Is It Bad To Pee in the Shower? A Urologist Weighs In

It turns out this habit isn't as unhygienic as you might think.

Peeing in the shower is one of those things people don't talk about openly, but that doesn't mean it's uncommon. If you've done this before, you may wonder: Is it harmful or unhygienic to pee in the shower?

Is It Unhygienic To Pee in the Shower?

The short answer: It's fine to pee in the shower. That's according to Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, PUR Clinic urologist and Assistant Professor at UCF College of Medicine in Florida, who knows more about urine than most people.

However, there are a couple of reasons to avoid peeing in a public shower—where this practice could become unhygienic if others have infections. So, if you do decide to pee in the shower, make sure you stick to your own, personal shower. Dr. Brahmbhatt explained why to avoid peeing in public showers and why to use your own shower, instead.

Is It Bad To Pee in a Public Shower?

If you decide to pee in the shower, it's best to do it in your own shower, not a public one. "Generally speaking, urine is sterile since it has no 'living' organisms," Dr. Brahmbhatt told Health. "But this isn't always the case since someone could have a urinary tract infection. Also, the urine could pick up some bugs from the end of the urethra as it exits." So peeing in your shower, not a public one, keeps you from being exposed to those bugs.

What Is Pee Made Of?

Since we're already talking about pee, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. What exactly is in urine? "Depending on how much fluids you take in, about 90% of your urine is water," said Dr. Brahmbhatt. "The rest are salts and compounds that are filtered out of your body."

These substances in your urine can vary based on what you drank or ate, medications you have taken, and substances you have used, Dr. Brahmbhatt added. More than 3,000 compounds have been detected in urine.

The fact that urine is mostly water with some added salts means it's highly unlikely to damage your shower tray or drain if that's a concern. "If you think about it, urine is probably 'cleaner' than what you wash off your skin during a shower in the morning or after a gym workout," said Dr. Brahmbhatt. "It's probably no different than the water coming from the faucet when it comes to its effect on your physical surroundings."

Can I Get an Infection?

If you're worried about accidentally peeing on your feet, well, at least you're in the right place for a rapid wash. And if you have a cut or other wound on your foot? "It's probably not a big deal," said Dr. Brahmbhatt. "There are people that pitch using urine as an antiseptic; i.e., when you have an open wound, you can pee on it to help avoid infection. But the science behind this theory isn't particularly strong."

A Quick Review

The bottom line is that peeing in the shower is unlikely to harm you. So whether it's part of your water-saving efforts or you can't stop the flow sometimes, it's pretty much fine to pee in the shower.

Just make sure you are using your own shower. Since pee is supposed to be sterile and is made mostly of water, it likely won't have much of an impact on your or your shower floor.

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  1. Bouatra S, Aziat F, Mandal R, et al. The human urine metabolome. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(9):e73076. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073076

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