Here's Why You Shouldn't Urinate in the Shower

It might not be easy to admit, but a lot of people pee in the shower. In fact, a 2020 survey by Showers to You found that 76% of people let loose in the cubicle.

However, pelvic floor therapist Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas says that showers aren't the place to pee, for legitimate health reasons.

Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas, who has a doctorate in physical therapy, told her 400,000 TikTok followers back in April that there are two main reasons urinating in the shower isn't a good idea.

The video can be seen in full here.

Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas explained that the first reason applies to everyone and cited the famous "Pavlov's Dog" experiment, in which dogs were conditioned to associate various stimuli with getting food, and so would salivate at the sound or sight of them alone instead of the food. Instead, Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas said we humans are essentially conditioning ourselves to associate the sound of running water with needing to urinate.

If you suffer with pelvic floor dysfunction, where controlling your bladder is an issue, this could lead to bladder leaks triggered by the sound of running water.

"Your bladder relies on signals it gets both from the stretch of the bladder walls as it fills, as well as signals from the brain which let it know when to contract to urinate. We want to avoid training our bladder to associate certain signals with the urge to pee. In this case, peeing in the shower associates the sound of running water with urination or with submersion in water. This can often transition into being triggered by other sounds of running water (like when you're running the faucet to wash your hands or the dishes) or when you're in bodies of water," she explained to Buzzfeed.

"For some, this may just be an annoyance, but for people with any kind of pelvic floor dysfunction, this could contribute to urge incontinence (or leaking urine when you have the urge to use the restroom)."

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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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For the second reason, Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas claimed in the video that only those assigned female at birth will need to be concerned. People with vaginas can't fully relax the pelvic muscles while standing up, even in the "Captain Morgan" position with the leg up. This means that people then have to push past this barrier to urinate while standing up, which could cause problems in the long run.

"From a pelvic floor perspective, the position for peeing in the shower is not conducive to pelvic floor relaxation. AMAB (assigned male at birth) bodies have the prostate to support the bladder, which makes standing to urinate okay, but AFAB (assigned female at birth) bodies—as well as people who have had affirmation surgeries—do not have the same level of support for the bladder," she told Buzzfeed.

"To maintain continence (i.e. not peeing your pants at inappropriate times), the pelvic floor generally wants to remain contracted in a standing or hovering position, so to urinate in those positions, one has to bypass these normal continence mechanisms, which can be problematic down the line."

Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas similarly pointed to situations like peeing "just in case" and hovering over the toilet seat as causes likely to lead to long-term problems.

Regularly peeing "just in case" essentially encourages the bladder to empty at much lower levels than needed. Hovering over the toilet, similar to standing in the shower, means muscles won't be relaxed and the continence mechanism has to again be pushed past and messed with.

Although these seem like small issues, Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas explained to TikTok that they can build up over time, adding that she works with a lot of people who suffer from incontinence issues.

"If they knew how to prevent the embarrassment and frustration associated with it, they would go back and do it in a heartbeat," she said.

Running shower head in a bathroom
Stock image of a shower head. A physical therapy doctor has explained online why people shouldn't pee in the shower. Getty Images