Ever Wonder Why People Pee When They’re Scared?


Why do we pee when we're scared?

Imagine you’re home alone at night. You’re just about to sit down to binge Netflix when you hear a creaking noise upstairs. All sorts of thoughts flash through your mind: “am I alone?”, “is this house haunted?”, “is that breathing I hear?”.

Suddenly, you jump to your feet! Your whole body is flooded with crippling fear…. and so are your pants. That’s right folks, you peed yourself. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. While we might not all scream at the top of our lungs when we’re scared, it turns out a lot of us leak a little. But why?

Why We Pee When We’re Scared or Stressed


Bladder control can be broken down into three separate brain systems. Each one is in communication with the other, but performs a different function. First is a part of our brainstems known as the PMC, or the pontine micturition center (but who’s going to say all that?). This area is in constant contact with the bladder and recognizes when it becomes full. According to Brian Palmer of slate.com, if bladder function was controlled solely by this system, we would pee ourselves essentially every time our bladders expanded past a certain point. We’re talkin’ ANY TIME and ANYWHERE. Yikes.

Luckily, we can summon the Force to prevent this from happening. Okay okay, so maybe we aren’t awesome Jeddi. However, we can voluntarily cause the prefrontal cortex to send inhibitory signals to the PMC to stop the bladder from contracting. If you ask me, that’s pretty cool too. This way, you don’t have to worry about how much coffee you downed in the AM.

Don’t get too excited though. Unfortunately, your super duper powers in the frontal lobe can be overruled by our third neural participant: the limbic system. This is the region of your brain best known for the “fight or flight” response. In other words, when a clown is chasing you through a haunted house, it’s the difference between punching him straight in the face and running for your life.


Happee Halloween

In situations where we feel particularly stressed or anxious, the limbic system sends electrical signals that are so powerful that the PMC can’t properly receive instructions from the prefrontal cortex. The result? You accidentally pee. To make things worse, if you have stress urinary incontinence and thus, a weakened pelvic floor, you may be more likely to experience these freaky leaks.

That’s why haunted houses don’t bode well for us SUI ladies. We don’t know what’s scarier, the suspense of watching a horror movie or the physical reaction to it. Not all hope is lost though! If you want to survive a zombie attack and bladder leaks alike, now may be the best time to give Finess a try.

Since you can wear it as long as you want, Finess is perfect for long nights of trick-or-treating with your little ones. You won’t need to stop to change your outfit and you can keep up with them as their sugar high peaks. You know what we’re talking about…