- Ashley Rawlins, DPT, doctor of physical therapy specializing in women’s health
- Ciera Grevengoed, PT, DPT, Ciera Grevengoed, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist at Spectrum Health's Women's Health and Wellness Center.
- Julia Abramov, Julia Abramov, DPT, is a physical therapist at Sanctum Med + Wellness.
- Kylee Panse, PT, DPT, physical therapist at Spectrum Health’s Women’s Health and Wellness Center
Crouch's post was flooded with comments. "I am definitely going to try this!" one person said. "I always have to go twice before bed (minutes apart)."
What is double voiding
Double voiding, which is medical speak for peeing and then peeing again, "can be a very helpful tool in your toolbox if you have certain bladder symptoms," says Ashley Rawlins, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Origin. The term usually describes techniques that help you to empty your bladder fully, she says. "After voiding, you use double voiding techniques to try and empty a bit more," Rawlins continues. "Double voiding can be helpful in some instances when you have a hard time getting all of the urine out of your bladder."
Standing up to do a hip wiggle over the toilet seems more than a little weird, but pelvic floor physical therapists say it can help. "This move is one of my favorite tips to give patients," says Kylee Panse, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Spectrum Health's Women's Health and Wellness Center. "I call it the 'double void dance' or the 'potty dance' and teach it with the cues 'Around. Around. Stand up. Sit down.' I think it is a quick way to start to see changes in leakage after urination or urinary frequency."
You don't technically have to stand up to do this, though, says Julia Abramov, DPT, a physical therapist at Sanctum Med + Wellness. "Rocking hips forward and back several times before the second void can be performed in standing, but can also be performed while sitting on the toilet," she says.
Who should try double voiding
Rawlins says it can be helpful for people who have urinary retention, which is when a little too much urine is left in your bladder or urethra after you go. "There are many different causes of this, but sometimes using double voiding techniques can help to overcome some of the more mechanical causes of urinary retention, such as pelvic organ prolapse, which can alter the anatomy of your bladder and urethra enough to make fully emptying a challenge," she says.
Sometimes, the need to pee twice comes down to your individual anatomy, says Ciera Grevengoed, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Spectrum Health's Women's Health and Wellness Center. "When the bladder fills, it expands and moves up and around the uterus," she explains. "Depending on your anatomy, the bladder might move more or less than others, and sometimes that leads to difficulty with emptying." Your bladder also shifts as you change positions, Grevengoed says, so double voiding can help compress it so that you can empty it completely. "I think of it like deflating an air mattress—you need to press on it as you roll it up to get all the air out and fit it back in its bag," she says. "This trick does the same thing."
Other factors, like not being able to relax your pelvic floor muscles when you pee or being sensitive to bladder irritants (like caffeinated drinks, sparkling beverages, alcohol, chocolate, and citrus fruits and juices), can lead to feeling like you have to go twice, Abramov says. "Stress and anxiety can interfere with bladder function as well," she adds.
When to see a doctor about frequent urges to pee
Not everyone who feels like they need to pee again soon after going should do this. If you have trouble relaxing your pelvic floor when you go or are sensitive to bladder irritants, this dance or moving your hips to get more pee out won't help, Abramov says. You could also be dealing with an issue like inflammation of your urethra, a urinary tract issue, or pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, Rawlins says—and doing a little dance over the toilet won't help those issues.
If you feel like you need to pee after you just went, and this is a regular thing for you, Rawlins says it's time to check in with a medical professional. "Always check in with your healthcare provider if you find it hard to fully empty your bladder," she says. "It may not be anything to worry about, but it may also be a sign of something larger going on."
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