Sunday, March 26, 2006

Strange things we ask our doctors.

...but that's what they're there for, right?
A few weeks back, there was a thread among blogs about peeing in the pool. Someone commented that pee is sterile. As a dedicated nerd, I had to check this out for myself, so I did at the pre-operative meeting that I had with my doctor last week.

It went something like this:

Doctor Garcia: So, I think I've covered everything - did you have any more questions?

Me: Yeah. Is pee sterile?

Doc: (blinking) I beg your pardon?

Me: A bunch of triathletes were discussing the relative merits, or lack thereof, of peeing in the pool, and someone said that pee is sterile. Is it?

Doc: Um, well, yes, but there is nearly always going to be bacteria present in your bladder that would be carried out with it. Besides, it's kind of gross to expect someone swim in your pee.

Me: Oh, okay. I wasn't sure, but I had to know.

Doc: I think people who say things like that are people who pee in their wetsuit and want to have an excuse.

Added later: Notice the mention of "wetsuit?" I wonder if my Doc is a closet triathlete! I'll have to ask her on Thursday.


  1. I don't think "gross" is proper medical terminology. He said YES! That bacteria it may have picked up on the way out isn't anything worse than what already came off your butt and is out there in the water already.

  2. Actually, it was a she, and she was talking about internal infections, like cystitic, that might not otherwise be exposed...I assume, though, that this is what the chlorine is for?

  3. OOPS! Yep, that's why they use all that chlorine. I'm not obsessing about it too much, except when our nasty pool is cloudy and full of yucky stuff.

  4. Funny post - I remember that thread on the Kahuna's blog, too.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I didn't know you were out here, but I'll check back again.

    Good luck training for the half-IM.

  5. Strange question, but it's good to know for sure though. Wasn't there an episode of Friends where Joey peed on Monica's leg because she got stung by a jellyfish? Something about the pee was sterile enough to clean out the wound.

    We watched an episode of Bullshit (it's a Penn & Teller show on Showtime - we got it on DVD) where they tested the number of germs on the hands, face, and butt of three people. All of them had cleaner butts than faces. Gross, eh?


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