When the call of nature happens during a dive, do you:
A. Hurriedly take yourself and your dive buddy back to the boat (ending the dive for both of you), struggle out of your wettie and make your way doing an “I am busting” dance the toilet?
B. Just pee in your wetsuit and continue enjoying your dive?

A widely known saying among divers is: “There are two types of divers, those that pee in their suit and those that lie about it”.

If it is your own wetsuit, go for it. But if you are hiring the wetsuit, please be considerate to the dive centre staff who will be handling and cleaning it at the end of the day, and to diver who will wear it the next.
Whatever your choice, here are some tips and truths…

1. Drink less fluid
It is never a good idea to restrict your fluid intake before diving. However, do limit tea and coffee as caffeine is a diuretic and will make you want to pee more often.
Immersion diuresis is a physiological effect which occurs when you drop into water that’s colder than the ambient air temperature. This causes vasoconstriction, narrowing of the blood vessels. Your body’s reaction to this is to send extra blood to the central organs, which your body interprets as a fluid overload. The body then signals the kidneys to produce urine causing the need to pee.
So, rather than cutting back on fluids, consider wearing the right exposure suit, gloves, a hood, and/or a vest to reduce how chilly you feel on the dive. Staying warm will reduce your need to pee.
Also, diving dehydrated can increase your chances of getting decompression sickness, so keep those fluids up.

2. Hold it!
Holding on while diving is 10 times more difficult than on land.
The urge to pee is usually triggered when your bladder has about 200ml of urine in it. Holding on to it can lead to urinary tract or bladder infections, especially for women. These are painful conditions, and in many circumstances require antibiotics to alleviate the problem.
To avoid having to hold on while diving, go to the toilet before you dive or after the dive get out of your wetsuit, go for a swim and a pee.

3. Does urine damage wetsuits?
Under normal circumstances, urine will not damage modern day wetsuits. It is recommended that after each use wetsuits are rinsed thoroughly in warm water and if it has been soiled with an appropriate wetsuit cleaner. While urine shouldn’t affect the wetsuit material or break down glues, a soiled and unwashed wetsuit smells awful. It can also cause skin irritations and make the perfect environment for yeast to grow.
Another reason to stay hydrated, is that when the body becomes dehydrated, urine has a stronger odour and colour.
Some tips to keep your neoprene fresh are:

  • Rinse it thoroughly in fresh, warm water after every dive.
  • Every so often (or if it’s particularly smelly) give it a good wash with a wetsuit cleaner and a soft sponge (never use a washing machine!).
  • Hang it out properly to air and dry, preferably out of the sun. Never store your wetsuit while it is still damp.

4. Does peeing in your wetsuit help to keep warm?

Unfortunately, peeing in your wetsuit to stay warm is temporary and counter-productive.
Warm urine fools your body into thinking it’s no longer in a cold environment. So once cooler water seeps back into your wetsuit you are worse off than before you peed. Your body will now expend extra energy warming up the cooler water. If you don’t flush your wetsuit with fresh water, you will be soaking in your own urine. Yuck. There are much better ways to keep warm while diving.

5. Are sharks are attracted to urine?
According to several scientist peeing in your wetsuit or in the ocean does not attract sharks.
The right way ways to pee in your wetsuit:

1. If you need to pee, do it at the beginning of a dive rather than waiting until the end. This gives you the most amount of time for urine to wash out.
2. Always take time to properly flush your suit. Ensure you have good buoyancy control and try one or both of these two easy techniques. Either grasp the chest of your wetsuit and pull it away from your body a few times or open the wrist, feet and neck seals on your wetsuit and allow water to flow through.
3. Avoid foods such as asparagus, brussels sprouts, garlic and salmon as these make urine extra-odiferous.
4. Keep a polite distance from others when peeing.
5. Don’t pee in a hire wetsuit.
6. Don’t pee in a new wetsuit. If you find a fault with it you will want to be able to return it.
7. If your wetsuit has seen better days and has had many bathroom breaks, visit us or your local dive store to purchase a suitable wetsuit cleaner, or splurge and treat yourself to a brand-new wetsuit.
8. If you have a drysuit, definitely do not pee unless you are using aids such as adult nappies, a p-valve, she-pee or similar devices.