You pee to avoid having to pee later at a more inconvenient time.
Well, it turns out it's actually not such a good idea!
Going viral on none other than debatable information hub TikTok, user @nosuchthingastmi posted a video that explains that if you frequently urinate when you don't actually need to, you're emptying your bladder when it's only half full instead of at full capacity.
This can lead to increased feelings of urgency because your bladder gets used to functioning at a lower capacity than it's supposed to. Once that happens, you need to retrain your bladder so it stops signalling that it needs to be emptied when it's really only half full.
Now, @nosuchthingastmi is absolutely not a doctor, so Buzzed reached out to Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, a Los Angeles–based physical therapist with an emphasis in pelvic floor health, and it turns out the viral bit of info is 100% true!
"One of the first things we learn in pelvic health physical therapy education is to educate our patients to not urinate 'just in case,'" Heather told BuzzFeed. "When the neurologic connection between the bladder and the pelvic floor becomes dysfunctional, instead of the pelvic floor contracting to maintain continence, they relax and the bladder contracts in a setting where it is not appropriate to do so, and urinary leakage may result — in your car, in the hall on the way to the bathroom, etc."
"The sweet spot [for urination] is a regular frequency of once every two to three hours. At night, you should be getting a minimum of six hours of straight sleep before your bladder wakes you up."
And as for "retraining" the bladder, as mentioned in the TikTok, Heather recommends kegels before you sit down to pee as a method to help reduce feelings of urgency and the need to urinate. Also, "For vagina owners, hovering over a toilet to pee should always be avoided, as this inhibits complete pelvic floor muscle relaxation, which is required in order to empty your bladder."
However, in the end, Heather did say there were a few instances where "just in case" peeing is warranted: "Before a long car ride, before bed, or after sex is okay! The problem is that peeing 'just in case' regularly is what trains your bladder and your nervous system over time. So, don’t be afraid to go 'just in case,' but be aware that you don’t want it to become a habit."
So, there you have it!