Active women know that one of the many problems with being involved in outdoor activities, sporting events, and other outdoor venues is the lack of availability or cleanliness of bathroom facilities. A few weeks ago, I was doing research when I came across an interesting article on urinary disposable devices or Stand to Pee (STP) designed for women. I had never heard of such a product and contacted the woman who created a multicolored version called the pStyle, which she markets in the United States. I obtained one of the devices so I could try it and I have to tell you, no matter what kind of images are conjured in your mind, the product works!
What does it look like?
The STP is made of lightweight rigid plastic and is about 7 inches long and 1.5 inches at the widest point. Its discreet design and portability makes it small enough to fit in just about anything: a jacket pocket, in a hip-bag, or the zipper compartment of a daypack.
How does it Work:
Easy to maneuver into the clothing, the device is placed between the legs and centered under the urinary opening (urethra). The widest part (cup) is then tilted slightly downward, which allows for the drainage of urine into the longer channeled opening, and away from the body. The rounded edge of the cup can also be is used to wipe, eliminating drips.
Benefits and Usage:
Most women would rather hold for a more opportune time than stop what they are doing to try to find a bathroom facility. Moreover, women will risk dehydration while waiting several hours until they are near a bathroom facility. Unfortunately, women are more susceptible to bladder infections and failure to empty regularly can increase the risk of developing an infection. Also important in reducing the potential for infection is the fact that this device eliminates the need for sitting on an unsanitary seat.
The plastic has a slick surface, which minimizes any residual urine, but it still needs to be cleaned. To reduce the incidence of infection the device should be cleansed after each use or at the end of the day in hot soapy water. If running water and soap is not available then rinse the device with a little water from your water bottle. Some woman carry Wysi wipes which is a biodegradable sanitary wipe that is the size of a mint but expands when exposed to water. (www.lunapads.com)
Women who already have a bladder or vaginally infection should take care to clean the device after each use to avoid reinfection. Moreover, the device fits comfortably when in place and attempting to place it further than the perineum will not feel comfortable.
Not only can restrictive clothing as in skiwear, uniforms, and fishing apparel make bathroom visits a challenge; but so is the number of outdoor activities not conducive to frequent bathroom breaks:
- Day hikes
- Bike trips
- Rock climbing
In addition, women whose jobs require being outdoors such as in the armed forces, public works, park rangers, and police officers, will love the fact that they can maintain adequate hydration without worrying about bathroom facilities.
Health Related Problems
Most people do not realize how important back muscles are until they have an injury and find that sitting is a challenge. Disabilities related to immobility, broken bones (fractures), and arthritic conditions can affect the ability to sit extremely difficult. The STP offers the independence to use the bathroom without the assistance of another person. There are certain conditions where squatting is not recommended. Women with weak pelvic floor muscles or urinary retention problems should not squat as it increases the pressure to the pelvic floor. Lastly, pregnant women will love the fact that the device is comfortable and eliminates the need to sit down or disrobe.
The Healthy Traveler
There is no doubt that the STP will soon become indispensible especially to the frequent traveler. Just imagine being on a stretch of highway with no rest area or bathroom facility for fifty miles. With many of the United States dealing with inadequate highway funding most have to close down rest areas and bathroom facilities. In addition, going into a rest area bathroom late at night can be dangerous and not recommended.
In closing, the STP levels the playing field ladies, because now you can urinate just like a man without the fear of exposure, stress, or worry.
Disclaimer: Dr. Mundorff is a Registered Nurse and Board Certified Traditional Naturopath, and not a medical doctor. The information in this column is for educational purposes only and should not be used to self-diagnose and treat diseases, nor be misinterpreted as a prescription. This information is provided with the understanding that the author is not engaging in a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with her readers. In the author's best judgment, the information and opinions expressed here are accurate and sound at the time of publication. Readers who rely on the information in this book as a replacement of the advice of a medical doctor assume all risks of such conduct. The author is not responsible for errors or omissions. Please consult your doctor before starting any alternative modalities.