Last Updated: July 18, 2023
The urge to pee when scuba diving is common and most divers give in to the need. The body system works normally when on land where there is gravity.
Water, however, has no gravity, and this environment confuses the body. As a response, the blood in the arms and legs shifts to the chest region.
The increased blood flow around the chest signals that the diver has excess fluids that need elimination. The process sends the kidneys to work.
Read on to know what causes you to pee when scuba diving and how to deal with it.
What Happens if You Pee Underwater?
The sea may not be affected if you pee underwater. Peeing in your diving gear, however, may cause an infection from the bacteria in the urine.
You should, however, not pee in the following areas:
- Small water bodies: It is alright to pee in the seas but not in small lakes, pools, or other small water bodies. Urine may harm some marine life in such places.
- Coral reefs: Human pee may harm the corals. The urine enhances the growth of algae that chokes out coral.
Why Do Scuba Divers Need to Pee After Diving?
You may have an urge to pee after scuba diving due to the differing body and water temperatures. Immersion diuresis, a body reflex, speeds up blood flow as a reaction to the change of gravity.
The process increases the kidney’s functions, hence increasing urine production.
When you dive into the water, the body reacts to the differing body and water temperatures. The water temperature is likely to be lower, making your body cold.
Your system responds by increasing blood circulation to make your body warm. The body interprets the increased blood volume as excess water.
Immersion diuresis, a natural reflex, will increase kidney activity. The process will make the bladder full leading to the urge to urinate.
Can You Pee While Wearing a Wetsuit?
There are varied opinions on whether a diver may or should never urinate in the wetsuit. A common opinion, however, says that most divers pee in their wetsuits, while others do but don’t tell.
Those against the habit mention the damaging effects of pee on the diving gear. Pee is laden with chemicals such as urea, potassium, and sodium, among others which may harm the fabric.
The pro-pees while in a wetsuit explain that there is no harm to the divers or the environment. You have to ensure you thoroughly rinse the wetsuit in fresh water once out of the ocean.
If you must pee while wearing a wetsuit, only do it if it is your wetsuit. It is disrespectful to pee in a borrowed or a rental one.
Alternatively, you can invest in a wetsuit pee valve to wear while on your diving excursion. You will be able to pee conveniently while clad in the wetsuit.
Also Read: Does Scuba Diving Make You Poop?
Wetsuit Pee Valve
A wetsuit pee valve is a tube or a vent that has a valve to drain pee from the diver to the water. The valve helps a diver to pee to remain comfortable in his diving gear while in the water.
Can You Pee in a Dry Suit?
Unless you cannot restrain yourself, peeing in a drysuit is not a great idea. It may degrade the diving wear and also be uncomfortable.
You should avoid urinating in your drysuit for the following reasons:
Damaging the suit
A drysuit is made of air and multiple under-layers of fabric to retain heat and protect you from getting wet.
Urine comprises chemicals such as urea, potassium, and sodium that may ruin the drysuit.
A drysuit is designed to keep water away and retain heat to keep the diver warm. The waterproof diving gear has rubber-like soft material around the neck and wrists to keep water out.
The diving wear should not get wet when diving. If you pee while in it, however, your body will be enclosed in a damp suit, making you extremely cold.
Messy and unhygienic
Peeing in waterproof diving gear is not only uncomfortable but also unhygienic. If you pee in it, you will be trapped in messy urine-laden diving gear during the adventure.
When in a drysuit, you may use a pee valve to urinate. The pee valve is available in female and male versions. Alternatively, you may put on an adult diaper.
It is normal to get an urge to pee whenever you dive into the ocean. The change of gravity causes the blood to flow to the chest area from the limbs.
The body system senses the increase of fluid levels and interprets it as excess fluids. The kidneys are activated to eliminate the extra body fluids. The process increases the urge to urinate.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.