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The Girlfriend's Guide to Health will be updated every Tuesday.... Stay tuned dear readers and let me rock your world.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stream of Consciousness

I can no longer count the amount of times I have squatted like- well – like a squatter (???) and peed in the bushes. Yes my dear girlfriends, for 10 days I hiked through Tanzania in pursuit of a sense of peace and in the process… well, I’ll say it plain- I pissed all over Africa.

There I was on the Shira Plateau, crouching on the side of 750,000 year old volcano and letting nature call, answer, wipe and button up. Up Mount Kilimanjaro and down Mount Kilimanjaro. Everywhere from 6,000 feet above sea level to 19,374 feet above sea level, I crouched and squatted and released my bladder for all it was worth. Yes I realize this has painted less than a glamorous picture but after 10 days on the peak of Africa dignity was not my friend. Dignity was a bitch who made fun of me in highschool. Make no mistake, I was a master. I avoided showering my boots with urine and only once did my Gortex suspenders get a golden shower. It turns out that Wet Ones really can clean up any spill.

Safe to say, I have used more antibacterial hand gel in the last month than I have in the last decade, and let’s not forget my dear girlfriends, I am a doctor. I wash my hands a lot. And now after the pursuit of the dream is over, I can begin my forties with a mountain climb to the roof of Africa and the title of expert wilderness pisser . This is truly a skill to master. I now can safely say should I find myself in a rather precarious situation without the availability of a toilet to be found… I can in fact make due. Let us hope however I never need to rely on my new found skill of squat and release so to speak…. But in a pinch my dear cyber sisters, I am sure I can answer the call.

I love being a girl. I love the way we think, the way we talk…. And of course the fashion itself is reason enough. Stick me in a pair of heels with a fabulous dress and I will never wish for a Y chromosome… EVER. That is until I found myself without a penis in the middle of an 8 hour hike having to squat in the rain in the bushes at 15,000 feet above sea level just to give my bladder a break. Man… and yes, I mean MAN did I want to be a boy. Hell I would have traded my entire shoe closet in that moment- Manolos and all for just one little penis.

I’m not asking for a big one… just 4-5 inches- enough so that I could just whip it out, urinate and get back to the hike at hand. Make no mistake- I did not want to keep it. I’d give it back… I just wanted the use of a penis for hell about 7-10 days (not even every day- only the rainy ones) so that I could give my quadriceps a break and NOT have to squat on a volcano.

So here is the 411 on a woman’s right to pee…

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 harder to control. And so we sit or squat. Just as in life- it is all about the angles.
It is possible for a woman to pee standing up. Stand, make sure that all clothing is really (and I mean really) far away from the stream of things and well, form a wide stance and have at it. The urine will generally travel more or less straight down.

In certain communities, women do urinate standing up. This is done by spreading the labia minora open and orienting the pelvis at an angle, and rapidly forcing the urine stream out. Reports indicate that it is common that women in the Ivory Coast use this method when they urinate.[

Some sources seem to indicate that women urinate this way in some countries in West Africa including Ghana, Malawi and Laos. In Ghana, signs which forbid public urination often show a picture of a female urinating in a standing position.

Studies fail to support an increase or decrease in the risk of urinary tract infection with this “style” of urination.

There you have dear sisters… the untold story on vertical female urination. You will rest easier I am sure.

I realize this is not as much of a medical Tuesday as my girlfriends are used to…. But when you’ve got to go, my cybersisters… you’ve got to go.

1 comment:

  1. Ali! You might be interested in this:

    I bought one for my sister when she went backpacking and camping around South America. Might help with the squatting, though I haven't tried it myself, so I can't guarantee anything...!