What is shy bladder syndrome?

We think it is: "An inability to urinate in the presence, real or perceived, of others". Common names for the condition are Shy Bladder, Bashful Bladder or Pee Shy. A medical description is Psychogenic Urinary Retention. It affects both men and women, of all ages and backgrounds. Sufferers are often called Avoidant Paruretics (or APs for short), because their paruresis causes them to avoid situations that make it difficult or impossible for them to be able to pee. 

For a more detailed insight as to how this may affect the individual, look at Living with AP. For the implications of workplace urine testing click here.

The condition was first researched and defined by Williams and Degenhardt in their paper "Paruresis: a Survey of a Disorder of Micturition" published in the Journal of General Psychology, 1954, 51, 19-29.

Shy Bladder Syndrome Support Forum

Find out more about living with paruresis, see what others are saying on the forum, look at what you can start doing in The Way Forward, and then find out about our successful workshops in Case Studies.

This condition can also affect people's ability to defecate, though by its nature this is usually less of a problem - an information site about this may be found at: www.shybowel.com



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The relief of persons suffering from the social anxiety Avoidant Paruresis

Our Aims and Goals

Online Information

The provision of internet based information and guidance for men and women.


Anonymous, moderated forum that provides a safe place to share experiences and support.

Desensitisation Help

The provision of desensitisation workshops for men and women across the UK.

Toilet Privacy

The promotion of the concept of individual privacy in the design of public toilets.


The promotion of research into all aspects of the condition, particularly its cause and treatment.

Raise Awareness

The raising of public awareness, including that of the medical profession.

The United Kingdom Paruresis Trust

PO Box 182, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 9AE

Copyright © 2017 United Kingdom Paruresis Trust. All Rights Reserved.
UK Charity Registration Number 1109541