Yup, there are wrong ways to pee.
There’s been lots of buzz on social media lately about women’s health and how to urinate correctly. Some say the right way to pee is by sitting differently; Some say it’s not how you sit but how you wipe that matters.
There are so many videos and articles out there, it’s hard to know which way of urinating is correct, but don't worry! We've rounded up tips from some of the most informational places available and had this piece medically reviewed so you can be sure you're setting yourself up for success the next time you use the bathroom.
What You're Doing Wrong When Voiding
As it turns out, urinating the wrong way can lead to a whole slew of complications, such as weak bladder muscles, urinary retention, leakage, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and stretching of the bladder muscles, so it's important that you urinate correctly.
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There are a couple of things you might be doing wrong when you pee:
- Holding your urine for too long.
- Voiding your urine when you didn’t need to (the “Just in case” time frame).
- Not drinking enough water.
- Being constipated or not defecating when you need to.
- Rushing to go to the restroom when you do need to empty may make you not empty completely or push to void.
- Thinking that incontinence is normal despite being common.
How to Urinate the Right Way
Let's get right down to it so there's no more confusion on how to urinate correctly. Use this guide next time you go to the bathroom.
Tip 1- Don't Hold It!
Waiting to urinate is something everyone does once in a while, whether it’s because we’re not near a bathroom or stuck in traffic. But, holding in your urine can lead to some pretty significant side effects, including:
- Damage to the urethral sphincter. This muscle keeps your urethra closed and stops your flow of urine from coming out. When you hold your pee, you may damage it.
- Cramps. If you hold your pee for too long, your muscles may remain clenched even after you void, causing cramps.
- Kidney stones. Holding in your pee can cause kidney stones to form, especially in those prone to kidney stones.
- UTIs. Holding your urine in can give bacteria the perfect environment for multiplying, which can cause an infection.
- Pelvic floor muscle damage. Your pelvic floor muscles can become damaged from holding your urine.
- Urinary incontinence. Holding your pee can damage your pelvic muscles, leading to incontinence, which could result in needing a catheter or incontinence supplies.
Tip 2- Don't Hold in Your Fecal Matter, Either.
When you don’t make regular bowel movements, you can experience constipation, which can put pressure on your bladder, making it more challenging to void entirely.
Tip 3- Always Sit Down.
We’ve all hovered above gross public restroom toilet seats, but it’s not good for your urinary system. It’s scientifically proven that your bladder holds in one-third of its urine when you hover. And, when you hover, your pelvic muscles engage, causing urine to push past them. It’s also important to relax when you urinate, and sitting down is the first step to getting there. Missy Lavender recommends covering the toilet seat if you’re worried about germs. Check out the video below to learn more about sitting down when urinating.
Tip 4- Position Your Body Correctly.
As we discussed above, the first step to positioning your body is to sit down. Then, lean forward with a neutral spine, ensuring you’re not arching your back. Next, keep your feet flat on the floor. In this video, The Vaginacologist recommends a couple of different ways of positioning your body to urinate, but we recommend not lifting your bottom. Watch the video below for more information on how to sit while peeing.
Tip 5- Don't Go Too Often.
Remember when you were little, and your parents would say something like, “Just try to go before we leave?” It turns out that’s not great for your . Going to the bathroom frequently can cause symptoms (OAB) because your bladder becomes used to peeing when it feels a small , even when it’s not full. So try only to go when you need to. It’s recommended that you pee about six to eight times in a 24-hour period.
Tip 6- Remember to Breathe... Out.
Relaxation is essential when urinating. After sitting down, put your hands on your stomach and inhale deeply. Then—and most importantly—lean forward and breathe out as your urine begins to flow. Holding your breath can put pressure on your , causing strain. Check out this video from Physical Therapy for Moms.
Tip 7- Don't Push!
If you push while peeing, you can strain your bladder muscles and damage them, leading to incontinence. When you do this, you’re straining your pelvis, forcing your bladder to contract. This could potentially push urine through your partially-closed urethral sphincter, resulting in urgency frequency. Finally, forcing yourself to pee can also cause a pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in some cases.
Tip 8- Wipe Front to Back.
If you wipe back to front, especially after a bowel movement, you’re increasing your risk of developing a UTI. This can happen when fecal matter and bacteria spread from your anus to your urethra. It’s also better to dab instead of wipe to help decrease this risk. If wiping front to back is too uncomfortable for you, or if you find yourself unable to get all the fecal matter off your bottom, you could opt for a bidet to aid in cleaning.
Tip 9- Drink Lots of Water.
Drinking plenty of water is a staple of good bladder health and urinary system health. If you don’t drink enough water, your urine becomes more and more concentrated, leading to irritation. So how can you tell if you’re drinking enough water? Your urine will tell you!
Healthy urine: Color will range from light yellow to dark amber, and have no scent.
Unhealthy urine: Color will be dark brown or cloudy and have a strong scent.
Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to keep a healthy urinary system.
Tip 10- Do Pelvic Exercises.
There are specific pelvic muscle exercises you can do to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. For example, kegel exercises are a great way to maintain a healthy pelvic floor. In addition, these exercises can aid in incontinence symptoms, decrease your risk of pelvic organ prolapse (POP), and improve your sexual function and overall sexual health.
Your Step-by-Step Guide
So, step-by-step, the correct way to urinate is:
- Take your time.
- Sit all the way down and do not hover.
- You can lean slightly forward at a 90-degree angle.
- Use a stool to place your feet on if needed (the 90-degree angle at your knees).
- Belly breathe and relax your pelvic floor muscles.
- Let your urine drain completely by allowing enough time from start to stop (there is no specific time as every amount of urine in the bladder is different).
- Sit for 10 extra seconds to ensure that your bladder is completely empty.
Urinating incorrectly can lead to urinary tract infection, bladder irritation, increased urgency, reflux to the kidneys which can lead to kidney infections, and improper bladder training, so it’s important to take your time and make sure you’re urinating the right way.
How Aeroflow Urology Can Help
If you're a woman managing incontinence symptoms, Aeroflow has you covered. We assist in supplying incontinence supplies for women, men, and children through Medicaid (and some private insurance plans). Want to see if you qualify for incontinence care supplies? Read how it works below.
How It Works
Instead of heading to the store to find and purchase incontinence products, you can simply fill out our qualification form that you see at the top of this page. It's quick and easy to do.
If approved, your incontinence supplies will be shipped directly to your home in discreet packaging on a monthly basis.
Watch the video below for more information on how Aeroflow Urology works!
Eating right for the unexpected leak: Water. TENA. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://www.tena.us/articles-tips-and-advice/drinkingwater,en_US,pg.html
Lavender, M. (2015). YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L09JJ1c3Rzc&t=20s.
Pelvic Empowerment (2021). YouTube. YouTube. Retrieved Mar 11, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2v_bNG2GO8
YouTube. (2021). YouTube. Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNZG4bsMGKA.
Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or care from a healthcare professional. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.