Healthy Body

A Urologist Settles the Whole ‘Is It Okay to Pee in the Shower?’ Debate

Allie Flinn

Photo: Getty Images/bymuratdeniz
There have been many great debates throughout the history of humankind—N*Sync or Backstreet Boys? Aragorn or Legolas? WTH happened during the series finale of Lost? While some have a side that's clearly right (N*Sync), others are a bit more nuanced, like whether or not it's okay to pee in the shower. That particular debate was brought to the forefront of our collective consciousness again thanks to—of course—a viral TikTok video.

In the video, Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas, DPT says she advises against peeing in the shower for two major reasons: First, because peeing in the shower could lead to an association between the sound of running water and needing to pee. Second, if you're a person with a uterus, peeing while standing up doesn't allow your pelvic floor to fully relax, so you don't fully empty your bladder. I sent the viral video to Dr. Chris Kyle, Giddy urologist, to see if these were causes for concern. The TLDR take: "As long as you don't make a mess, there's nothing wrong (from a urologic standpoint) with urinating in the shower," he says.

The longer take? Dr. Kyle says that the points are interesting, but oversimplified. "I think the 'risk' is largely theoretical," he says. "For example, if a person took one shower per day and voided 'normally' six times per day, then one of seven voids would be associated with the running water. I think that's highly unlikely to create a Pavlovian response to running water." If that's something that you're concerned about, but love a good shower pee, he recommends not urinating in the shower every time to reduce the risk of creating a pattern. "In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with peeing in the shower, as long as you wash off any overspray," he adds.

As for the second point the video makes, Dr. Kyle thinks this is also a largely theoretical risk of minimal concern that shouldn't really stand in the way of you getting your pee on in the shower. "I haven't seen any studies that address whether women can fully empty their bladder when standing, but for an occasional void in the shower, I really don't think it's a big deal," he says. "There are numerous reasons—such as constipation—why women may not fully relax their pelvic floor while urinating, even in sitting/squatting positions, so I don't think shower peeing is to blame." Dr. Kyle notes, though, that as a general statement it's better for people with uteruses to fully relax their pelvic floor when peeing, but it wouldn't lead him to discourage shower pees.

There you have it: Go forth and pee in the shower if that's your thing.

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