Article

Should Men Pee Sitting Down?

The best method of taking a leak is a subject of debate among people with penises.

Published Sep 26, 2022

SAMSUNG CSC (Steven Lek/Wikimedia Commons)
SAMSUNG CSC (Image Via Steven Lek/Wikimedia Commons)

Sitting, standing, squatting, there are many ways to urinate, especially if you have a penis. But what is the best way? It really depends on your preference – and aim. But sitting down to pee has also been found to have medical benefits for certain people according to a 2014 study

A non-medical reason to sit down while peeing mainly has to do with hygiene – there is less chance of splashing urine all over the toilet seat or on the ground. There is also less likelihood of splash-back: when splatter bounces out of the bowl, onto the floor, pants, seat, etc. 

Even if you still want to pee standing up, scientists at Brigham Young University's Splash Lab suggested the optimal position for taking a leak, whether at a urinal or toilet seat. For a toilet, they suggested not aiming for the water, and also argued, “Better yet, take a seat.” For a urinal, they concluded, "Closer is cleaner," and going at it from an angle, pointing down and to the side rather than aiming straight. You can see the diagram of their findings here

The 2014 study by researchers in the Department of Urology, Leiden University Medical Center, titled “Urinating Standing versus Sitting: Position Is of Influence in Men with Prostate Enlargement,” found that sitting was medically beneficial to patients with Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) or different urinary problems in men that include intermittent urine streams, the sudden urge to pee, straining to pee, and more. 

The study concluded:

In this report we’ve looked at the influences of changing urination posture on the maximum urine flow, the time spent voiding and the amount of urine that is left in the bladder. We conclude that the sitting posture is the best position for men with urination problems, e.g. due to an enlarged prostate to urinate in, whereas no difference was found in healthy men. This is clinically important, because residual urine may result in complications such as cystitis and bladder stones. 

They also pointed out that their study, "does not translate into a medically preferable position for healthy males to urinate in."

"Men may start peeing sitting if their prostates are large and they need to help relax the pelvic muscles in an effort to help push the urine out," Jamin Brahmbhatt, a urologist and professor at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, told Fatherly.

Standing to pee isn’t always an option for people with disabilities, older men, and men who are also trans. Ultimately, there isn’t just one medically preferable way to do it, but there certainly is a way to make it less messy. 

Sources:

de Jong, Ype et al. “Urinating standing versus sitting: position is of influence in men with prostate enlargement. A systematic review and meta-analysis.” PloS one vol. 9,7 e101320. 22 Jul. 2014, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101320. Accessed 26 Sept. 2022.

“5 Reasons Why Guys Should Pee Sitting Down.” Thrillist, https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/health-benefits-of-peeing-sitting-down-for-men. Accessed 26 Sept. 2022.

Dutton, Judy. “Scientific Tips for Peeing Like a Proper Gentleman.” Wired. www.wired.com, https://www.wired.com/2014/06/urinal-dynamics/. Accessed 26 Sept. 2022.

“Is It Normal for Guys to Pee Sitting Down?” Men’s Health, 13 Feb. 2019, https://www.menshealth.com/health/a26322744/is-it-normal-for-men-to-pee-sitting-down/. Accessed 26 Sept. 2022.

“Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS).” University of Miami Health System. https://umiamihealth.org/en/treatments-and-services/urology/lower-urinary-tract-symptoms-(luts)-. Accessed 26 Sept. 2022.

“Men Need to Stop Standing Up When They Pee.” Fatherly, https://www.fatherly.com/health/why-you-should-sit-down-to-pee. Accessed 26 Sept. 2022.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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