Is It Normal to Get an Erection While Defecating?
These days, it seems like nearly anything can go viral online—no matter how silly or random. Exhibit A: Last year, a TikTok video about erections while pooping amassed millions of views. The video shows a smiling teenager giving a thumbs up with the text: "Wait till girls find out that guys get bonners (sic) when they poop." The 10-second clip sparked a debate online and prompted some to wonder: Does this really happen? And if so, is it normal?
While getting an erection during a bowel movement is not common, it certainly can occur. Men can get an erection while pooping for a number of reasons. For one, the pressure involved with pooping has an impact on blood flow. The rectum and the penis are in the same area, so when a large or difficult bowel movement happens, more force is needed to push the stool out. This creates more blood flow to both the penis and the rectum, leading to both a boner and an evacuation.
An erection while pooping can be caused by pelvic floor contractions during what's known as the Valsalva maneuver, which involves breathing in and out, and excessive straining when emptying the bowels. When a man contracts his Kegel muscles in this situation, it can lead to an erection. Excessive straining can cause hemorrhoids and the trapping of blood in the penis, but it's unusual for erections to occur suddenly during defecation.
There is not much data or research on this phenomenon, likely because it's not something people generally talk about. Some doctors have reported that since the TikTok video went viral, they've had more patients ask about it.
As seen on TV
In 2019, before the TikTok video, the daytime television talk show "The Doctors" aired a segment in which they took an anonymous Facebook question from a man who was concerned about his erections while defecating. The doctors on the show basically said it was nothing to worry about, though one noted a potential problem could come from having an erection while on the toilet. Because men often urinate during bowel movements, if the penis is erect, it can make it harder to make the pee go where it needs to, he said.
For some, having a bowel movement arouses them, which could lead to an erection. Coprophilia is a condition in which defecation is found to be erotic and pleasurable. In addition to finding pleasure from defecation, some coprophiliacs get aroused from the sight or smell of feces. Since coprophilia is a relatively rare fetish and considered taboo, there's not much scientific research on it.
Why do I have random erections?
Sometimes men experience erections without any physical or psychological stimulation, and an erection on the toilet could fall under this umbrella. Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, which can lead to random erections. One particularly common random erection is waking up with a boner. The medical term for this is nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT), colloquially known as "morning wood."
Waking up with an erection is a sign of a healthy blood supply to the penis. While NPT is more common in younger men, adult men experience it as well. As men reach their 40s and 50s, their testosterone levels begin to drop, typically leading to fewer NPT episodes. On average, men experience up to five erections while they are asleep, with each erection lasting about half an hour.
To sum it up, having an erection while pooping is not abnormal, dangerous or unhealthy. For men who experience this, it's typically occasional. However, you should be concerned if this is the only time you are able to achieve an erection. If that's the case, consider seeing your doctor or a sex therapist.