25 Interesting & Fun Facts About The Urinary System (Excretory System)

The urinary system is essential for detoxifying the human body together with the biliary tract and the liver.

Here Are Top 25 Interesting And Fun Facts About The Urinary System (Excretory System):

Major Organs

#1 It consists of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, two sphincter muscles, and urethra.

Kidneys

#2 The kidneys are two organs, each about the size of a fist. The adult kidneys are partially protected by the lower ribs and are situated in the middle of the back one on each side of the spine. Each kidney is composed of approximately 1 million microscopic filtering packets that are composed of glomeruli.

#3 The kidneys are the waste filtering and disposal system of the human body. They remove urea from the blood through nephrons (tiny filtering units).

#4 They have a good blood supply from the renal arteries which exit the kidneys through the renal vein. Also, due to the fact that they maintain the acid-base balance and the water-salt balance of the blood, the kidneys are the main organs of homeostasis.

#5 Kidneys produce erythropoietin (produces red blood cells) and renin (important in regulating blood pressure).

Ureters

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illu_urinary_system.svg

#6 These are two long, narrow ducts which transport urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder.

Urinary Bladder

#7 It is a is a muscular sac in the pelvis, which holds the urine until it is eliminated through the urethra. To urinate, the brain signals the muscular bladder wall to tighten, releasing urine out of the bladder.

#8 The main muscle of the bladder is called the detrusor muscle. The normal capacity of the urinary bladder is 400-600 mL.

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Two Sphincter Muscles

#9 They help keep urine from leaking by closing tightly similarly with a rubber band around the opening of the bladder. The external part of the two muscles is striated and is under voluntary control of the human body.

Urethra

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Female_and_Male_Urethra.jpg

#10 It is the tube through which urine is expelled from the body. In males, the urethra is approximately 7 to 8 inches in length. In females, the urethra is about 1.5 inches long.

#11 Because the urethra is so much shorter in females, it makes it much easier for a female to get pathogenic bacteria in her bladder.

Functions

#12 The excretory system keeps everything in balance by removing waste, such as – urea (it is produced when foods containing protein, especially – meat, poultry, and eggs, are broken down in the body), extra water, extra sodium, and other things the human body does not need.

#13 Along with this important function, the urinary system is involved in:

  • stimulating the synthesis of vitamin D;
  • maintaining the blood pressure, the volume of blood, and blood pH;
  • production of red blood cells by releasing erythropoietin, that stimulates erythropoiesis.

#14 The excretory system can help the body to remove excess glucose (sugar) from the blood.

Disorders

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bladder_Infection.png

Urinary Retention

#15 It is the inability to empty the bladder completely. UR is most common in men in their 50s due to the prostate enlargement.

#16 Symptoms may include:

  • waking up more than 2 times at night to urinate;
  • frequent urination;
  • difficulty starting to urinate;
  • strained efforts to push urine out of the bladder;
  • lack of urge to urinate;
  • increased abdominal pressure;
  • inability to feel when the bladder is full;
  • loss of small amounts of urine during the day;
  • weak stream of urine;
  • difficulty fully emptying the bladder.
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Urinary Incontinence

#17 It is the involuntary leakage of urine. There are several types of UI, including incontinence, stress, overflow incontinence, and urge incontinence.

#18 About 30 percent of Americans suffer from UI. Women experience the condition twice as often as men.

Urinary Tract Infection

#19 It can happen anywhere in the urinary tract. In the United States, UTI accounts for about 8 million visits to a healthcare professional every year and is one of the most common types of infection.

#20 Most urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria, however, some are caused by fungi and viruses. Common symptoms include:

  • cloudy, bloody, foul-smelling urine;
  • burning sensation when passing urine;
  • feeling like the bladder is still full after urination;
  • urinary incontinence;
  • pain in your pelvis, abdomen, or back;
  • feeling an urge to urinate, however, you only pass a few drops;
  • passing urine much more frequently than usual;
  • a general feeling of being unwell.

Proteinuria

#21 This condition is described by the presence of greater than normal amounts of protein in the urine. You may develop the condition as a result of:

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benign_Prostatic_Hyperplasia_nci-vol-7137-300.jpg

#22 The prostate makes a fluid which helps to nourish sperm as part of the semen. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a common condition as men get older but usually begins in a man’s 30s.

#23 Common symptoms include:

  • blood in the urine;
  • incomplete bladder emptying;
  • painful urination;
  • the need to urinate two or more times per night;
  • a delayed urinary stream;
  • dribbling at the end of the urinary stream;
  • a sudden urge to urinate;
  • a weak urinary stream;
  • the need to strain when urinating;
  • leakage of urine.
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Prostatitis

#24 It is the inflammation of the prostate gland. The condition can affect sexual function and the ability to urinate and is usually painful. Potential causes include:

  • mechanical or neuromuscular problems in the pelvic muscles;
  • emotional stress;
  • depression;
  • inflammation;
  • difficult-to-detect bacteria.

Kidney Stones

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:

#25 Kidney stones are hard deposits made of salts and minerals which form inside the kidneys. Individuals who consume high levels of animal protein and sodium are at increased risk. Symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • fever and chills if there is an infection;
  • severe pain in the groin and/or side;
  • persistent urge to urinate;
  • blood in the urine;
  • burning sensation during urination;
  • reduced amount of urine excreted;
  • white blood cells in the urine;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting.
References

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/urinary-tract-imaging
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4834010/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1837925

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