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Tips & Techniques to Get You Back to Full Strength

Let's Talk About The Potty

Ashley Dougvillo 
January 12, 2021

Let’s talk potty habits.  Yes, I said it…..the potty and your habits (I have a 2 year old at home, can you tell?!)   Now lets get into the nitty gritty right away……yes ladies, the importance of wiping front to back.  This prevents bacteria from entering areas it should not enter and keeping you nice and healthy.  Also since we’re on this sensitive subject....avoid using highly scented soaps and body washes right over the vaginal opening.  The vagina has bacteria that help to maintain a good pH level and consequently keep good vaginal support.  It doesn’t need the extra help of that lavender scented body wash ?

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…..lets chat actual potty habits.   I list some key takeaways below to start thinking about in your daily voids.

  • Avoid the JIC (just in case) pee: If you are a JIC-er, you ultimately are training your bladder that a small amount of urine deserves a trip to the bathroom.  For example, if you went to the bathroom around 9am and had only a small amount of liquid for the morning, but now are going to hit up Target for some well deserved “self care” time, don’t pee just in case.  When performed enough your bladder starts to signal to your brain that it is ready to empty, even when it is not full.  This can lead to issues such as incontinence in the future (and is just annoying to deal with).
  • Pull your pants down fully. When you keep your pants around your knees you are constantly having to apply a small outward pressure on those pants so your gluts are constantly staying engaged.  If you are somebody that struggles with fully emptying your bowel or bladder or have a history of prolapse I would highly recommend bringing those pants all the way down.
  • Do not hover. I get it, nobody wants to sit on the toilet seat of a port a potty, but when you hover above a toilet you are engaging similar muscles as mentioned in the example above.  Ultimately you are not allowing yourself to fully void and again, are leading to improper bladder/bowel habits which could manifest into a problem down the line.
  • Squatty potty…..I feel this is often an area people joke about, but this is a great tool to utilize if you struggle with hard stools/constipation (I would also encourage exploring your hydration/nutrition if this is an area you have ongoing issues with). What this does is gets you an ideal alignment and position to fully have a bowel movement.
  • “Pee like a race horse”…..or don’t! When we try to push out urine because we are rushed this actually adds unnecessary pressure down on our pelvic floor which can consequently lead to or worsen prolapse.  If you are currently having prolapse there are different techniques to assist in bowel movements so don’t be afraid to reach out to a women’s health physical therapist to gain more information here.

Hopefully some of these tips prevent bad habits from starting up and keeps your pelvic floor happy and healthy.  Never hesitate to reach out to a pelvic floor therapist if you have any additional questions or concerns.  Happy potty-ing!


Meet the Author
Ashley Dougvillo joined Smith Physical Therapy and Running Academy in 2019. She graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI in 2008, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. She then went on to attend Northwestern University in Chicago, IL to complete her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010. She is a Certified Manual Therapist and has additionally obtained specialty certifications in the Pose Method of running, kinesiotaping, FMS/SFMA, ASTYM, and Women's Health.