three older women sitting on a couch laughing

Why do I Pee When I Laugh?

Bladder leaks are an embarrassing but fairly common experience. You're sitting or standing, something funny makes you laugh, and then you feel a sudden loss of bladder control that can trigger a rush to the bathroom to handle the situation. Many people, of all ages and lifestyles, experience at least occasional release of urine when they exercise, laugh, or do anything else that causes muscle contractions. It happens for all sorts of reasons, but fortunately, there are ways to manage the issue. Here are five things you can try, regardless of why you pee when you laugh.

1. Do Your Daily Kegels

The muscle controlling the pelvic floor, the anatomical area between your legs, is known as the pubococcygeus muscle. You can feel this muscle tightening when you try to control your stream of urine. Special exercises, called Kegels, allow you to strengthen this area and get better control over your urine flow. If you've ever wondered why you pee when you laugh, a big part of the reason is that this muscle isn't keeping things closed down there. You can practice flexing your PC muscle several times a day, even if you're sitting at your desk, until you feel better control over your flow.

2. Avoid Certain Beverages

The fuller your bladder gets, the more likely it is that you'll pee when you laugh. Certain drinks are more liable to cause this than others, however. Coffee, soda, and some sugary drinks, such as fruit juice, are more likely than other drinks to trigger unexpected urination. Alcoholic drinks are also common culprits for this.

If you want to control your urine better, try to steer clear of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. It's also a good idea to keep an eye on your total fluid intake, maybe by avoiding too much water intake before bedtime or when you know you probably won't have access to a bathroom for a while. Try to only drink water when you're thirsty, and check your urine color, which should be a light straw color instead of clear or darker in shade.

3. Watch What You Eat

Drinks aren't the only thing that can make you pee when you laugh. Certain foods can also be bladder irritants. While everybody is different, as a rule, you should avoid foods that are high in acid and sugar. Artificial sweeteners and foods with lots of spice can also irritate your bladder. An irritated bladder lining can easily increase the frequency of your bathroom trips, and it can make it hard to control small discharges of urine and make you pee when you laugh.

To manage this, try to pay attention to your food labels. Watch out for chocolate or medications that contain caffeine, or for high-sugar foods, along with foods that contain artificial sweeteners. Very acidic fruits can be problematic, such as oranges, lemons, limes, mango, grapefruit, and pineapple. Juice from these fruits can cause issues too. Tomatoes are on the list, along with tomato-based foods such as spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, chili, and gazpacho. Lactose, milk, and milk products might also add to the problem.

Because of the wide variety of foods that can cause bladder issues, there is no master list of foods to watch out for. Instead, it's a good idea to keep a diary listing foods you've been eating and tracking your bladder control. If you notice a correlation, such as laughing and peeing or a loss of bladder control during exercise, on days when you've eaten chocolate, you might want to avoid those foods going forward.

4. Limit Your Bathroom Trips

This can be really counterintuitive, but you should avoid peeing, unless you actually have the urge. Many people stop by the bathroom whenever they're about to go out or spend a long time working where they can't easily get to the facilities. While it seems like common sense to empty your bladder before going somewhere, doing this too often can effectively confuse your bladder and set up an irregular schedule that makes it harder to predict when you actually need to go. That triggers a physiological change that makes it hard for some people to keep from discharging urine at odd times during the day.

5. Don't Bear Down Too Hard

Anything that puts pressure on your pelvic floor can contribute to unintended discharges. If you exercise too hard, such as by running too much or by lifting heavy weights, you might be bearing down and causing problems with urine retention. This is especially common for women who have recently given birth, or for mothers who've had multiple children. Women who have had difficult deliveries are also more likely than many people to develop incontinence related to a loosening of the pelvic floor.

Even if you're menopausal, it might be a good idea to switch over to a lower-impact exercise routine that takes the pressure off the pelvic floor and eases off the stress that can make you pee when you laugh. Younger people, especially teens, can prevent long-term trouble by limiting high-impact exercises like gymnastics and track. Instead, consider switching to lower-impact exercises like yoga or walking. Don't forget to exercise your pelvic floor with repeated Kegel exercises as well.

There Are Many Reasons You Pee When You Laugh

There's no single reason why people pee their pants when they laugh or exercise. From having too much to drink to eating the wrong foods or engaging in high-impact exercise, almost anything can trigger at least occasional, unintended discharges. No matter what's causing the issue, you don't have to let unintentional peeing when you laugh ruin your day. You can use these tips to help with bladder control, while Nexwear also restores your peace of mind with pads and underwear designed to help manage stress incontinence and occasional losses of bladder control. We have a wide selection of slim garments that sit discreetly under your normal clothes and provide solid, reliable protection all day long. Have a look at our selection and shop for comfortable, protective Nexwear products today.