Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Peeing might seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is there is good and bad technique to when and how you go.
You might be surprised to find out you have a few dysfunctional peeing tendencies that can become bigger problems if not addressed.
Issues like incomplete emptying, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, pain with peeing, urinary frequency and urinary incontinence are just a few issues that can arise with poor peeing habits.
So let's get into it. Here are a few ways that you should be peeing (for best results!)
Sit down on the toilet
If this is obvious to you, congratulations!
But for many of us serial hover-ers (myself included), this was not so straight forward.
If you pee frequently, hovering over public toilets might seem like a fast and cleanly option to pee and keep yourself clean.
The problem is, hovering over the toilet does not allow for pelvic floor muscle relaxation, which has to occur in order to facilitate full bladder emptying.
People that hover end up not fully emptying their bladder, and they will likely have to bear down in order to empty.
This can result in an unhealthy amount of abdominal pressure, which can lead to hemorrhoids, pelvic floor muscle tension, and an unhappy bladder.
Not to mention the spraying urine stream which creates a challenge when trying to aim into the toilet!
Use a Stool or Squatty Potty
Now that you're sitting all the way on the toilet seat it's time to bring your feet up.
A small stool or squatty potty will do the trick.
Elevating your feet will assist in relaxing pelvic floor. Its important pelvic floor it relaxed during peeing to allow for full emptying of the bladder.
During the peeing reflex, the pelvic floor should relax while the bladder squeezes. All other times throughout the day when we are not peeing, the pelvic floor should have a resting tone and the bladder should be relaxed.
It's also important to breathe and relax your abdominal wall while peeing to allow for full emptying.
Incomplete emptying can create bladder irritation, pain, and create a higher risk for UTI's.
You Pee Too Often
If you find yourself peeing more than every 2-4 hours on a regular basis, you are probably peeing too often.
Drinking bladder irritants such as coffee or alcohol may temporarily increase your peeing frequency, and if you suffer from a lot of intense urges to void it might be a good idea to cut back.
Drinking a lot of water can create more frequency urges to pee, but unless it's an extreme amount of water, your water intake should not create frequent urges to pee.
Most of the time we pee too often out of habit. We pee because we are about to go somewhere and think we should pee "just in case."
This becomes an issue because it interrupts our brain/bladder connection. When we pee before our brain tells us to, we interrupt the communication between our brain and our bladder, which creates an irritable bladder that spams whenever you think about peeing, whether you need to go or not.
This habit can escalate into urinary urgency, where we feel like we need to go NOW or we might not make it, and eventually into urge incontinence when our bladder does a full squeeze as soon as we hear water running.
It's a slippery slope to urinary problems! So treat your bladder well and time your peeing!
You Don't Pee Often Enough
If you are peeing less than every 4 hours, your are also in trouble.
Either you're not drinking nearly enough water, or you've learned to suppress your urges to pee for various reasons.
Peeing less than every 4 hours on a regular basis can also lead to bladder pain and irritation.
An irritated bladder can also create intense urges to pee that send you running to the bathroom hoping to avoid an accident.
A full bladder will also lend itself to more pee leaks with coughing and sneezing.
Make sure you are emptying your bladder on a regular basis! Holding for 4+ hours is fine for traveling every once in a while but should not be a daily habit.
Holding urine in the bladder for longer periods of time can create a higher risk for UTI's.
Drink you water and pee every 2-4 hours on the regular!
There's a right way to pee and there's a wrong way to pee. We should be fully relaxed while sitting down completely on the toilet, and not bearing down.
We should also be peeing regularly, but not too frequently! Either extremes can lead to bladder dysfunction.
If you have trouble holding your pee or find it's difficult to fully empty your bladder, make an appointment with your pelvic floor physical therapist today!