Despite what your grandmother may have told you, the bladder does not shrink with age – it just feels like it.
Many people report that as they get older, they have to urinate more frequently and urgently, and their bladders cannot hold as much as they used to. According to the scientific literature, older bladders hold only about 225 millilitres of fluid whereas younger ones can hold up to 560 ml.But a study of 95 female volunteers aged 22 to 90 by Neil Resnick’s team at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania showed that half the women could hold around 560 ml, regardless of age. In those who could not, it was not reduced capacity that caused them to urinate, but bladder spasms triggered when the bladder was only partly full, Resnick told an American Urological Association meeting in San Antonio, Texas, last week.(Source: New Scientist magazine, issue 2502, 04 June 2005, page 18.)