Squatting in public toilets
Expert SaysLifestyleMenstruationPhysical HealthUTI and InfectionsWellness

Is it bad to squat in a public toilet?

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When you’re using the restroom in public—at a restaurant, gym, or anywhere else—you’ll have the urge to avoid sitting on the toilet seat. If you really have to go, people tend to hover or squat over the toilet so you don’t have to make contact with the seat. If you must use one when you’re out, squatting can make sense. But apparently, it’s not all that great for you, and you may want to stop doing it entirely.

When one sits in a squatting position, it puts pressure on the colon and then gravity does most of the work. A lot of people might consider it an age-old traditional method and not prefer it so much but then a lot of people have agreed regarding the benefits of the natural position which might put a strain in a good way to one’s body.

When you don’t completely sit down, your muscles are not completely relaxed and in order for the bladder to completely empty, the pelvic floor muscles have to be let go.

Further, as you squat over the seat, your pelvic floor muscles are probably still 30% or 40% tensed. When you stand back up, you’ll still have a little bit of urine left in there because the muscles didn’t completely relax. With urine left inside your bladder, you risk an accidental leak if you jump, cough, laugh, or sneeze.

Plus, that “old” urine you’re carrying around can irritate the inside of the bladder, making you feel as if you’ve got to go more often or more urgently than you really do.

Things to do instead of squatting on a toilet

While it’s hard to choose between sitting on a nasty-looking public toilet seat or getting a UTI, everyone is different and problems may never occur from squatting. But next time, instead of risking it, try another method to ensure your bladder’s health is not compromised.


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Hemali Gupta
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About author
Dr. Hemali Gupta has over 12 years of experience as a urologist in Delhi at her own practice. She has treated women with various urological issues.
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