Dr. Teresa Irwin, a urogynecologist, has emphasized the detrimental effects of peeing in the shower for both men and women.
In a TikTok video, she highlighted that although it may effectively empty the bladder while standing, it conditions the brain to associate the sound of running water with the need to urinate.
Consequently, she advised against frequent engagement in this practice to prevent the bladder from developing an automatic response to the sound of shower water.
‘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.’
Boston-based pelvic floor therapist, Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas, concurred with Dr. Irwin’s viewpoint and elaborated on the potential harmful consequences of urinating while standing in a running stream of water.
In a TikTok video shared with her 468,000 followers in 2021, she said, ‘If you pee while the water is running then you’re creating an association in your brain between the sound of running water and having to pee.’
@thepelvicdancefloor Reply to @gwas007 why you shouldn’t pee in the shower (probably part 1 of multiple?) #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner ♬ Similar Sensation (Instrumental) – BLVKSHP
Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas further highlighted the potential consequences of weak pelvic floor muscles, warning that it could result in urinary leakage when exposed to the sound of running water outside of the shower.
Moreover, she pointed out that individuals with female anatomy were not anatomically designed to urinate while standing. Even assuming the “Captain Morgan” pose with one leg raised, as demonstrated in the video, would not allow the pelvic floor to relax adequately, impairing the proper emptying of the bladder.
To address these concerns, Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas advised individuals to try to empty their bladder before turning on the shower water and recommended ignoring the urge to urinate while in the shower.
Drawing from scientist Ivan Pavlov’s famous experiment with dogs, she explained the concept of classical conditioning, where repeated association between a stimulus (such as the sound of running water) and a response (such as the urge to urinate) can become ingrained in our brain’s behavior.
@thepelvicdancefloor How to Train Your Bladder – Part 1 #LearnOnTikTok #TikTokPartner #bladdertraining #bladderretraining ♬ TIDE TO YOUR SOUL – C. Paul Chantrill
In her informative series titled “How To Train Your Bladder,” Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas emphasizes the importance of establishing a regular bathroom routine. Her recommendation is to aim for using the bathroom three to four times throughout the day, with a minimum of two times.
Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas further explains that the ultimate goal is to avoid waking up during the night to use the bathroom. Additionally, she advises against the habit of going “just in case,” as the objective is to manage the intensity of the urge to urinate to prevent both the need to go frequently and urinary leakage.
Consistently yielding to the immediate urge to urinate trains the brain to send more frequent signals to the body. Therefore, it is beneficial to learn to ride the wave of urgency without immediately giving in, promoting better bladder control.
Professor Ajay Rane, Director of Urogynaecology at Townsville Hospital and Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at James Cook University, has shed light on the correct posture for women when urinating. Speaking at an American Urogynaecology Society Meeting on “The Perfect Pee” in 2004, Prof.
Rane explained that the appropriate position involves sitting on the toilet with feet flat on the ground. This posture promotes relaxation of the thigh and pelvic muscles. Additionally, he suggested leaning forward with elbows on the knees, akin to reading a newspaper on the floor, to facilitate efficient emptying of both the bladder and bowel.
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