Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Today we are talking toilet habits! We know LOTS of people who say they are grossed out by public restrooms and will then hover over the toilet when they have to go. Being as sanitary as possible is especially on our minds thanks to the wonderful Coronavirus, but this is one of those times that you'll just have to find an alternative method. You should absolutely NEVER hover over the toilet seat when you go.
If you are wondering what we mean by "hovering" we're talking about those who only get down in a slight squat position and do not touch their thighs or bottoms to the toilet.
If you are one of those who hover over the toilet instead of sitting down to urinate, we strongly advise you to stop the habit immediately.
So, why exactly is hovering so bad for you?
When you are in a slight squat position, it changes your pelvic floor mechanics. In order to fully empty your bladder, your pelvic floor muscles need to be relaxed. However, when you are in the slight squat position, your pelvic girdle muscles tense up (including your pelvic floor muscles, hip muscles, back muscles and abdominals), which leads to difficulty for urine to flow.
It may lead to the habit to push or "bear down" to help with the flow. You may also be pushing to make the urine flow faster due to hard work in the slight squat position. Frequent pushing may contribute to pelvic organ prolapse.
When the bladder is not completely empty due to tense pelvic floor muscles, it may also lead to increased urinary frequency and urgency. Worst-case scenario, it can also contribute to urinary tract infections.
So if this is you, I strongly encourage you to sit down and relax when you are using the toilet.
And pro-tip for those who are grossed out by public restrooms: carry sanitary wipes and your own toilet seat covers so you are never caught in a public restroom unprepared!
Dr. Yvonne Huang