In a viral TikTok from 2022 that’s making the rounds again, a pelvic floor doctor explains why you actually shouldn’t go pee “just in case”
As a person who lives in a major city and doesn’t own a car, going pee “just in case” is part of my routine every time I leave the house. Getting stuck on public transit with a full bladder and nowhere to go is a recipe for disaster—and as moms know, pee-mergencies only become more common as you age. But surprise! We’re all doing this wrong. A pelvic floor-focused physical therapist went viral for her 2022 TikTok video about why you shouldn’t go “just in case,” and the video is so universally useful, it’s making the rounds again.
Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas made the video as a stitch with another TikToker who argued that you should always pee when you have the chance, because in life (at least, in the U.S., where public bathrooms can be hard to come by), you don’t always know when the next opportunity will come along.
“Pelvic floor physical therapist here, and I work with a lot of people with overactive bladders, stress incontinence, urge incontinence, the whole nine yards,” Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas explains in her clip. “And here’s why you shouldn’t go ‘just in case.'”
#stitch with @sidneyraz I know it sounds counterintuitive and goes against everything your momma taught you – just out here trying to save your bladder 🤍♬ original sound – The Pelvic Dance Floor
Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas explains that there are actually three levels of needing to pee.
“The first one is just an awareness level that tells you that there’s some urine in the bladder,” she says. “The second one is the one that tells you to make a plan to use the toilet, and the third is kind of the panic button that says, ‘Get me there right now, I’m about to overflow.'”
When we go before our bladders are actually full, she explains, it teaches our bodies to send those “panic button” signals early, meaning we have pee-mergencies when there isn’t actually enough urine in our bladders to fill them up. It makes sense when you think about it. But learning that none of us are peeing correctly is a little bit of a bummer.
“TikTok is basically just a bunch of videos telling me I’m doing life wrong,” one commenter wrote on Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas’ video. “Like Jesus, really? I’m peeing wrong?”
Yep. You are. But the good news is you can retrain your bladder to send signals at the right times. You’re just gonna have to hold it sometimes.