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squat and hover to pee
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

Don’t squat and hover to pee!

Sit down and relax your pelvic floor muscles.

Ok, ok so this tip is always met with some pushback, but to those of you who prefer to squat and hover to pee rather than sit should be aware that this habit is not good for your pelvic floor! Sit down and relax!

Why is it so bad for you to squat and hover to pee?

When you are in a partial squat, hovering over the toilet, the muscles of your glutes, legs, abs, back, and pelvic floor are activated and cannot fully relax. For urine to flow easily and fully, the pelvic floor muscles and the muscles surrounding your pelvis have to relax.

If you squat and hover to pee and your muscles are tense, chances are that you will have to bear down to initiate your urine flow or make your pee come out faster. This is not good and can contribute to issues like pelvic organ prolapse, urine retention, and a greater risk for bladder infections. All in all, a good reason to take a seat and relax!

But what about the GERMS?

Use a toilet seat cover if you’re worried about germs, or use toilet paper to line the seat. Or get creative, carry some alcohol spray and spray down the surfaces that freak you out (honestly the door handles and toilet seat handles have more germs than the toilet seat).

And what about coming to a FULL SQUAT?

I am a big fan of using a foot stool or top of a small trash can to put the body into a full squat position for bowel movements and urination alike. Why? Because resting in a full squat is much different than a squat and hover to pee because your muscles can fully relax in a full, restful squat.

Stop Straining in the Bathroom

Constantly straining to make a bowel movement or to empty your bladder in a hurry is not only pushing your waste out, it is also pushing your organs downward.

Don’t strain! Avoid straining, no pushing your pee out or holding your breath to force out a BM. Take your time and visualize the pelvic floor getting soft and heavy. Deep breathing, when done correctly, is much more efficient at emptying the bladder and bowel than straining and pushing.

Getting into an ergonomic toileting position will help you go without straining.

Don't Squat and Hover to Pee

The best position to sit on the toilet:

  • Always sit on the toilet seat. No hovering!
  • Feet firmly planted on a step stool
  • Legs are separated to hip width’s distance or wider, elbows resting on thighs
  • Lean forward with your knees higher than your hips
  • Allow belly to get soft, floppy, and relaxed
  • Stay relaxed on the toilet; relax your breathing and practice deep breathing exercise as outlined above.
  • Allow yourself time. Don’t rush. Don’t strain.
  • Don’t ignore urges to use your bladder or bowel.

Rather than doing the "squat and hover to pee", taking the time to sit and pee will make a difference on the strain that your pelvic floor muscles are taking and can help you regain some muscle coordination and strength to help with your bladder control issues.

Call us at Femina Physical Therapy to set up an appointment to get you back to doing the things you love, symptom free.

**This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by T.H.

I started seeing Heather in October 2014. For more than two years, I had been suffering from painful urinary tract infection type symptoms after my bartholins gland surgery which included constant burning and urinary frequency sensation that led to more and more painful intercourse. I had made multiple visits to internist, obgyn and urologist's offices, went through a range of treatment with UTI and bladder frequency medication that included antibiotics, vesicare, estrogen cream, but nothing worked.

Read more: Testimonial by T.H.

Testimonial by M.M.

A personal journey and testimonial from one of my patients:

My husband and I were married for 5 years before we were able to have intercourse due to my vaginismus. There was nothing traumatic in my past but for some reason, even though I wanted sex, I mentally avoided "that area" of my body and didn't even admit to myself that there was a problem for a long time, even though I was never able to put tampons in. Once I finally opened my eyes up to the fact that I had a problem, I had a surgery that was supposed to fix the issue.

Read more: Testimonial by M.M.

Testimonial by J.H.

My last appointment with Heather was over 6 years ago but I still think of her every day. I don’t take for granted that I can easily get out of bed, care for my two active and busy young boys, run, play tennis, clean my house, or sit at a desk for several hours at a time. None of these tasks were easy for me before meeting Heather. Eight years ago my car was struck from behind by a tractor trailer that was estimated to have been speeding. I spent 3 years working with different PTs and Drs trying to heal and move on with my life. When I became pregnant and the hormone relaxin that “relaxes” all the joints of the body and the additional weight gain erased all my progress and I was suddenly in a lot of pain again. My OB sent me to Heather for one last try.

Read more: Testimonial by J.H.

Testimonial by Amanda W.

Heather's unique physical therapy program literally changed my life! After years of struggling with vaginismus, a condition that made it impossible for me to have intercourse and very difficult to use tampons without pain, a gynecologist referred me to Heather. I was nervous for my first appointment, but Heather's professional and friendly demeanor put me at ease. She did a great job explaining each technique she was using to help my muscles relax. Heather uses a combination of internal and external stretches and exercises to relax the pelvic floor and build muscle strength. Her specially developed home program helped me quickly recover from an issue that seemed insurmountable before meeting Heather. She was optimistic about my progress and incredibly encouraging. Less than 6 months after my first session, I was able to have pain-free sex for the first time in my life! If you are suffering from vaginismus or any other pelvic floor issues, I highly recommend making an appointment with Heather and reading her book!

-- Amanda W., 2/15/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Lauren B.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has been such an answer to prayer, i'm so glad I found them! I've been struggling with vaginismus my whole life, but didn't have a name for it until about 6 or 7 months ago. Even once I did have a name for it though, I didn't know where to begin in getting help. My OB/GYN had me get a set of dilators, but I couldn't even insert the smallest one by myself. Most times I tried I just ended up frustrated and in tears. I felt really alone, like I was broken and didn't have the energy to keep trying. When I got engaged a few months ago though, I realized I needed to get answers so i wasn't dreading my honeymoon.

Read more: Testimonial by Lauren B.

Testimonial by S.B.

As someone who suffered the debilitating physical and emotional effects of vaginismus (as well as a complicated history of back injuries) for more than 15 years, I thought a "normal" life was just a fantasy. Then I found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by S.B.

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