Wait A Second,Please!


Disclaimer: This article contains physiological contents which technically only apply to boys, but girls are also welcomed to solve this puzzle. I bet you will love this story, though a little nasty it is.


      This funny scenario has been with me for a long time: I have been studying for quite a stretch of time either in a study lounge or simply in my dorm and I didn't feel that much, if any, physical needs for a bathroom walk. When I finish a chapter, or I often call it a dividing line, something in my head tells me nature's calling. Note even at this moment, my bathroom needs are far from an emergency. However, something always happens when I enter the bathroom---especially when I am at school using one of the stalls---my urines could not wait to give off! I know it sounds disgusting, but Andrew told us we can post anything in which we are interested, so I guess it should be perfectly fine. Had I not taken my pant at a blitz speed at those occasions, I would have pissed on it. (In fact at one time, I did. No need to worry though, only a few drops)But my question is, why I didn't feel that needy at those times when I was studying, or more chronologically specific, after my mind hints me to excuse myself? However, the drastic phenomenon usually happens when I enter the bathroom?

      Therefore, I decide to sort this out. I remember in my psychology class last semester, Dr. Wede briefly talked about two physiological systems in human's body, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). In case these terms don't sound familiar to you, I have a more rhetorical way to picture them. PNS is our "sleep-study" state, which denotes a sense of serenity with our body functions. Though we do brainstorming during studies all the time, by "study" I mean our physical needs are not to be satisfied; you can also interpret this state as "pacific" state in which your body is in a static state, in which every part seems to be balanced with equilibrium and calls no immediate attention to your mind; on the other hand, SNS is our "fight-flight" state, in which a person could be called "adrenaline-ignited", but adrenaline change is really only a part of this system. After the activation of sympathetic system, the whole body is evoked and raised to a state of excitement. To illustrate the concept, the following picture may help.


                                   Picture courtesy of becomehealthynow.com

      Upon considering this fact, I attained a plausible explanation to my sudden physiological change over seconds. While I am studying, my body is "sleeping", namely in PNS; and my work primarily demands mental efforts, just in a variation of more or less prefrontal lobe activity, which controls the most advanced thinking process in our brains. At the moment that the "internal sound" invites me to the bathroom, I presuppose that I am on the threshold to activate my SNS, at which my body is experiencing the transition between the two states like the "half-ice-half-water" condition during the melting process of ice. The body presumably catches the idea to use the bathroom, but the nervous signal is merely not strong enough to run me into panics. At last, when I enter the stall---right before I take off my pants---my "to-pee" signal has accumulated over time and finally breaks the cork. That being the case, the great urgency for me to take off pant could be seemingly explained.

      But I found my argument insufficient due to the excessive hypothesis, so I am settled to find out what exactly happens to my bladder during both PNS and SNS. On a urinary continence site, I found a dissection view of a bladder and the mechanism therein.


                                      Picture courtesy of urinarycontinence.com

      According to the picture, this mechanism operates in the program that "the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), through its effect on cholinergic receptors in the bladder and urethra, excite the detrusor and inhibit urethral smooth muscles." In a diametrically opposite way, "The Sympathetic nervous system (SNS) via its effect on beta adrenergic receptors inhibits detrusor and stimulates urethral smooth muscle via Alfa adrenergic receptors." Having seen this, I then learned that the muscle plays a big role during the urination process. In PNS, the muscle that facilitates urination is thwarted, whereas in SNS that muscle is thus freed from contraction.

       Furthermore, there is another factor contributing to the scenario I described in the opening paragraph---the location cue. It is not recommended for students to study in bed, because the bed could be a cue of sleep, indeed it is on which we sleep. Likewise, the bathroom serves as a venue for excretion, and thus seconds after I enter the bathroom, my bladder is conditioned to detract even before taking my pant off. This being said, it becomes much clearer why I feel comically needy in that nick of time.

       With the content of probing out an explanation for that scenario, I have one another confusion, which I'd like you to figure it out. When it turns out that I was going to defecate rather than to urinate, that phenomenon disappears: I didn't have the "explosive" feeling before defecation except those circumstances that I had kept it for a long time. It comes to me just fine to take off my pant in one of those stalls, not worrying any errors in that timeline. Why the pre-defecation occasion is less dramatic, if at all, than that of pre-urination? Please share your thoughts below. Thanks you and I hope you enjoyed my blog.


I love this blog! It's so true and applies to me perfectly. I personally constantly pee no matter the occasion, but when I'm working hard or studying I never feel it. This just proves how amazing our brains work and how different our bodies adapt to different moments of our life.

Very, very interesting post. You actually had me laughing.

As shown in your picture, the sphincter (at the bottom) is the muscle that relaxes or tenses up according to your nervous system or your biological need to urinate. Your blog got me interested in how the sphincter, and the rest of our body, knows when it is time to go.

Information from the National Association for Incontinence explains that when the two tubes (ureters) connected to each kidney completely empty to fill the bladder, the pressure in our bladder gives us the feeling of urgency to urinate. The brain sends messages down the spinal cord out to pelvic nerves which activate the sphincter muscles and keep them closed until we recognize it as an appropriate time and place to urinate (i.e. when we're sitting/standing over a toilet)

When we are in an appropriate place to urinate, something switches on that allows the pelvic floor and bladder muscles to relax and open. The bladder muscle then contracts and empties until all of the urine is secreted.

That website explains how our body knows when it is time to go, but I'm also curious as to how the pressure builds up enough that we can actually "pee our pants." What exactly happens that we can reach a point that we can't consciously hold it in any longer?

Thoughts anyone?

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