A doctor on TikTok is blowing people’s minds with the revelation that peeing in the shower actually isn’t a good idea.
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This isn’t the first time a common bathroom habit has been debunked on the platform — a physical therapist explained why people should stop peeing “just in case,” and a dentist infuriated viewers by challenging what everyone thought was the right way to brush your teeth.
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There have been countless articles written up about the pros and cons of peeing in the shower — the biggest pros being that it technically saves water, and lazy people get to knock off two tasks at once. One con commonly talked about is that urine isn’t as clean and sterile as you might think it is, but if you’re aiming for the drain, you won’t cause any health issues for yourself.
Enter Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas. Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas is a doctor of physical therapy, and in a video to her 465,000 TikTok followers, she explained that peeing under a running stream of water isn’t a great idea at all.
“If you pee in the shower, or turn on the faucet or turn on the shower and then sit on the toilet to pee while the shower is running, you’re creating an association in the brain between the sound of running water and having to pee,” she said.
This is referred to as a Pavlovian effect, in reference to scientist Ivan Pavlov’s famous experiment with his dogs.
The doctor added that peeing in the shower can create a subconscious link between hearing running water and relieving yourself, which could potentially cause “leak issues.”
This is especially bad for those “assigned female at birth” who aren’t “designed to pee standing up.”
“Your pelvic floor isn’t going to relax appropriately, which means that you aren’t really going to be emptying your bladder super well,” she explained.
One commenter challenged Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas’ stance and argued that the sound of a toilet flushing or even the sound of peeing at all should trigger the same effect — so, what’s the difference?
“Conditioning requires positive or negative reinforcement,” another TikToker replied. “A stimulus is added prior to the behavior that one wants to encourage, so the stimulus will trigger the action. The stimulus [must] happen before, not during [or after].”
Translation: You flush a toilet after you’re done peeing, and the peeing itself is the action being conditioned, so it can’t trigger itself.
Other viewers seemed determined not to let Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas change their ways.
“I will not stop doing it,” one adamantly wrote.
“Here I was thinking I was being useful and saving water,” another added.
“My brain just exploded,” someone said. “It makes total sense.”