Should Men Pee Sitting Down?

We grow up learning that men should stand up while they urinate. 

It’s something that we’re taught during “potty training” and a habit that sticks. 

In recent years, however, there’s been a shift toward men being encouraged to sit down when they urinate, yet controversy still exists on this particular topic. 

Some men consider sitting down when they have to pee not to be “masculine,” while others simply continue with this habit as they are used to it. 

Research comparing the effects of urination sitting vs standing has shown that sitting down to pee might be a healthier choice for men, as well as the rest of the family. 

Keep reading to learn more about this topic.

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Differences In Urinating While Sitting vs Standing 

Japanese men seem to be leading the shift toward sitting down when they need to urinate. A few years ago, 51% of survey respondents claimed to sit down. Five years later, by August 2020, this figure had increased to 70%. 

Many men do not realize the differences that exist between sitting down vs standing up during urination. 

Proper knowledge on this subject can help men better understand why it might be a good idea to join those who are making a shift. 

The differences in male urination standing vs sitting affects the man’s personal health, but also the well-being of others who live in the same building. 

Additionally, the bathroom itself can be affected too, which is something that men often overlook. 

Risk of splashback

When standing up to pee, a man is retaining the pressure that their body places on the feet during urination. Additionally, there’s also the risk of “splashing.” 

Even men who claim to be “good aimers” can have some urine splash backward from the toilet bowl, leaving these droplets on the toilet and perhaps on the bathroom floor. 

These splashes may sometimes be missed by the man who is urinating. There are several studies that have shown how these urine droplets can cause hygiene-related problems in the long run. 

Transmission of bacteria

In one study, researchers focus on how urine droplets could be potential carriers of certain bacteria. The focus was on infection control. 

Researchers used a standard toilet made from ceramic materials. An isolate that was able to produce Klebsiella pneumoniae ST101 bacteria was added to the toilet bowl. 

Following the research period, it was found that urine droplets in the toilet, often called rebound droplets, can contain this particular bacteria. 

The researchers concluded that these droplets could be an indicator of the transmission of CR-KP. 

It’s an important study to consider, especially in areas where a toilet is shared among multiple individuals. The risk becomes even greater in public toilet settings. 

It’s important to consider the fact that urine is essentially a way for the body to get rid of waste. Waste is filtered out by the kidneys and then, along with excess water, sent to the bladder for temporary storage until urination. 

In a study, although small, important findings were made. The researchers tested urine samples from a group of participants. 

Some of the participants had urinary tract infections at the time of the study. The researchers analyzed the urine samples over a period of time and found that bacteria growth could be observed following the expelling of urine from the human body. 

This means urine may contribute to the growth of bacteria in the bathroom when not properly discarded inside the toilet. 

Some of the bacterium species identified in the urine samples of these participants include:

Bacteria% of Urine Samples

Other genera were also isolated from the urine samples, including:

  • Actinobaculum
  • Aerococcus
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Gardnerella

The growth of bacteria in the bathroom due to urine droplets can pose a hygiene and health risk for the entire family. 

It’s also possible for some of these droplets to become airborne for short periods of time, which could cause them to infect various personal hygiene items in the bathroom. 

These issues are primarily a concern in men who prefer to stand up when they pee. Sitting down during urination means there is no longer a concern about splashback happening as the urine hits the toilet bowl. 

Does A Man Empty His Bladder Better Standing Or Sitting?

When it comes to comparing men sitting down to pee versus those who stand up, it’s important to consider more than just hygiene. 

There also seems to be a difference in bladder emptying when a man decides to sit down when they need to pee. This is another important benefit of peeing sitting down that men should understand. 

Some men may find that they are able to empty their bladder more effectively when they sit down to pee compared to standing up. 

With this said, it’s important to note that these results are generally found in all men. 

A study that looked at bladder emptying between sitting and standing urination positions found no significant differences in healthy men with no existing concerns related to their urinary system or prostate. 

Among those who did have lower urinary tract symptoms, improvements in bladder emptying were identified. 

These men were able to empty their bladder almost one second faster when sitting down to urinate instead of standing up. 

Additionally, the bladder also emptied more effectively in a seated position. 

When these men stood up to urinate, there was an average of 25 ml of urine left in the bladder following urination. 

By emptying the bladder completely and not allowing any urine to remain, it’s possible to also reduce the risk of dripping post-urination, which can be embarrassing for men. 

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Does Sitting To Urinate Improve LUTS in Men?

LUTS, or lower urinary tract symptoms, are relatively common in older men. Some of the symptoms that men with LUTS may experience include:

The symptoms can gradually worsen over time, and it’s sometimes related to the prostate. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can put pressure on the bladder. This can then result in the development of these lower urinary tract symptoms. 

Some studies have looked at how urination position affects men who have LUTS. In one study, the focus is placed specifically on men who have an enlarged prostate and experienced LUTS. 

The systematic review considered studies that were previously studied. A total of 11 studies were considered in order to determine how sitting or standing could affect men with LUTS. 

When healthy men were considered in the review, there wasn’t a statistically significant difference in urination with standing and sitting positions. 

With this said, there were differences identified among men with LUTS. Some of the improvements that were observed in men with an enlarged prostate who used a seated position for urination include:

  • A reduction in post-void residual volume, which shows that bladder emptying was improved in the seated position. The post-void residual volume was decreased by -24.96 ml on average. 
  • The Qmax rate, also known as the maximum urinary flow rate, was increased. This allowed the men to empty their bladders in less time. The average increase in maximum urinary flow rate was stated as 1.23 ml/s. 
  • The voiding time, which refers to the amount of time the man spent urinating in a single session, was also reduced compared to a standing position. Voiding time was reduced by an average of 0.62 seconds. 

An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, affects about half of men between 50 and 60 years. 

At the age of 80, this statistic increases to 90%. While benign, the enlargement of the prostate can still produce unpleasant symptoms and side effects. 

Some symptoms that men may experience if they have an enlarged prostate include:

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Increase in nighttime urination frequency
  • Dribbling may occur after urination
  • The bladder may not empty completely
  • Initiating urination may feel difficult
  • The urine stream may also be weak

Men who experience these symptoms should definitely consider changing the way they urinate. Standing up reduces bladder emptying and can also cause a decline in urinary flow rate. 

By sitting down instead, it’s possible to improve urination and bladder emptying, while also improving the overall hygiene of the bathroom. 

This is due to the reduction in the number of urine droplets that may splash over the toilet and fall on the ground, wall, or other structures that are present in the surrounding area. 

Takeaway: Should Men Pee Sitting Down?

Men who sit down while they pee may experience certain benefits. We’ve already seen a transition happen in Japan and other areas. 

Researchers have also confirmed that there are specific health benefits that come with sitting down during urination. 

Apart from personal health, sitting down also reduces splashes that could result in bacteria growth in the bathroom and result in hygiene items like toothbrushes becoming infected. Thus, men should definitely consider the benefits when they sit down to pee.

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  1. Arena F, Coda ARD, Meschini V, Verzicco R, Liso A. Droplets generated from toilets during urination as a possible vehicle of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021 Oct.
  2. Hilt EE, McKinley K, Pearce MM, Rosenfeld AB, Zilliox MJ, Mueller ER, Brubaker L, Gai X, Wolfe AJ, Schreckenberger PC. Urine is not sterile: use of enhanced urine culture techniques to detect resident bacterial flora in the adult female bladder. J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Mar.
  3. Pomeroy, R. Sit or Stand: How Should Men Pee? RealClearScience. 2014 July.
  4. de Jong Y, Pinckaers JH, ten Brinck RM, Lycklama à Nijeholt AA, Dekkers OM. Urinating standing versus sitting: position is of influence in men with prostate enlargement. A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2014 Jul.

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