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Health and Medicine

Urogynaecologist Explains Why You "Need To Stop Peeing In The Shower"

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockJun 1 2022, 14:47 UTC
Hold it in for a few minutes.

Hold it in for a few minutes. Image credit: 4 PM production/shutterstock.com

Look, we know we've been beating the drum fairly hard that you definitely should pee in the shower, but Urogynaecologist Dr Teresa Irwin recently warned on TikTok that peeing in the shower could lead to problems further down the line, medically speaking.

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The argument for peeing in the shower comes down to some quick math that shows that if you time your daily shower to coincide with one of your wees, you could save an astonishing 2,190 liters (579 gallons) of toilet water every year, or 699 billion liters (185 billion gallons) of water if the entire US joined you on your mission. That's a lot of water saved and would probably be a good thing for the planet.

But is it good for you? Well, while we'd hardly call it settled, Urogynaecologist Dr Teresa Irwin says that it isn't good for you if you value not needing to pee whenever you hear the sound of running water. Another doctor - also on TikTok - pointed out that it is especially important not to pee in the shower if you have pelvic floor issues or are at risk of developing them.

"You don't want to do it all the time because what happens is every time you hear the sound of water, your bladder is going to want to pee - because it's used to hearing the sound of the water in the shower," Dr Irwin explained on TikTok.

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"So whenever you're washing your hands, washing the dishes, your bladder is going to be salivating so to speak because it wants to go and pee."

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Dr Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas, a pelvic floor therapist who goes by @thepelvicdanceflooron TikTok, said a similar thing to her followers, adding that the peeing in the shower could cause some unexpected urination troubles later in life.

"There's two things I want to focus on here, the overall bladder fitness perspective and the pelvic floor perspective," she said in one of her videos on bladders and bladder control.

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"If you pee in the shower or turn on the faucet, or turn on the shower and then sit on the toilet to pee while the water's running, you are creating an association in your brain between the sound of running water and having to pee," said Jeffrey-Thomas.

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"We combo that with pelvic floor dysfunction - either now or down the line - and that's going to potentially lead to some leak issues when you hear running water outside of the shower."

What that could mean is if you have pelvic floor dysfunction and have been peeing in the shower, you could find yourself peeing a little bit every time you walk past a stream, or someone runs the tap in the office.

On top of that, you might not empty your bladder effectively.

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"Unfortunately, those of us who were assigned female at birth and have that anatomy were not designed to pee standing up," Jeffrey-Thomas went on to explain. "Even in this Captain Morgan pose [one leg up high] your pelvic floor isn't going to relax appropriately, which means that you aren't going to be emptying your bladder super well."

In response to asking why you can't just squat in the shower, she explains in a follow-up video that it's still best to just ignore the urge to pee if you're in the shower, but if you have to then you need to squat aaaaall the way down in order to relax your pelvic floor properly.

As for one questioner who asked why flushing the toilet doesn't give you the urge to pee:

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"When the toilet is flushed you have already peed, so it's not creating that association," she said, adding that "the intensity of a bladder trigger varies by the individual, but if you literally can't stop yourself from peeing in the shower that's not a good sign."


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