People with this phobia are afraid of urinating in public bathrooms. The fear may be so great that it interferes with their ability to go to school, to work, or to travel, and can result in dangerous retention of urine. The fear may start with a traumatic event in childhood. Some studies suggest that this phobia may affect as many as 17 million Americans.
It should be noted though that this is just one form – the most common though – of paruresis. Fear of urinating in public bathrooms is what most people know about, but the fears can be a lot more widespread. For example, some people are even afraid that others might hear the sound of them urinating in their own apartment.