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The urinary system

  1. Excess moisture and waste products are lost through your urine. Before you can urinate, that urine must first be produced and then disposed of. That happens in the urinary system.

  1. The urinary system consists of a number of organs that produce and then drain urine. It has two parts namely the upper urinary tract and the lower urinary tract. The upper urinary tract includes the kidneys and ureters. The bladder and urethra belong to the lower urinary tract.

Kidneys: filters

  1. High in the back of your abdominal cavity are two kidneys. These organs consist of millions of tiny filters. The filters have two parts: a filter that removes all kinds of substances from the blood and a tube that also functions as a filter, but also returns the useful substances to the blood. One liter of blood is filtered per minute. The remaining waste and moisture together form the urine. It is the first to enter a reservoir called the renal pelvis.


  1. The urine flows from the renal pelvis to the ureters (ureters). In adults, these are tubes about 25 to 35 centimeters long. They are the connection between the kidneys and the bladder. They can contract in a wave motion (peristalsis) and thus transport the urine. There is a kind of valve at the end of both ureters that prevents urine from flowing back to your kidneys.


  1. The bladder is a hollow, spherical muscle in which urine collects temporarily. The inside consists of a waterproof layer of mucous membrane. It holds about 400 to 600 milliliters of moisture. When the bladder is almost full, it gives a signal to your brain. You then feel the urge to urinate. Once you sit on the toilet, the muscle wall of the bladder contracts. The bladder then becomes a small ball and urine is squeezed out of the bladder.


  1. In the bottom of the bladder is an opening that leads to the urethra (urethra). In women, the urethra is only short, 2.5 to 4 centimeters. In men the urethra is longer, about 20 centimeters. There is a sphincter around the urethra that squeezes the tube so that you do not lose urine. When you urinate, this muscle relaxes and the urine flows out through the urethra.

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