A Physical Therapist Explains Why You Shouldn’t Go To the Bathroom “Just In Case”

How many times have you loaded the kids into the car for a trip, but not before making sure that everyone has gone to the bathroom? Physical therapist Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas says we should never do that. How could this be? The moment we all learned to control our bladders, we were taught to use the bathroom before going on a car trip, sitting down to watch a movie, or playing sports. Dr. Jeffrey-Thomas, who works with people who have overactive bladders and stress incontinence, explained that there are three levels of feeling the need to urinate. The first is an awareness level that tells us there’s some urine in the bladder, the second one is the one that tells us to make a plan to use the bathroom, and the third one is a panic button that warns that the bladder is about to overflow. Going when we don’t need to (“just in case”) teaches our bodies to prematurely send signals that it’s time to go. The good news is that if you’ve always been the type to go “just in case” and now you constantly feel like you need to go, with the help of a doctor you can retrain your bladder so that you only feel the need to go when it’s time.