Renowned Urologist Recommends Men to Urinate Sitting Down, Why?
When it comes to personal hygiene habits, there are certain customs that men have maintained for years without question. One of them is urinating standing up. However, Gerald Collins, a consultant urological surgeon at the Alexandra Hospital in Cheshire (England), stated in an interview that men should opt to urinate sitting down.
Why is this change recommended? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the doctor’s suggestion and the benefits this practice can bring to men’s health.
However, it’s important to note that it’s always advisable to consult with a professional to address any concerns related to your urinary health.
Most men prefer to urinate standing up
Collins’ recommendation is supported by a report by YouGov report on male voiding practices. Based on a survey of more than 7,000 men in 13 countries, the data analysis company found that most men urinate standing up.
It also found that 33% of British men said they would never consider sitting down, while only 9% always sit down to urinate. On the other hand, men in Mexico and Poland made clear their unwillingness to urinate sitting down. In Mexico, for example, only 6% always sit to urinate, while 36% said they would “never” do so.
Another revealing finding in the report is that older men are more reluctant to sit than younger men. This is possibly due to an entrenched notion over the years that it’s “more masculine” to urinate standing up.
The study also showed striking cultural differences. For example, 40% of German men said they “always” urinate sitting down, compared with 10% of Americans and 5% of Singaporeans.
Why should men urinate sitting down?
Having explored the statistics on male urination practices around the world, it’s time to address the fundamental question: why should men urinate sitting down? In the following section, we’ll examine in detail the reasons behind the English doctor’s suggestion.
It could help empty the bladder effectively
During the interview for The Telegraph, Dr. Collins stressed that sitting to urinate could be considered “the most effective way” to do so. This is because the pelvic muscles are relaxed, which would facilitate the urination process.
Sitting may even become more beneficial as men age. This is because of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This condition is characterized by the growth of the prostate gland and surrounding tissue, which causes an obstruction in the urethra and makes urination difficult. An increase in a specific breakdown product of testosterone is responsible for the cell growth, the English physician explained.
BPH becomes more prevalent as men age. Sufferers are more prone to complications, such as bladder stones and urinary tract infections.
From the age of 40 onwards, it’s common for the prostate gland to experience an increase in size.
So, men may find that urinating in a seated position is more comfortable if they have BPH. Coinciding with this perspective, researchers at Leiden University (The Netherlands) also support the idea that urinating while sitting down may be beneficial. In a paper published in the journal Plos One, they revealed that this posture facilitates complete and faster emptying of the bladder.
It’s more hygienic
The second reason why men are encouraged to urinate sitting down is related to hygiene. Standing urination can generate splashing, which requires additional toilet cleaning.
By urinating while seated, the possibility of unwanted splashing is minimized, resulting in a more hygienic experience that’s less prone to the spread of germs. This is especially relevant in shared environments, such as public restrooms or family bathrooms.
On the other hand, according to a report by The Guardian, two U.S. engineering professors conducted research on the splashback phenomenon and discovered shocking results.
According to their findings, when urine leaves the urethra, it comes out as a stream, but, at a distance of between 5 and 10 centimeters 2 to 4 inches, it begins to break into droplets. These collide with each other, generating what is known as “satellite droplets”, which splash at wide angles.
In addition, if feces are present in the toilet, these droplets are likely to contain Escherichia coli bacteria. These collisions, along with splashes from hitting the toilet water from a considerable height, can disperse urine in all areas of the bathroom. Even on your toothbrush!
A shift toward comfort
Although urinating standing up has been a common practice for many men, it’s important to consider the benefits of doing so sitting down. The English urologist’s recommendation to opt for this position may help improve urination.
While the final choice is up to the individual, it’s worth considering the potential health benefits. And remember that it’s always important to consult a physician for personalized advice on any urinary health concerns.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Briolat, G. M. (2016). Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. The Nurse Practitioner in Urology, 117–126. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-28743-0_5
De Jong, Y., Pinckaers, J. H., ten Brinck, R. M., Lycklama à Nijeholt, A. A., & Dekkers, O. M. (2014). Urinating standing versus sitting: position is of influence in men with prostate enlargement. A systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 9(7), e101320. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0101320
Reyes Naranjo, E. (2013). Hiperplasia prostática benigna. Revista Médica de Costa Rica y Centroamérica, 70(606), 269-272. https://www.medigraphic.com/cgi-bin/new/resumenI.cgi?IDARTICULO=43999
Smith, M. (16 de mayo de 2023, mayo 16). Where in the world are men most likely to sit down to wee? YouGov. https://today.yougov.com/topics/society/articles-reports/2023/05/16/where-world-are-men-most-likely-sit-down-wee