Why Does Touching Your Belly Button Make You Feel You Have To Go To The Bathroom?

While it might feel like you have no control over when you need to pee, it turns out that we may have more control than we think. Placing our hands in warm water, running the bathroom faucet, or even massaging our inner thigh muscles can all help prompt the release of urine if needed, such as during a doctor's visit, according to MedicalNewsToday.

For some people, the urge to pee can also surface when touching the inside of their belly button, even if they don't actually have to go (via LAD Bible). It may sound strange, but experts say there's a physiological explanation behind this phenomenon.

Before we dive into the science, it's important to note that we should never deliberately force any kind of bodily function, particularly urination. Doing so regularly can lead to health problems by straining our bladder muscles and forcing them to spasm unnecessarily, according to Best Life.

Touching your belly button stimulates internal abdominal fibers

In an interview with LAD Bible, Dr. Christopher Hollingsworth of NYC Surgical Associates shares how directly touching the inside of the belly button prompts both internal and external sensations in the body. "At the navel, you have the ability to stimulate not only the skin overlying the navel, but also the fibers of the inner lining of your abdomen," Dr. Hollingsworth told the news source.

When these hypersensitive fibers are stimulated, it alerts the spinal cord, which is busy sending chemical signals of its own. "Because your spinal cord at that level is also relaying signals from your bladder and urethra, it feels almost the same. You interpret this as discomfort in your bladder," explains Dr. Hollingsworth to LAD Bible.

The inside of the belly button is the only surrounding spot where we can hit these internal fibers and deliberately evoke this sensation (via LAD Bible). Even so, MedicalNewsToday states that lightly touching other areas of the naval may help induce urination, but only if you already have to pee. For example, try firmly tapping your fingertips on your midsection halfway between your belly button and pubic region in 30-second intervals while on the toilet. Doing so may help get things flowing again. Just remember to do so softly — no harsh jabbing is needed.