It is getting harder to spend a penny - because councils and shopping centres are closing public conveniences.
Almost one in ten of the public loos in the West Midlands has closed in the past ten years.
Last night, the British Toilet Association, a voluntary body campaigning for better facilities in our high streets and shopping centres, said the cuts should be reversed.
They called for laws putting councils under an obligation to keep lavatories open.
The state of the nation's lavatories has been revealed in Government figures released by Ministers in John Prescott's department.
There are currently 408 in the West Midlands, but the region is behind many other parts of the country, such as the East of England, where there are 560 loos available to the public.
The figures include conveniences in shopping arcades as well as in high streets.
Vandalism and anti-social behaviour are blamed for the closures.
But the BTA says councils are cutting back to save money.
Authorities have also been hit by the Disability Discrimination Act, introduced earlier this year, which means many facilities have to be modified so they can be used by disabled people.
The statistics were released in response to an official Commons question by Birmingham MP John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley).
He said: "We have learnt that it is a lot harder finding a place within which to spend a penny.
" Public toilets are an important public service, particularly for elderly gents, but across the country they are being flushed away.
"It is not surprising to find more people urinating in the street, generally men, if there are fewer public toilets."
Catherine Murphy, of the BTA, said: "We have been calling for a number of years for the Government to bring in legislation placing councils under an obligation to provide toilets.
"Local authorities are using excuses such as vandalism, anti-social behaviour and general misuse.
"It is a serious issue if you are in the middle of a town centre and there is no toilet, and it is particularly serious for people who are elderly, ill or with young children."
A spokeswoman for John Prescott's department said: "The provision of public toilets is at the discretion of local authorities."