Sit down, stop hovering over public toilet seats
photo credit to Mitchell Orr/unpslash
We all want to avoid contact with germs and dirt when we go to a public restroom. So most adults will hover over the toilet, instead of sitting. This is actually bad for your pelvic floor.
When you squat or hover over a toilet, over time this can be really bad for your pelvic floor since it alters the mechanism of urinating and can also lead to infection. This is true because when you hover or squat the muscles of your pelvic floor and pelvic girdle become extremely tense. This kind of tension makes it difficult for urine to flow easily so you push more to initiate the flow of urine.
In addition squatting or hovering is hard on your thighs so most people will push more so they can finish faster and stop the discomfort in their thighs. This can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder. Incomplete emptying of the bladder can lead to urgency and frequency and urinary tract infection. Also bearing down can lead to prolapse of pelvic organs.
If you are worried about sanitation or germs in a public bathroom, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure the toilet seat is clean before use.
- Stop hovering or squatting. If we all sit, there is a less chance of urine getting on the seat and toilet floor.
- Use pipiwipe to clean the toilet seat before use. This is an alcohol wipe with a handle that can fit your purse or pocket for when you need a public restroom. The handle allows you to clean a public toilet without touching. You can check it out at www.pipiwipe.com.
- Carry gloves and cleaning wipes as an alternative to pipiwipes.
- Use the toilet seat covers or carry your own for the instances when there might not be a toilet seat cover.
- Use toilet paper to cover the seat if you do not have a toilet seat cover.
As a nurse practitioner, I encourage my patients to sit down in public restrooms and not hover. Pro-tip: always carry pipi wipes for the unexpected. It is portable and convenient. Our bowels and bladder have their own clock.
Sit down, relax and enjoy your urination while saving your pelvic floor. Is the workout on your thigh necessary for the risk you are taking?
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