Urination, also called micturition, is the process of disposing urinefrom the urinary bladderthrough the urethrato the outside of the body. The process of urination is usually under voluntary control. When control over urination is lost or absent, this is called urinary incontinence. Urinary retentionrefers to the inability to urinate.
- 1 Urinary System
- 2 Urination techniques
- 2.1 Male urination
- 2.2 Female urination
- 3 Length of urination
- 4 Social factors
- 4.1 Toilet training
- 4.2 Toilets
- 4.3 Clothing designs
- 4.4 Social transgressions
- 4.5 Alternatives to toilets
- 4.6 Animals
- 4.7 Urination fetishes
- 5 See also
The micturition reflex is activated when the urinary bladder wall is stretched; it results in urination. This reflex occurs in the spinal cord, specifically in the sacral region that is modified by the higher centers in the brain: the pons and cerebrum. The presence of urine in the bladder stimulates the stretch receptors, which produces action potential.
The action potentials are carried by sensory neurons to the sacral segments of the spinal cord through the pelvic nervesthe parasympathetic fiberscarry the action potentials to the urinary bladder in the pelvic nerves. This causes the wall of the bladder to contract. In addition, decreased somatic motor action potentials cause the external urinary sphincter, which consists of skeletal muscle, to relax. When the external urinary sphincter is relaxed urine will flow from the urinary bladder when the pressure there is great enough to force urine to flow through the urethra. The micturition reflex normally produces a series of contractions of the urinary bladder.
Action potentials carried by sensory neurons from stretch receptors in the urinary bladder wall also ascend the spinal cord to a micturition center in the pons and to the cerebrum. Descending potentials are sent from these areas of the brain to the sacral region of the spinal cord, where they modify the activity of the micturition reflex in the spinal cord. The micturition reflex, integrated in the spinal cord, predominates in infants. The ability to voluntarily inhibit micturition develops at the age of 2-3 years, and subsequently, the influence of the pons and cerebrum on the spinal micturition reflex predominates. The micturition reflex integrated in the spinal cord is automatic, but it is either stimulated or inhibited by descending action potentials. Higher brain centers prevent micturition by sending action potentials from the cerebrum and pons through spinal pathways to inhibit the spinal micturition reflex. Consequently, parasympathetic stimulation of the urinary bladder is inhibited and somatic motor neurons that keep the external urinary sphincter contracted are stimulated.
The pressure in the urinary bladder increases rapidly once its volume exceeds approximately 400-500 ml, and there is an increase in the frequency of action potentials carried by sensory neurons. The increased frequency of action potentials conducted by the ascending spinal pathways to the pons and cerebrum results in an increased desire to urinate.
Voluntary initiation of micturition involves an increase in action potentials sent from the cerebrum to facilitate the micturition reflex and to voluntarily relax the external urinary sphincter. In addition to facilitating the micturition reflex, there is an increased voluntary contraction of abdominal muscles, which causes an increase in abdominal pressure. This enhances the micturition reflex by increasing the pressure applied to the urinary bladder wall.
The initiation of urination is caused by the stretch in the wall of the bladder. But also irritation such as bacterial infections of the urinary bladder or the urethera or other conditions can initiate the desire to urinate, even when the urinary bladder is nearly empty.
During urination, muscles in the wall of the bladder contract, forcing urine out of the bladder and into the urethra. At the same time, sphincter muscles surrounding the urethra relax, letting urine pass out of the body. Urinary incontinencewill occur if the bladder muscles suddenly contract or muscles surrounding the urethra suddenly relax.
Due to the differences in where the urethraends, menand womenuse different techniques for urination.
Because of the flexible and protruding nature of the penis, it is easy to control the urine stream. This makes it easy to urinate standing up, and most men urinate this way. But it is also possible to urinate sitting down on a toilet bowl. Some men prefer to urinate this way, and it also has the advantage that defecationcan easily be done at the same time when sitting down. Urination can sometimes cause shivers down the spine whenever the urinating process is almost completed. This phenomenon is common amongst males although no scientific research has been done to explain the reason for this.
In women, the urethra opens straight into the vulva. Because of this, the urine does not exit at a distance from the body and is, therefore, hard to control. Because of surface tensionin the urine, the easiest method is to just rely on gravityto take over once the urine has exited. This can easily be achieved if the woman is seated when urinating, although some women chose to squat or hover above the toilet-seat. When sitting, it helps if the woman is leaning forward and keeping her legs together, as this helps direct the stream downwards 
A little known fact is that it is possible for women to urinate standing up. It is possible to do this by manipulating the genitaliain a certain way, orienting the pelvis at an angle, and rapidly forcing the urine stream out . An alternative method is to use a tool to assist .
Length of urination
The time it takes to urinate differs from person to person and from urination session to urination session. For example, it may take some people up to several minutes to fully void, while it may take others 5-10 seconds. The average time is much closer to the lower end of the scale. Normally, this depends on how long it has been and how much and what type of liquid the person has consumed since the last urination. Other factors include an size of the Prostatein men and the strength of the Urethral sphincter muscles
Babieshave no socialized control over urination within societies that do not practice elimination communicationand instead use diapers. Toilet trainingis the process of learning to restrict urination to socially approved times and situations. Many young children suffer from nocturnal enuresis.
It is socially more accepted and more hygienic for adults and older children to urinate at a toilet(also known euphemisticallyas a "bathroom"). Public toilets are often separate for men and women, and may be partitioned for reasons of modestyin some countries.
- Main article: urinal
Public toilets often have urinalsfor men because it is more convenient for them to urinate standing up, though some believe it is because it is less socially accepted for women to urinate standing. A novelty, still rare, are public urinals for women, allowing them also to urinate standing up. This is done using a special tool or with the finger-assist method . Urinals may have partitions between them to avoid men being able to see the other men's genitals, a social tabooin many countries. Men with a mild form of paruresis, or "shy bladder syndrome," have difficulty using a urinal next to somebody else, and will tend to use a urinal not directly adjacent to someone else. Some will opt for a stall instead due to closed off walls. In more severe cases even that is difficult.
Trousersusually have a fly allowing men to urinate without lowering the whole trousers. The fly has buttonsor a zipper. Either just the fly is opened or also the fastening at the waist (including, if present, the belt). Additionally, the fly of the underpants is used or their frontside is lowered. All combinations are possible. Trousers without fly, like some jogging trousers, have usually an elastic waist band allowing lowering the front side like underpants.
A common transgression is urinating in the street (except at a public urinal). Often this is done after consumption of alcoholic beverage: the alcohol causes production of additional urine as well as a reduction of inhibitions. In New Orleans, urination on the street is sometimes referred to as a "New Orleans Piss".
Alternatives to toilets
Sometimes urination is done in a container such as a bottle, urinal, bedpan or chamber pot, e.g. in case of lying sick in bed, in the case that the urine has to be examined (for medical reasons, or as a dopingor other drugs test), or in the case that there is no toilet or it is inconvenient to go there, and no other possibility to dispose of the urine right away. See also Bedpan use and output measurement.
For the latter application a more expensive solution (hence for special occasions while travelling etc.) is a special disposable bag containing absorbent material that solidifies the urine in 5 to 10 seconds, making it convenient and safe to keep (leakproof, puncture resistant, odorless) until there is an opportunity to dispose of it (conveniently like regular garbage). It can also be used for vomiting.
In dogsand other animals, urination can mark territory or express submissiveness.
Some pornographydepicts urination. See also: Urolagnia, Pornography Introduction.
- Post-micturition convulsion syndrome("piss shiver")
- Micturition Syncopecs:Mo?ení
Categories: Cleanup from August 2005| Wikipedia articles needing factual verification| Urology| Excretion
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It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urination Wikipedia article Urination.