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Overview of the Urinary Tract

By

Glenn M. Preminger

, MD, Duke Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center

Last full review/revision Jun 2019| Content last modified Jan 2020
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Each kidney continuously produces urine, which then drains through the ureter into the bladder at a low pressure. From the bladder, urine drains through the urethra and exits the body through the penis in males and at the vulva (the area of the external female genital organs) in females. Usually, urine is free of bacteria and other infectious organisms.

Organs of the Urinary Tract

The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), bladder, and urethra. These organs may be injured by blunt force (as occurs in a motor vehicle crash or a fall) or by penetrating force (as results from a gunshot or stabbing). Injuries may also occur unintentionally during surgery.

Organs of the Urinary Tract
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Bladder Infection
Bladder infections (cystitis) are usually caused by bacteria. Most people with cystitis need to urinate frequently. Pain and/or burning on urination are also common. Which of the following groups of people with bladder infections may experience no symptoms or may develop confusion as their only symptom?
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