California is struggling with a historic drought, and even in San Francisco we are feeling the effects! A major source of water use is from toilets, especially old and inefficient ones. As physical therapists who talk about toileting all day, we want to do our part to find ways to reduce water waste.
But is peeing in the shower the best way to combat water waste? The body is quick to associate the urge to urinate with certain activities and environments. Those of you who have already tried going in the shower may have noticed that after doing it voluntarily a few times, the reaction of your pelvic floor muscles and bladder to getting into the shower is more automatic. The next time, when you don't necessarily want to release your muscles, it might be very challenging or impossible to hold back! The same sort of situation occurs when you train yourself to pee "just in case" every time you leave the house, or rush into the house after your evening commute and go straight to the bathroom. Urinary urge (the need to pee) may eventually become disconnected from your bladder being full, and connected instead to a certain time of day or situation. Habits are easy to build and harder to break, so it's important to prevent problems from the beginning. Ideally, you should be using the toilet only when you have a physiological need.
Our conclusion? If it's yellow, let it mellow! Don't blush, share a flush!
But maybe think twice before peeing in the shower.