proudly, or do you think it’s a nasty habit creating a stinky reality for all divers worldwide?

Let us know in the comments!

About Author

Danielle Mor
Danielle Mor
I love the ocean! I'm a Padi, SSI and ANDI dive instructor and a Watsu (Water Shiatsu) therapist. I've worked in Mexico, Israel, India and Croatia and led dive trips around the world. I think that we should be in the water as much as possible! Join me on my journey to explore the underwater world!

Comments

Leonie
March 10, 2016
I am a wetsuit pee-er. I don't deny it but I don't announce it. And I like the warm feeling. Sometimes it is hard for me to start peeing anybody is near me. Sometimes I hold it in for a while to have some warm fluid when I am getting cold. I drink enough to be hydrated but sometimes I have to pee on the boat before... Did you ever pee your wetsuit while not in water? :D What are you wearing under your wetsuit? A bikini or a swimsuit? Do you feel the difference of peeing in a bikini to peeing in a swimsuit? For me it feels warmer peeing in a swimsuit. I don't know the reason. And a friend told me to never pee in a white swimsuit under a wetsuit. You can see the yellow, she said. And if it is warm enough ... have you ever tried to stop the flow and save the rest for a bonus pee? My personal heating concept. Sometimes. Thanks for this great article. :)

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