The cons of peeing in a wetsuit.

Shark Comics - To Pee or Not to Pee
Los Angeles, CA – March 14, 2021 (updated December 19, 2013)
That is the question, well Shakespeare may have worded it a little differently with his "to be or not to be...that is the question", but the sentiment speaks volumes. Whether or not to pee in a wetsuit is a question new divers often seem to have or misunderstand. However, while it may not seem like a 'big' deal, peeing in a wetsuit is never the preferred answer for many reasons.
Why would one even want to pee in their wetsuit? There is actually a biological explanation for this. This is a phenomenon called immersion diuresis otherwise known as the urge to urinate when submerged in cold water. The cool temperature and the pressure causes blood vessels to constrict, which leads to higher blood pressure. The higher blood pressure then leads to an increase in urine production. This feeling itself can be annoying, but can actually lead to more problems besides the obvious urge to urinate.
The issue is if one continues to pee, pee, and then pee some more one can become dehydrated and feel cooler. This urge to urinate is not uncommon when children swim in pools or take baths. Even as adults we sometimes get that feeling. It can be felt even by those who do not typically have weak bladders. New divers can be very susceptible to this feeling due to their inexperience. 
Another big reason why people resort to peeing in their wetsuit can quite simply be laziness. Wetsuits, when they fit well, can be tight fitting and frustrating to put on and take off. After getting themselves all set up for a dive and entering the water, people seldom feel like peeling out of them and doing it all over again. Again, this can be a culprit for new divers who may have difficulty getting into and out of their suits in a timely fashion.
Some divers claim they like the convenience of peeing in their wetsuits. Still others say they enjoy the warmth, regardless of how temporary it might be. Neither of which are good reasons in the long run for peeing in one's wetsuit.
There are some other important reasons why peeing in a wetsuit shouldn't need to happen! Some are logistical, some are health related, and others are just plain important.
Here are some reasons why peeing isn't the answer:
  • Most dives, especially beginner level ones don't take very long. Some estimates are an hour or less. There should be no reason why a diver shouldn't be able to hold it that long.
  • Dives are planned. Most divers don't suddenly stop what they are doing and go diving. You should be able to take care of business before getting into your wetsuit or between dives during your surface interval.
  • Pee can potentially cause long term gradual damage to the seams of your wetsuit over time if not cleaned properly. A good wetsuit can be expensive; don't you want to take care of it? (Keep in mind salt water, chlorine, sand, and sun are known causes of deterioration of wetsuits!)
  • If urine remains in your suit a rash can develop...think diaper rash, particularly on a hot day and several hours in your suit. (Not to be confused with DCI or marine life rash)
  • If you pee in your wetsuit, you really should at the very least rinse it out well. Another good idea to consider would be to use special soaps or shampoos specifically made for wetsuits.
  • Besides the other issues, peeing in your suit can make it smell bad! That is, worse than a wetsuit may normally end up smelling. Who wants to smell like urine? Or who wants their valuable dive equipment to smell like urine? Remember everyone ELSE can smell your smelly wetsuit and quite possibly could identify urine as the cause of the odor. 
  • Don't forget about your boots/booties (aka "boot juice") where the urine can collect and pool and also cause odors to develop (or ankle rash)!
These are just some reasons why you shouldn't pee in your wetsuit. It is unnecessary because as previously stated; most personal or recreational dives don't take that long anyway. Plan your dives and dive your plan, so you are able to take care of business. It is much healthier for you and will be better for your wetsuit.
Please contact us for more information about diving and wetsuits. We would be happy to help.

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