Is It Bad to Pee in the Shower? We Asked a Urologist
It might sound gross, but this habit isn't as unhygienic as you'd think.
Peeing in the shower is definitely one of those things people don't talk about openly, but that doesn't mean it's not common. In fact, 76% percent of people admitted to doing it in a recent survey by Showers to You, a UK-based bath and shower company. Which just leads to a whole lot of questions.
Short answer to all of them: 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, if you do decide to pee in the shower, it's best to do it in your own shower and not a public one—which, let's face it, is pretty gross. "Generally speaking, urine is sterile since it has no 'living' organisms," Dr. Brahmbhatt tells 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."
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," says Dr. Brahmbhatt. "The rest are salts and compounds that are filtered out of your body." This extra stuff in your urine can vary, but it's based on what you have drank or eaten, as well as medications you have taken and substances you have used, he adds.
The fact that urine is basically just water with some added salts means it's highly unlikely to do any damage to 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," says Dr. Brahmbhatt. "It's probably no different than the water coming from the faucet when it comes to its effect on your physical surroundings."
If you're still grossed out by the thought of 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," says 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."
Bottom line: Peeing in the shower is highly unlikely to do you any harm. So whether it's part of your water-saving efforts (no need to flush) or you just can't stop the flow sometimes, don't beat yourself up about using your shower as a toilet.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter