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Pelvic Health
Smarty-Pants Quiz

Question #4: Is it OK to pee in the shower?


It depends...

If you have an overactive bladder (you pee more than every 2-3 hours, have to rush to get to the bathroom, and/or wake at night to pee more than 1 time a night) then the answer is NO.

If you do NOT have an overactive bladder, then the answer is YES, it is OK to pee in the shower.

The reason that someone with an overactive bladder SHOULD NOT pee in the shower is that running water is a very common trigger for activating the bladder. Think Pavlovian dog: if every time you are in the shower you allow your bladder to empty, then you are reinforcing the connection between running water and peeing.


This could be very inconvenient for you when, for instance, you wash your hands or do the dishes! 

The best way to deal with triggers is to identify as many of them as you can and come up with a plan for each one. 

Expert tip:

If you have an overactive bladder, identify what "triggers" yours, & come up with a plan for each one

 Here are some common ones to help you get started:

  1. Key in the door. This is when you have to run to the bathroom the minute you try opening the door when you arrive home. Next time, before you arrive home, plan to do something other than use the bathroom; maybe open your mail, start dinner, greet your family or pets. This teaches your brain a new habit, so that it doesn't trigger your bladder right as you walk in the door.

  2. Feeling cold. If feeling cold is a trigger for you, plan ahead. Wear warmer clothes, a scarf, a hat, gloves etc when you leave the house. Use extra blankets or an electric blanket at night, or turn the heat up another degree. Wear warmer pajamas to bed. 

  3. Running water. Well, for starters, don't pee in the shower! And when you are around running water, try doing a set of Kegels or a few partial squats before you turn the water on, to activate your pelvic floor muscles ahead of time and help keep your bladder calm.

  4. Proximity to a bathroom. Start cutting down on your "Just in case" trips to the bathroom, so that your brain learns that you can be near a bathroom and not need to use it. This also helps teach your bladder to hold more urine, since you won't be emptying it as often.


If you need help with your bladder triggers, don't hesitate to reach out. (And if you don't have an overactive bladder, then what you do in the shower is up to you :)

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