Pee: A Girl's Guide to Plumbing

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Get This Potty Started

  1. Pee production starts in your kidneys (nature gave you two in case you lose one). About 400 gallons of blood flow through your kidneys every day, producing an impressive two quarts of urine.
  2. Nephrons in the kidneys separate waste products, which flow on to the bladder, from nutrients and useful chemicals, which return to your bloodstream.
  3. Ureters are the flume ride pee takes down to the bladder.
  4. As pee's holding tank, the bladder is often described as a balloon, but it's really a muscle.
  5. Your urethra is a mere two inches long, only about a quarter the length of a man's, so it's much easier for bacteria from your anus and vagina to travel to your bladder and infect it. Penis envy now?

Now or Never How do we know when it's time to go? Nerves in the bladder sense how full it is and send a message to the brain: toilet, now. Or, a little later, Toilet now! "Peeing is complicated," says ob-gyn Sandy Culbertson, MD, at the University of Chicago. "Three sets of muscles must work in coordination: The pelvic floor muscles and the urethra must relax, then the bladder must contract."

Continued on page 3:  Can You Drink Your Own Pee?


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