Have you ever peed in the shower? Most of us have probably done it, but we’re probably hesitant to admit it. Peeing in the shower is supremely convenient and feels — dare we say — natural. Setting aside how gross people might say it is, peeing in the shower has a few benefits and a few dangers.
People often feel disgusted by any liquid the body eliminates, be it sweat, saliva, or urine. That “grossed out” feeling is innate and keeps us safe from toxic substances and harmful microorganisms. So, it’s common for people to feel disgusted at the thought of peeing in the shower, but many people still do it. Regardless of how you feel about the practice of peeing in the shower, there are a few facts about it that are good to know.
6. What is Urine Made of?
Urine is filtered waste and water from the kidneys, obtained from blood in the body. First, blood gets filtered by the kidneys and becomes liquid salt and chemical wastes, like ammonia, urea, and uric acid. This liquid waste, called urine, travels down from the kidney through two tubes called ureters.
The ureters flow to the bladder, which stores the urine until a person urinates the waste out. The typical bladder can hold two cups of urine for up to five hours. Because urine contains chemicals like uric acid and ammonia, prolonged contact between the skin and urine causes skin breakdown.
5. Peeing in the Shower Is Common
A survey published by YouGov found that 62% of Americans have urinated in the shower. Even more interesting, 21% of those who do pee in the shower do so almost every time they’re in there. Younger people (18-34) are almost as likely to pee in the shower as older people (55 and up), and it’s equally common between women and men. When it comes to urinating while we clean ourselves, it’s apparently equal opportunity!
4. Peeing in the Shower Is (Relatively) Safe
Whether or not urinating in the shower is “gross” or “uncouth” is a matter of opinion. Whether peeing in the shower is safe, however, is a matter of science — and cleanliness. It’s essential to cleanse your skin from urine as soon as you urinate in the shower. The flow of water and soap in the shower washes urine away, keeping your skin free from the harsh chemicals in your urine. If left on the skin, it can damage its outer layers.
3. Urine Still Contains Bacteria
Contrary to popular belief, urine is not sterile and still contains trace amounts of bacteria. Though most of the bacteria found in urine are normal flora (found naturally in the body), others are foreign and harmful to the body in large amounts. Because most people don’t have large, gaping wounds while they’re peeing in the shower, it’s highly unlikely that a bacterial infection would occur while peeing.
While we’re on the subject of wounds and infection, it’s not advisable to urinate on a wound — either your urine or someone else’s. You may end up introducing bacteria to an injury rather than cleaning the site. Rather than peeing on a wound, clean it the old-fashioned way — wash it out with water or allow the blood to flow. Both methods wash out bacteria, without using any pee.
2. Your Wounds Can Get Infected — From Someone Else’s Pee
When someone has a urinary tract infection, their urine holds a greater than normal amount of bacteria. In theory, bad bacteria from your pee, or someone else’s, can enter your body through a wound and cause an infection. So, not only should you wash your urine off your skin if you pee in the shower, but you should also wash off the shower area to ensure there’s no pee left pooled on the ground.
1. Peeing in the Shower Conserves Water
Older toilets use between 3.5 to 7 gallons of water for each flush. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the highest percentage of water used indoors comes from the toilet (26.7%). Because showering (16.8%) uses less water than flushing the toilet, peeing in the shower can reduce your overall water usage — slightly.