health

Apparently, there's a right way to pee and we've been doing it wrong our whole lives.

Look, let’s get right to it. We’re all here because we were today years old when we realised there’s a right and a wrong way to pee.

If you’re a person with a vagina, chances are you’ve been peeing sitting upright on the toilet your whole life. Sure, sometimes the seat is really cold on your bare bum and you wish you could stand up to wee like penis-owners, but overall, sitting down to do a ‘one’ has its charms.

Like being able to read, or scroll on your phone. Don’t judge. You do it, too. But none of that matters because apparently, peeing like this isn’t good for your bladder.

WATCH: Apparently this is the correct way to pee to empty your bladder. Post continues after video.

We stumbled across this information where any human with their finger on the pulse gets across the latest trends… TikTok.

The video was made by TikTok user Dr. Teresa Irwin, who calls herself a ‘vaginacologist’. After some Googles, it turns out that’s not a thing that exists BUT no stress because her actual title is a urogynecologist, which is a blend of a urologist and a gyneocologist.

In the video, Dr Irwin explains peeing sitting upright can cause your bladder to not fully empty. Over time, this can lead to things like urinary tract infections, and needing to go to the toilet more often and only producing a small amount of urine each time.

She adds, “Most of us are taught to pee ‘properly’, sitting upright, very prim and proper. You’re not going to empty your bladder this way. One third of the urine will still remain in the bladder if you pee in this upright position.”

@dr.teresa.irwinDid you know with a simple adjustment you can increase your bladder health? ##doctor ##healtheducation ##healtheducator ##women ##mom ##texas ##fyp♬ original sound – dr.teresa.irwin

OK cool, so what is the ‘correct’ way to pee? Dr Irwin describes it as peeing like a cowboy. Which sounds kind of… cool?

“Lean forward, put your elbows above your knee caps and pee, but make sure your feet are flat against the floor,” she says.

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This way, your pelvic floor can relax, which allows your bladder to fully empty itself.

Of course, we needed to verify this information. Townsville Hospital’s Director of Urogynaecology and Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at James Cook University, Professor Ajay Rane, says they’ve done a lot of research into the “most appropriate posture” for sitting on the loo.

“Given the construction of the western closet, the appropriate posture is to sit on the toilet with your feet flat on the ground, because flat feet promote relaxation of your thigh muscles and your pelvic muscles,” Prof. Rane said at an American Urogynecology Society Meeting on ‘The Perfect Pee’ back in 2004.

“You have your elbows on your knees and you lean forward as if you are reading a newspaper on the floor. This promotes efficient emptying of both your bowel and bladder.”

These studies were prompted by the fact that a large number of women pee hovering over public toilet seats for hygiene reasons, which is actually not that great for your bladder.

“We have shown scientifically that if you hover on top of the toilet, you only empty one third of your bladder. So you hold back a lot of urine. That is not very good for your bladder because if you have stagnant urine in there obviously it’s going to promote dysfunctional emptying of your bladder, and it’s going to promote you getting infections.”

LISTEN: Mia Freedman interviews Dr Ginni Mansberg on the No Filter podcast about the ‘M’ word no one wants to talk about… menopause. Listen below, post continues after audio.

Turns out, sitting down in this position is also beneficial for men with prostate issues.

In an interview with Thrillist, Dr. Jesse N. Mills, Associate Clinical Professor at the UCLA Department of Urology, said it’s important for men to fully empty their bladders, too.

“Sitting down is a better option for men with prostate conditions or men who just can’t stand up for a long time. A lot of guys sit to pee if they can’t fully evacuate their bladder. When you sit down, you can use your abdominal muscles more, and you get your last few squirts out and feel like you’ve emptied better.”

Well, there you have it. Finally, a reason to relax and lean in to your terrible posture.

Now, if you don’t mind… gotta go pee.

Feature image: TikTok/@dr.teresa.irwin.

What’s something random you’ve only just learnt? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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