Why you should stop going to the bathroom “Just in Case”
going to the bathroom

It is not uncommon to hear someone say they are going to the bathroom before they leave the house “just in case.” It is very common for people to do this when getting in the car before a long road trip, before leaving the house to run errands, or before going to bed at night.

Many may have learned this as kids – an adult may have taught them to always go to the bathroom just in case, so they don’t have to go later. 


Issues Caused By Going to the Bathroom “Just in Case”

What many may not know is that this isn’t good for your bladder health. Going to the bathroom just in case (JIC) can lead to issues such as leaking, urgency, frequency, and even pelvic pain. 

Your brain and bladder are very connected via sacral nerves. These nerves are what give your brain the signal to go to the bathroom when your bladder is full and also help to relax the bladder to empty. 

So why is it bad to go to the bathroom JIC?

I am going to explain it with a pitcher of water…


The Empty Pitcher

Pitcher going to the bathroomTo the rights a picture of an empty pitcher, which is demonstrating an empty bladder.

Since there is no fluid present, your bladder is not going to communicate signals to your brain that you need to go to the bathroom. 


A Full Pitcher

Full Pitcher Going to the Bathroom

To the left is a picture of a full pitcher of water, demonstrating a full bladder. When your bladder is full, it sends signals via sacral nerves to your brain to let you know it is time to go to the bathroom.

You go to a nearby bathroom, your pelvic floor muscles relax, and your body is able to void the fluid from your bladder. 




The Half Full Pitcher

Half Full Pitcher Going to the bathroomThis final picture to the right is a pitcher that is only partially full. If your bladder is partially filled, there is no need to go to the bathroom. Remember what happens when it is time to void? Your bladder and brain communicate via sacral nerves to allow you bladder to empty. So what happens when you go JIC?

Maybe you are about to go on an hour-long car ride and you don’t want to have to stop?

Well, the brain and bladder signals become confused! Now, the next time your bladder is only partially full, it’s going to send signals to the brain to void… even though your bladder is not completely full yet. This can create a cycle of excessive voiding when it is not necessary. This can further lead to overactive bladder, leakage, and even pelvic pain.



So the next time you are thinking about going to the bathroom JIC… think again. Do you really need to go? Or are you just going out of convenience? The same way you can train your bladder to be overactive you can re-train it to void at appropriate intervals. This is a simple and effective way to address overactive bladder, urinary urgency and frequency. 

If you have further questions on how to re-train your bladder, speak with your doctor or a pelvic floor physical therapist! You can also check out our resource and insights page for articles, videos, and downloads. 

And, if you’re in the Augusta Area and want to schedule a pelvic floor function evaluation, book an appointment online.  

Susannah Azofeifa, PT, DPT was born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky but now calls North Augusta, SC home. She attended the University of Louisville and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology/Exercise Science in 2017. She then attended Breanu University where she received her doctorate of physical therapy in 2021. Susannah enjoys treating a wide range of orthopedic conditions and also specializes in treating pelvic floor dysfunction, and pre and post partum individuals. She enjoys spending time doing activities such as CrossFit, being outdoors, traveling, being with family, and spending time with her husband, Fabian. She heads up our Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy (PFPT) program here at ProActive.

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Rafi Salazar OT

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the CEO & President of Proactive Rehabilitation & Wellness, as well as the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show. Rafi’s career trajectory includes 10+ years of experience in healthcare management, clinical operations, programmatic development, marketing & business development. He even spent some time as an Assistant Professor in a Graduate Program of Occupational Therapy and has served on numerous boards and regulatory committees. Today, Rafi helps innovative healthcare companies humanize healthcare through his consulting workHe also leverages his experience as a professor and academic to speak and train on the topics around humanizing the healthcare experience.

Rafi also authored the book Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare