Overview of the Kidneys and Urinary Tract
Your kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that produce urine. They’re about the size of your fist. They're in the back of your abdomen, on either side of your spine.
Kidneys balance your body’s water and mineral levels and filter waste out of your blood.
Damage to one kidney doesn't cause major problems as long as your other kidney works—both of your kidneys need to stop working for you to have serious problems.
The urinary tract is the passage that carries urine out of your body. Your urinary tract consists of:
The kidneys make urine, which drains through the ureters and into the bladder. From the bladder, urine passes into the urethra. Urine exits the body through the penis in males and the vulva in females.
Your urethra is a tube that carries urine out of your body.
Men have a urethra that ends at the tip of the penis. Women have a much shorter urethra that ends at the vulva. A shorter urethra means it's easier for bacteria from outside the body to get into the bladder and cause urinary tract infections.