Why You Should Not Hover Pee
Updated: Apr 11, 2022
Let’s be honest; we’ve all resorted to the hover or squat pee in times of desperation. Public bathrooms can be downright disgusting, and the last thing you want to do is sit bare-skinned on a mess. Whether there are no more paper liners available or the toilet is awkwardly low, sometimes you think you don’t have any other options. While hover peeing might be necessary sometimes, it’s definitely not something you should be doing on a regular basis. You might think you’re protecting yourself from germs and bacteria, but what you’re really doing is putting undue stress on the bladder and pelvic floor. As a pelvic floor therapist, it’s my mission to keep women informed about the bladder and bowel habits that might lead to pelvic floor dysfunction.
Problems Caused by Hovering
When you hover pee, you’re probably only thinking about how to protect yourself. However, the habit can have lasting adverse effects on your body, including your bladder and pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is made of a set of muscles and ligaments that control urine, bowels, and sexual function, among other things. Most women ignore their pelvic floor until they experience issues, and hover peeing can potential cause some pelvic floor issues if done on a regular basis.
Have you ever considered that the reason the toilet is a mess is that the person before you did a hover pee? Urine doesn’t always flow out in a clean stream, so you could be spraying all over the toilet seat for the next person. Most toilet seats have fewer bacteria than the door handle, so if it looks clean, take a seat. If you would like to be sure you are sitting on a sanitary toilet seat, keep a few individually wrapped toilet liners in your purse for emergencies.
Frequent or Urgent Urination
When you hover, your pelvic floor can’t relax which makes it hard for the bladder to contract to empty, so the bladder may have difficulty to fully empty. That means some urine is still left in your bladder, causing you to strain or push to empty it. If you do this too often, that can lead to pelvic pressure or pelvic organ prolapse.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse happens when weakened pelvic floor muscles allow pelvic organs to bulge into the vaginal canal. When your uterus, bladder, or rectum don’t have the necessary muscle support, the organ position lowers giving the sensation of pelvic pressure. While not life-threatening, this condition can cause pain and discomfort affecting your daily life. The good news is that research has shown pelvic floor physical therapy can improve prolapse symptoms such as the feeling of pelvic pressure, incomplete emptying, or requiring to splint to have a bowel movement.
Urinary Tract, Bladder, and Kidney Infections
If you’ve ever had a UTI, you know how painful it can be. When you hover pee, your bladder doesn’t empty completely. That means that bacteria build up in the urethra can increase risk of UTIs. Frequent infections aren’t just uncomfortable, though. The infection can eventually spread to your bladder and even kidneys, which are much more serious and require more extensive treatment.
Tips from an Expert
If you’re a chronic squatter, there are a few things you can do to break the habit. You can hover pee if necessary every once in a while, but otherwise, follow these easy tips to get into a good habit.
As I mentioned before, sitting down is usually a safe and healthy choice. A person’s butt and thighs are often cleaner than their hands, so unless the toilet is visibly wet or dirty, you’re in the clear. If possible, use a liner – or, in the worst case, paper towels – to make a barrier between you and the seat. It’s understandable in public, but when you’re at home, there’s absolutely no reason to hover pee.
Relax and Breathe
Your pelvic floor muscles must relax to allow urine to pass. When you hover or squat, you’re unconsciously contracting those muscles, which will cause you to push to start or continue the flow. Instead, try to relax and take deep breaths to let urine flow freely.
Use a Stool
Having problems relaxing? If you're used to hoving, your pelvic floor is probably weak and you might be used to pushing to get things going. Instead, use a stool to prop your feet up and relax the pelvic floor. There's no need to buy a special stool. Anything will do, even a box!
When to Seek Help
Are you already experiencing any issues related to your pelvic floor? Then pelvic floor therapy might be right for you! As a licensed doctor of physical therapy and advocate for women’s health, I’m here to help you learn the right habits and exercises you can use to keep your pelvic floor happy, healthy, and strong. I offer free 15- phone consultations where we can address all your concerns. Then, if we both agree that physical is therapy is right for you, we’ll move on to a personalized evaluation where we address your problems and form a plan. I love helping women regain control of their health, and I can’t wait to help you, too!