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Advice for those who usually stand to wee

Have you ever been told off by your partner, wife, mother or work colleagues for missing the toilet or accidentally wee’d on your mates’ foot at the urinal? It can be a common problem for those who stand to wee right throughout life. So lets explore why you might miss the target.  

Why I might be missing the target

When we wee at an angle it means that something is changing the flow of our urine, now this could be something as simple as a random hair that is sitting over the end of our penis and causing us to spray or not pulling your foreskin out of way. Some of us are born with an opening that is at a slightly different position or it could be a problem inside. Such as an infection.  

Infections

UTI’s or urinary tract infections are infections that occur when bacteria contaminate the urethra, the tube we wee out of. This can be caused by many causes and most are due to bacteria that are on our skin or in the environments getting into the urethra.  Other causes are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs ) such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia or prostatitis which while strictly not a UTI can cause similar symptoms. 

The symptoms of UTI include the need to wee more frequently and urgently that normal. An intense urge to wee , pain, discomfort or a burning sensation during weeing, waking up in the night to wee, wetting the bed unexpectedly, wee that looks cloudy or smells foul, fever, with or without chills or pain in the side or upper back.  

The good news is that generally these conditions can be treated with antibiotics and the problem can be resolved quickly. If you are sexually active it is good to practice safe sex by using a condom. Condoms cover the opening to the penis and the skin and are the best way to prevent STD’s.

Contraception – condoms for men – Better Health Channel 

How to use condoms

As you get older

As you mature you can get prostate enlargement or urinary strictures. These can cause a decrease in the rate of flow. The reduction in rate of flow can cause our wee to come out and odd angles. Both can be treated by a Dr and should get checked out.  

Surgery on our urinary tract and bladder, such as prostate surgery, or reassignment surgery may put us at risk of UTI and decrease our rate of flow. Any symptoms post-surgery should be raised with your doctor in a timely manner to prevent further complications.   

When my bladder doesn’t empty completely

Urinary retention is when our bladder doesn’t empty completely. This can be caused by damage to the nerves that control the bladder, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke or Parkinson’s. These conditions can interfere with the sensation to wee. The retention of urine causes a decrease in our flow rate and again can cause us to wee at right angles.  

What if I sit down

Sitting down to wee is a short-term solution to get people off your back but it won’t fix the issue long term.  

Weeing at right angles is a sign that something may be wrong. Most problems have a solution which a chat with your GP can solve.  This means being honest with yourself and your needs, talking to healthcare professionals and helping yourself to hit the target and not your mates’ foot! 

Article by Sam Gebert – Nurse Continence Specialist

Sam Gebert is a Nurse Continence Specialist at the Continence Foundation of Australia Victorian Branch – Victorian Continence Resource Centre. Sam is a passionate advocate of men’s health, with a speciality in men’s continence and sexual health. He joins us after working at Movember in the Prostate Cancer program of TrueNTH where he care-coordinated an Australia wide telehealth program.

To find your nearest service, or for more information you can call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 330 066.

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