Picture: pexels / pixabay
Picture: pexels / pixabay

WATCH: Admit it, you pee in the shower - but this doctor says it’s a bad idea

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Sep 28, 2021

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If you pee during your shower, chances are you are not alone.

Peeing in the shower is one of those things a lot of people have done at some point but may be reluctant to admit.

It seems harmless, and for some it is a way to save water by not having to flush the toilet, but a doctor has warned people against urinating in the shower.

TikTok users were thrown off when Dr Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas, a doctor of physical therapy at Boston Urology, posted a video titled: “Why you shouldn't pee in the shower”.

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Reply to @gwas007 why you shouldn’t pee in the shower (probably part 1 of multiple?) #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner

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In the video, which gained over 29 000 likes, the self-proclaimed 'TikTok's Pelvic Floor PT' outlined that the sound of the running water could cause you problems.

“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 shower is running, you're creating an association in the brain between the sound of running water and having to pee,” said the physician.

Jeffrey-Thomas went on to say that urinating while showering will subconsciously cause your brain to link the sound of running water with peeing.

She explained that down the line this could lead to “leak issues” if coupled with pelvic floor problems, because female anatomy is “not designed to pee standing up”.

Apparently even with one leg up in the 'Captain Morgan' pose Jeffrey-Thomas modelled in the video: “Your pelvic floor isn't going to relax properly, which means you’re really not going to be emptying your bladder super well.”

The doctor referenced scientist Ivan Pavlov's famous experiment with dogs that led to the discovery of the phenomenon of classical conditioning.

“He rings the bell every time he puts food out for the dogs so eventually the dog starts to associate the bell (with food) and he starts to slobber even if there's no food there,” Jeffrey-Thomas explained.

In a series she titled, “How To Train Your Bladder”, the doctor's orders are to try and use the bathroom only “three to four times during the day, but a minimum of two”.

“Ideally, you should not be getting up at night,'”Jeffrey-Thomas explained.

Another TikToker, Sabrina Baxter, who is also a physical therapist, examined another common urination mistake, claiming in a video that you should only urinate when you really have to go to the restroom.

“When you’re about to leave the house and you’re like, ‘I don’t have to pee but I may have to pee so I’m gonna go pee’. If you do this often, your bladder is never filling up properly.

“It’s not filling to full capacity. You’re peeing when it’s halfway full. So you may have the urge to pee more frequently because it’s only filling halfway. You’re essentially sensitising your body to work at lower volumes than needed,” Baxter said.

However, peeing in the shower has been an ongoing debate, while others say it’s a no-no, some argue that it has healing properties.

The practice of urine therapy, in which a person consumes their own urine or applies it to the skin, can be seen in cultures around the world.

Because urine contains urea, a compound that’s included in many skin care products, some people believe that peeing on your feet may help prevent or treat the fungal infection known as athlete’s foot.

There is, however, no scientific evidence that urine can treat athlete's foot or any other type of infection or issue.

If you decide to pee in the shower, Dr Sanjey Gupta, chairman of emergency medicine, Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY, suggests peeing at an early point in the shower, Ideally before washing your body.

“The soap you use to wash and the constant flow of water in the shower should provide an element of passive cleaning of the shower without having to do much else,” he told Greatness.

From a courtesy standpoint, it may be best to avoid peeing in the shower if you share a shower or are using a public shower, unless those who share the shower are on board with the idea and no one is walking around with a contagious infection.

Avoid peeing in the shower when you have a urinary tract infection. To help keep yourself and anyone else using the shower as safe as possible, wash and disinfect your shower every one to two weeks.

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