Why do men spend so much time in the bathroom

There’s a running joke about how long it takes dads to poop. Picture this: dad stands up, phone in hand, and heads toward the toilet. No one will say it, but everyone knows dad will be in the bathroom for a good 30 minutes. We’ve seen this scene play out on TV, and maybe even in our own lives. Viral Reddit threads have incited NASA-level discussions about why dads take so long to poop. Jokes aside, experts have concluded that some men are taking way too long to poop, and it’s not healthy.

The Reddit thread had one mom asking for advice, saying she was pretty sure her husband was using the “I need to poop” excuse to get out of parenting their twins. She felt he was ignoring his duties in favor of playing on his phone while sitting on his porcelain throne. Once she took matters into her own hands: When she turned off the Wifi, the “stomach issues” that had caused him to sit on the toilet for 25 minutes at a time stopped. This had set off a fight between the couple, and the mom wanted to know if she was being unreasonable. The comments filled up with “my husband does this too” replies — there seems to be some truth to this scenario in other’s lives.

Romper spoke to Dr. Niket Sonpal, Associate Program Director IM residency at Brookdale University Hospital & Medical Center, to get to the bottom of this issue that seems to be more common than we realized. How long should it take to poop? Should that mom, and other women who notice similar time frames with their partner, worry about their partner’s health? Or could this be parenting duty avoidance?

According to Dr. Sonpal, there are health reasons why a man may take so long to poop, specifically if he is constipated. “No one should, in theory, take that long to have a bowel movement. This means the person is not getting enough water, and the stools are too hard,” Dr. Sonpal says. “They are not getting enough fiber, and the stools are not bulky enough.”

Even with all that, the doctor says that no one should be spending more than five minutes trying to poop. “If you have a proper diet with good fiber and enough water intake, your bowel movements should be a very short occurrence,” Dr. Sonpal says. A 2017 study published in the journal Soft Matter and highlighted by New Scientist, says even that’s too long and the average mammal, yes including humans, takes just 12 seconds to poop.

It’s difficult to get mad at someone who needs to spend so much time pooping if there is a legitimate medical concern. Having to sit that long and try to poop sounds painful, and less favorable than changing a diaper. But Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan psychotherapist says dad may just be escaping from parenting duties. He told CafeMom the bathroom is a sort of hideout for people because no one ever asks what you’re doing in there, even if you take a long time.

“I guess I would call it a safe place,” Alpert says. “You know, most people aren’t going to question someone’s activities or motivation for going to the bathroom. Everyone deserves their privacy to go to the bathroom, and I think some people might be using it for a little more than that and to their advantage.”

But women don’t seem to be taking that long to poop, or at least that’s not the trope. To get to the root of the issue, have a conversation about what you’re really bothered about. The frustration and anger about taking so long to poop (because that would be more concern and less angry) are likely motivated by frustration surrounding the imbalance of parenting duties.

Maybe you can start that chat by turning off the Wifi and having some popcorn, which turns out is a great source of fiber.

This article was originally published on Jan. 28, 2020

A doctor has shed some light on the science behind why men take longer to go to the bathroom than women — and it’s a reason you may not expect.

A doctor has shed some light on the science behind why men take longer to go to the bathroom than women — and it’s a reason you may not expect.

It can be frustrating if your male partner takes longer than planned when going for a number two.

But a doctor has revealed there could be a scientific reason why they take a long time on the loo — they could be experiencing “poo-phoria” or even a toilet-induced orgasm.

Posting to TikTok, Dr Karan Rajan responded to one user who claimed women take less than five minutes on the toilet, because the poo isn’t hitting their G-spot.

The prostate is also known as the male G-spot, and is a little organ the size of a walnut.

Dr Rajan explained the TikToker’s poo theory could actually be true.

A scientist has revealed why men spend such a long time on the toilet. Picture: Getty

“The prostate, often referred to as the male G-spot, is a gland that sits just in front of the rectum,” he said.

“So a particularly large bowel movement may stimulate this land, leading to ‘poo-phoria’”.

Experts have previously said that people can actually have an orgasm while on the loo.

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Dr Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at Indiana University, previously said that genitalia are magical, mysterious places of wonder.

“Defecation-induced orgasms’ seem to be more common than orgasms from peeing, but both kinds happen,” she told the Georgia Straight.

“The pelvic nerve — which is one orgasmic pathway — links up to not only the vagina and cervix but also the rectum and bladder.”

‘Defecation-induced orgasms’ could be the reason men spend more time on the loo than women. Picture: iStock

Dr Anish Sheth, the co-author of the book What’s Your Poo Telling You?, said for some people, the poo touching this nerve can feel like a religious experience, or an orgasm – or for some people, even both.

He said this “poo-phoria” that people feel is due to a drop in blood flow.

“The net effect of this is a drop in your heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn decreases blood flow to the brain,” he said.

“When mild, the light-headedness can lead to a sense of sublime relation – the high.

“However, a more significant drop in brain perfusion can cause ‘defecation syncope’, a dangerous syndrome that results in a loss of consciousness”, he added.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been reproduced with permission.

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There’s a common assumption men take longer than women to poo. People say so on Twitter, in memes, and elsewhere online. But is that right? What could explain it? And if some people are really taking longer, is that a problem?

As we sift through the evidence, it’s important to remember pooing may involve time spent sitting on the toilet and the defaecation process itself.

And there may be differences between men and women in these separate aspects of going to the toilet. But the evidence for these differences isn’t always as strong as we’d like.

Men may spend longer sitting on the toilet

Men do appear to spend more time sitting on the toilet. An online survey by a bathroom retailer suggested men spend up to 14 minutes a day compared with women, who spend almost eight minutes a day. But this survey doesn’t have the rigour of a well-designed scientific study.

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Would there be any physiological reason to explain why men spend longer on the toilet? Well, the evidence actually suggests the opposite.

We know it takes longer for food to travel through the intestines in women than in men. Women are also more likely to suffer from constipation related to irritable bowel syndrome than men. So, you’d expect women to take longer to defaecate, from the start of the bowel motion to expulsion.

But this is not the case even if you take into account differences in fibre intake between men and women.

Instead, how long it takes someone to poo (the defaecation time) is heavily influenced by the mucus lining the large bowel. This mucus makes the bowel slippery and easier for the stools to be expelled. But there’s no evidence this mucus lining is different in men and women.

One thing we do know, however, is mammals from elephants to mice have a similar defaecation time, around 12 seconds.

For humans, it’s slightly longer, but still quick. In one study it took healthy adults an average two minutes when sitting, but only 51 seconds when squatting. Again, there were no differences in defaecation time between men and women, whether sitting or squatting.

If there’s no strong evidence one way or the other to explain any gender differences in how long it takes to poo, what’s going on? For that, we need to look at the total time spent on the toilet.

Why do people spend so long on the toilet?

What I call the “toilet sitting time” is the time of defaecation itself and the time allocated to other activities sitting on the toilet. For most people, the time spent just sitting, aside from defaecating, accounts for most of their time there.

So what are people doing? Mainly reading. And it seems men are more likely to read on the toilet than women.

For instance, a study of almost 500 adults in Israel found almost two-thirds (64%) of men regularly read on the toilet compared with 41% of women. The longer people spent on the toilet, the more likely they were to be reading. However, in the decade or more since this study was conducted, you’d expect adults would be more likely to be reading or playing games on their mobile phones rather than reading paper books.

People might also be sitting longer on the toilet for some temporary relief from the stresses of life.

Sometimes, people just need time to themselves. Ramblin Mama

One poll found 56% of people find sitting on the toilet relaxing, and 39% a good opportunity to have “some time alone”. Another online survey revealed one in six people reported going to the toilet for “peace and quiet”. Although these are not scientific studies, they offer useful insights into a social phenomenon.

Then there can be medical reasons for a prolonged defaecation time, and consequently a lengthier time sitting on the toilet.

An anal fissure (a tear or crack in the lining of the anus) can make defaecation a painful and lengthy process. These fissures are just as common in men as in women.

And obstructive defaecation, where people cannot empty the rectum properly, is a common cause of chronic constipation. This is more common in middle-aged women.

Are there any harms from spending too long on the loo?

In a Turkish study, spending more than five minutes on the toilet was associated with haemorrhoids and anal fissures. Another study from Italy noted the longer the time people spent on the toilet, the more severe their haemorrhoids.

One theory behind this is prolonged sitting increases pressure inside the abdomen. This leads to less blood flow into the veins of the rectum when passing a bowel motion, and ultimately to blood pooling in the vascular cushions of the anus. This makes haemorrhoids more likely to develop.

What can we do about this?

In addition to the usual advice about increasing the amount of fibre in your diet and ensuring you drink enough water, it would be sensible to limit the amount of time spent on the toilet.

Different researchers recommend a different upper limit. But I and others recommend the SEN approach:

  • Six minute toilet sitting time maximum

  • Enough fibre (eating more fruit and vegetables, and eating wholegrains)

  • No straining during defaecation.

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