how many sphincters do we have?

j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Quasimoto asks:

When I was in high school, I was taught that you had a very unusual muscle in your body, a circular muscle, and the human body has only two of this type. The muscle is called a sphincter, and one is located at the bottom of your stomach, and the other, of course, is your asshole.

Since that time, I have heard (read mainly in mens magazines) the word 'sphincter' used in the plural, as in, "The horny stud dilated her sphincters with his throbbing 12 inches..."

Curious, I asked around, and the answer I received was thus: You DO have TWO sphincters (not including the stomach one;) the "inside" one is involuntary and only opens when a turd is waiting for dismissal, the "outide" sphincter is the one you pinch shut while running for an available toilet.

So, which is it? Do I have one asshole or two?

Dear Quasi,

What you have heard is quite correct--you have 2 sphincters (besides the stomach one).

Internal sphincter

It is at the lower edge of the muscle which makes up the wall of the rectum. Although one cannot move it at his own will because it is controlled by the autonomous nerve system, it is the role of this muscle to keep the anus closed.

External sphincter

Strong muscle that one can tighten at will since it is controlled by the spinal nerve. There are a lot of venous plexus, which is the part where veins gather together like meshes of a net.

Hope this helps!

Please be advised that I am only a Poonurse. I am NOT a medical doctor. Any advice I give should be taken moderate skepticism. Please consult a REAL medical doctor if you feel you have a serious medical condition.

-- Poonurse

Poonurse is an RN with 25 years experience in labor and delivery. Her qualifications include seeing a lot of poop, and owning a computer. Also, she works in Michigan, which she calls the asshole of the universe, so that's another bit of credibility.

Got a question for her?

24 Comments on "how many sphincters do we have?"

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

We have three sphincters- The White House, The House, and The Senate.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Just got the squirts :('s picture

What about the spincter of odi (leading from your duodenum in your CBD and pancreas)? Im sure theres probably a few more aswell, althought none poo related.

Nikesha's picture

I was wondering... how many muscles in the human body does it take to poop?

Thank You!

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

THIS is a question for: (*Dah da da DAH!*) MOTHERLOAD, our POODIATRICIAN!

Fart Poopie's picture
j 1000+ points

We have one between the esophagus and the stomach, another between the stomach and small intestine, and one we call the anus.

Are the irises in our eyes considered sphincters? That would make five (that I know of), if they are.

Motherload's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Thank you GGG for laying this doosey of a question on me. I will do my best here.

For the original question concerning the number of sphincters we have, the answer would be at least 42 that are known. Some of these can be seen with the naked eye, and some are microscopic.

A sphincter is simply a circular muscle that maintains constriction of an opening. There is at least one sphincter in every organ in the body except for the ear. Most of them are in the digestive system.

As far as the question regarding how many muscles it takes to poop, well, there are just too many variables to consider. Is the pooper seated upon a toilet or squatting in the woods? Is the pooper smiling due to immense relief, or grimacing in pain? Is the pooper straining with a massive turd, or just sitting there letting the butt lava flow forth freely?

Anyway, there is the distinct possibility in my opinion, that depending on the circumstances, it very well could take every muscle you have--which is around 650 skeletal muscles, plus the 42 sphincters, and then some.

Always looking out for number two!

Always looking out for number two!

Swerve's picture

What about capillary spincters controling blood flow?

mountpleasants's picture

Actually a vast majority of the capillaries in your body are surounded by smooth muscle and are in fact sphincters. Considering every pound of fat you put on needs 200 miles of capillaries and venous return you can see we have millions of spchinters. Now try clenching them!

Curious too's picture

There is at least one sphincter muscle men have and woman don't have. It is located in the prostate gland and controls the release of urine. However I would think women have a similar one for the same purpose in there body that men don't have. Interesting????

Russell's picture
l 100+ points

I always thought you only had one asshole. I didn't know you had an internal one, too.

Russell the shitting queen

Anomalous Coward's picture
k 500+ points

There have been times in my life whre the number of sphincters I had was "not enough".

Anonymous Coward's picture

According to Wikipedia there are more than 40 sphincters in the human body.

smelt and dealt it's picture

i am a poopologist you are all wrong... we have 4 sphincters, cardiac, pyeloric, illiac, and anal... put that inyour pie hole and smoke it.

Anon's picture

there are over 50 sphincters in the body.
you are all wrong.

the thin brown line's picture
j 1000+ points

@ The Shit Volcano....a courtesy forgot the judiciary. White House (executive), House & Senate (legislative), & the courts (judiciary). That is still 3 sphincters.....However, there are many media sphincters....CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, and the sphincter around the anus FOX....This info clarifies the true sphincter count.

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Maybe a better question would have been how many of the sphincters we have are voluntary. I know of two: the one that we use to shove out poop, and the one we use to pee (which is also a sphincter). This renders moot all the political comments, since all the rest of our bodily sphincters do their jobs without any voluntary control from us. As far as the politicians are concerned, we have many means of controlling them, if we but use them. This column doesn't concern them, but it does concern our means of poop egress.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

I myself am a sphincter, why just this morning someone told me, "You're nothing but an asshole!"

Dirty old men need love too!!

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

the thin brown line's picture
j 1000+ points

C'mon MSG....your no fun anymore. I want a voluntary divorce from involuntary irreconcilable differences. The slogan "I vote and I poop" is erected loud and clear ....and you write about political mootness..
The largest and most powerfull sphincter-the Mega Corporation-is non tranparent: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Thinking of them makes me involuntarily shit out one window and piss out the next.

Somethin' mysterious made an exit from the gift shop.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

I was once eating a dish in Japan that contains pieces of pig stomach including the pyloric valve. The way it had been trimmed I thought they were trying to feed me a grilled asshole.
When they're on your dinner plate all sphincters look about the same. If anyone wants to try the dish it is called "horomon yaki." It is supposed to put lead in the pencils of older men.

Dirty old men need love too!!

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

Anonymous's picture

over 50

Anonymous's picture

Now, now Thunderbutt... one is no longer allowed to use the a-hole word. You are officially (poolitically corectally) "rectally enhanced".

Anonymous's picture

Smelt - Perhaps it is more like we have four types of sphincters; cardiac, pyloric, iliac, and anal.

Anonymous's picture

There are five in the digestive system: Esophageal, cardiac, pyloric, iliac and anal.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

Dear Anonymous, Well, I would say that the number five is rather arbitrary, because there are sphincter muscles all along the esophagus and intestines that support peristalsis, and one of the named 'sphincters' is not considered to be a true sphincter, but here are the officially named ones:
(1) Cardiac Sphincter, at the top of the stomach (this is the one that is not a true sphincter), separating the stomach from the esophagus.
(2) Iliac Sphincter , at the bottom of the stomach, separating the stomach from the small intestine. This is also called the pyloric valve.
(3) Ileocecal Valve separates the small intestine from the large intestine
(4) Involuntary Anal Sphincter, which is responsible for generating the urge to defecate.
(5) Voluntary Anal Sphincter, which allows one to control defecation in most cases. The occasional fuck-ups of this valve are what make Poop Report possible.

You also have a sphincter muscle in you urinary tract right after your bladder. This handy dandy little muscle prevents you from dripping piss as you walk about.

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

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