I had an interesting conversation with a friend, and thought it might be interesting to throw it out there for discussion. While planning some back to back 12 hr holds, the point was made by my friend that 12 hrs should be in the normal holding range of a typical adult, although they might be desperate, and therefore even if one of us "holders" is out of practice, it is certainly doable, and if we are in practice, it should be easy.
I think that while those are laudable goals (I myself think an average adult should be able to hold a liter without squirming too much, but most people can't) it is perhaps a bit much to ask of the typical bladder on the street
So, we launched into a discussion on relative bladder capacity, and came up with some interesting thoughts.
What is a person's "limit"? What is their "capacity"? How do you define that? How do you compare one person's holding abilities with anothers? Is the comparison of any merit, especially when all bladder sensations are subjective?
Medical txts often say things like the typical bladder maxes out at 16 ounces... which is only about 473 ml. For me that is about when I feel the first sensations of wanting to pee. Admittedly I'm closer to the extreme end of the scale, but still, that seems very small. If my maximum capacity was less than 500 ml I'd be peeing very frequently, especially on "well hydrated" days.
While I find people's self-reported "maximum capacity" (held as long as possible, until just before wetting) to be an interesting and relevant measurement, I also am interested in "at what volume do you first get the urge" and "at what volume does the sensation change from very full / strong pressure to actual pain". Can we all agree on what pain feels like or is that subjective?
To me there is a "sharp" difference in the sensation of pressure that is reasonably well defined... also the stretching aching turns to painful pangs. (For the curious, those sensations happen around 1400 ml for me). Another potentially useful measurement point is "how much can you hold without fidgeting"?
This probably is your "normal" functional capacity, how much you can hold in a meeting or class, possibly uncomfortable and longing for relief, but able to maintain self-control and be discrete.
About a liter is my limit before I start fidgeting a little bit (perhaps only noticeable to the holding aficiando). Your "extreme" functional capacity is how much can you hold if stuck on a car / train with no toilets, no cups to sneak a pee in, no choice but to either hold or wet... presumably you would hold on as long as you could, desperate and squirming and hand jammed in crotch, until you eventually wet.
This depends on how in practice I am... I've never been in that situation in public, the worst I've done in public is come home hurting with 1400 ml or so in my bladder but still well in control of myself, I've never progressed to holding myself / wetting in front of others, although my at-home alone, all time best capacity, about-to-lose-a-spurt record is 1900 ml.
Anyone else have thoughts on this, or measurement points to share?