Medicine: Avoiding Voiding: Danger

The fact that women develop unexplained infections of the urinary tract more often than men has long been observed but not understood. Now, Urologist Jack Lapides of the University of Michigan finds that the answer lies in toilet habits: most women urinate less frequently than men. The reasons, says Lapides, are social and cultural rather than physiological.

A baby has no inhibitions and urinates whenever the nerve centers of the bladder react to internal pressure. The trouble begins, says Lapides, with toilet training. A child, especially a girl, is rewarded with approval when it wakes up with dry diapers; boys are expected...

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