To pee or not to pee? That is the question

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March 16, 2006

Graphic by Malinda Groening

According to bathroomsurvey.com, 79 percent of those surveyed had urinated in the shower. But is urinating in the shower really as dirty as it sounds?

Merriam-Webster's Medical Desk Dictionary defines urine as produced by the kidneys and composed of waste from the blood and water. It contains levels of an organic compound called urea which is made of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. So, if you decide to pee in the shower, you're in luck because according to Dr. Kevin Pho on Med Help International's Web site, unless a person has a kidney or urinary tract infection, urine is practically sterile when it leaves the body. However, pee picks up bacteria once it leaves the body, which can cause the smell of stale urine.

Freshwoman Caitlin Wicks said she doesn't mind urinating in the shower. "You can just wash the pee off your feet with soap," she said. However, Wick doesn't urinate when she showers at the dorms because she said she thinks the bathrooms are dirty enough as it is.

Some people think urine is not only sterile, but can be used as an alternative form of medicine. According to hps-online.com, the practice of using urine for healing has been used traditionally in the East and has only recently made its way to this side of the world. Those who support urine therapy on the site said, "In the small amounts urea gets back into the body, it is purifying, clears up excess mucus and has a number of specific, very useful effects. Moreover, it has a wonderful healing and tonifying (sic) effect when applied to the skin." However, no reliable scientific studies have been conducted to confirm these claims.

According to an urban legend, urine can cure athlete's foot by peeing on ones feet in the shower. The Biology Daily Encyclopedia Web site points to the fact that some athlete's foot medications contain urea as an ingredient. However, according to Biology Daily's article, urea is used to soften the skin of the foot so that the medication can sink through.

While there is speculation as to the benefits of urine and its healing properties, there is not much medical research to substantiate the claims of urine therapists. Even so, urine is sterile, so don't be afraid to join the 79 percent of the population peeing in the shower.


To pee or not to pee? That is the question was published on March 16, 2006 in Sports & Health

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