Savior of the sphincter: the squat potty

Yes, the squatty potty of Unicorn Fame.

One of the great poop debates–to squat or to sit–is based on the anatomy of the “pelvic floor.”

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After feces are produced in the colon, they are normally held by a combination of the rectum, internal and external anal sphincters, and the puborectalis muscle. The puborectalis tightens to keep the rectum closed shut. When the puborectalis relaxes, it’s easier for the rectum to spill its contents into (hopefully) a toilet.

Advocates of squatting–which is more common in countries such as Japan and China–argue that squatting naturally relaxes the puborectalis and straightens the rectum, which results in less straining and less pelvic floor complications such as hemorrhoids, hernias, diverticulosis, and the like.

All I can say is, you certainly can’t read the newspaper on a squat potty.


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