4 Common Causes of Men Peeing on the Toilet Seat

Some men prefer to stand to pee, and some flit between standing and sitting. But whichever way you go, there are certain things you should know.

One is that you should wipe from the front to the back, avoiding direct contact with the toilet seat. Otherwise, bacteria can get into your urethra.

  1. Misdirection

Men who pee while standing often miss their target, spraying the seat and floor in splashes, dribbles, and runoff. This can be caused by a number of factors, including bad aim, laziness, or a lack of consideration for roomies / gfs / mates. But it could also be the result of physiological and medical conditions that cause dizziness, tremors, or imbalance that interfere with aiming.

In addition to causing sprayback, improper aim can also disturb virus particles that may be hiding within the toilet and help them spread indoors. The authors of a recent study published in the journal Microbiology suggest that this is one reason why males who stand while peeing should be encouraged to put down their seats after they’re done.

This would give the next person using the stall a chance to wipe up the excess rather than having to touch it themselves and potentially spread infection. Of course, there are still plenty of reasons for guys to sit while peeing. Efficiency, courtesy, and equality are all good ones to consider, but even if you’re not motivated by any of these, it’s just the polite thing to do.

In their study, BYU researchers found that aiming low on the porcelain—imagine hitting just above the drain of a urinal—produced the least splashback. The lower angle of attack allowed the stream to hit the urinal basin without striking the toilet seat.

Unfortunately, most modern toilets aren’t aimed in this way. The lids of most modern toilets don’t rest directly in uniform contact with the seat but are elevated while above it by hinges and tabs affixed at a few spots. This raises the possibility that urine escaping through these gaps could travel up and onto the seat.

Of course, it’s still not as common for toilets to be aimed at the right place as they should be, as many older models are still in use. Fortunately, manufacturers are working to fix this problem. The newer models of toilets now available in the US are designed to avoid these issues by angling downward at the front and sidewalls rather than upward at the top of the bowl.

  1. Imbalance

Whether it’s due to groggy nighttime bathroom visits or just bad aim, most men can’t seem to get their pee into the toilet bowl without hitting the toilet seat first. Luckily, Cushelle toilet paper is super absorbent, making clean-up quick and easy. Or you could use a toilet seat pee solution.

While most men rely on their geometry skills and a firm grasp of the laws of physics to help them aim, even those of us with the best of intentions can sometimes miss our target. The urine stream may unexpectedly shoot to the left or right, up or down, or disperse in a V-shape stream that sends urine dribbling on the floor. A quick touch of contaminated hands to the rim of the toilet can then lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI).

To avoid this, it’s a good idea for all men to keep their hands away from the rim of the toilet and to always put the seat down after peeing. Also, if you want to prevent urination splashes on the toilet seat, try standing while using the bathroom so that your pee is directed more directly into the bowl.

According to a survey by YouGov, however, 35% of American men never sit down to pee. Many older men, in particular, are reluctant to do so, probably because they believe that sitting down is less “masculine” than standing up.

Another reason to consider sitting down to pee is that it can be easier for men with enlarged prostates to do so, as a study by the University of Maryland found. This is because the bladder muscle relaxes and makes it more comfortable to sit down while peeing.

Finally, it’s important for everyone to understand that the bacteria on a toilet seat aren’t as dangerous as they might think. While all surfaces and objects we encounter throughout the day contain plenty of microbes like bacteria, fungi, and viruses, most are not likely to cause significant health problems. A toilet seat contains fewer of these microbes than most objects we touch, including our mobile phones, clothing, and food.

So, whether you’re motivated by efficiency, hygienic concerns, or simply common courtesy, remember to lower the toilet seat every time you pee. And, if you’re concerned about the amount of bacteria on the seat, carry some antiseptic wipes with you and use them before and after using the restroom.

  1. Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence can range from the occasional leak when you laugh, cough, or sneeze to being unable to control your bladder. Working with a doctor or continence professional can help you treat, better manage, and even cure your urinary incontinence.

When you are ready to urinate, your brain sends a signal to the bladder muscles. These muscles contract to force urine out of the bladder and into the urethra, which goes to the outside world. If you have urinary incontinence, your bladder muscles don’t work correctly, causing urine to leak from the pelvic area. There are four common types of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence causes your urine to leak when you put pressure on your body, such as when you move around, cough, sneeze, or exercise. This type of incontinence happens because your pelvic muscles have become weak and don’t support your bladder as they should. Urgency incontinence is when you have a sudden, strong need to urinate, and the urine leaks out before you can make it to the toilet. Mixed incontinence is a combination of both SUI and OAB.

Post-micturition incontinence is the dribbling of small amounts of urine after you empty your bladder. This type of incontinence can occur because the bladder doesn’t empty completely or because your urinary nerves don’t “talk” to your brain correctly, causing your bladder to contract at the wrong times and leak urine. Bladder nerve damage from health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, or from injury can cause this type of incontinence.

Being overweight can put more pressure on your pelvic muscles, which may lead to urine leaks. Using a catheter or wearing pads and absorbent underwear can help you manage urinary incontinence. Other treatment options include medications and surgery. For some people, simple lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol intake, getting enough sleep, and eliminating smoking can help improve urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence can affect men of all ages, but it becomes more common as you get older. Urinary incontinence can greatly impact your life and independence, so it is important to seek diagnosis and treatment.

  1. Splashing

In an attempt to reduce splashback, many men will put down the toilet seat before peeing. But this may lead to more mess than it prevents. In fact, researchers found that the urine stream is unpredictable and can disperse in a V-shaped stream or spay in multiple directions, regardless of whether the man is sitting or standing. In a high-speed video experiment, scientists recorded the movement of a simulated urine stream as it struck various surfaces. The results were surprising: Even when the researchers focused on a specific spot on the toilet bowl wall (where men typically aim), there was still significant spraying.

In addition, the centrifugal force of the stream can lift particles above the water line. These can contaminate the toilet paper, sink, and floor. In a video demonstration, the team shows that this is largely because of the spiraling effect created by the pee flow, which breaks up the droplets into smaller drops.

Moreover, the researchers discovered that a low angle of attack—imagine hitting just above the drain of a urinal—produced the least amount of splashback. This may explain why a lot of men feel the need to stand when they pee.

The research also highlights why it’s important to be able to hold your bladder for a while when you’re in the toilet. If you’re not fully hydrated, your body will likely take longer to empty itself, and you’ll need to spend more time standing to pee.

While it’s true that bacteria can live on the surface of the toilet, microbiologist Abigail Salyers points out that urine is unlikely to carry them in large enough quantities to make you sick. However, she warns that if you touch a dirty bathroom surface and then rub your face or hands, you could pick up germs like strep and staph infections.

In conclusion, while there is nothing wrong with standing to pee, it is probably a good idea for most men to sit from time to time, especially in public bathrooms. Putting the seat down is a simple act of courtesy that can make a big difference to anyone using the toilet after you.