Listening to the sounds of running water may improve urinary flow

Recent article from Korea says listening to the sound of running water can help improve urinary flow in elderly, published in PLOS ONE.

Researchers hypothesize that the sound of running water may be effective in the elderly with urination problems. Running water often used to toilet train toddlers.



18 consecutive patients with urination problems were enrolled. Possible confounding factors such as hearing impairment, recent trauma, and diseases affecting the bladder function assessed.

Severity of their urination problems assessed with IPSS (survey) and physical examination including DRE. Amount of urine in the bladder measured before urination with ultrasound, then measured amount of urine that patient was able to urinate.


After pre-void ultrasound measurement, participants were instructed to push the initiating button and the ‘sound of running water’ was playing continuously from a mobile phone until the patient finished voiding.

The strength of the urine flow, the amount of urine that was left in the bladder after urination, the volume voided, the voiding time, and the average flow rate was measured.

Only strength of urine flow was significant: Trend was in favor for listening to running water while urinating.

With the sounds of flowing water, the strength of the urinary flow increased significantly from 12.3 mL/s to 15.7 mL/s.

A significant increase in urinary flow was demonstrated when patients heard flowing water sounds using a mobile phone application. Can help male patients with LUTS improve voiding problems and maintain a normal lifestyle.