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The Bladder and Urethra


Lt Col Flemings
The bladder is a hollow, muscular organ in the pelvis that stores urine, and the urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. Dr. Malone, can you tell us more about the bladder and the urethra?

Dr. Malone
Definitely, Dr. Flemings. Urine is made in the kidneys and follows two tubes called ureters to the bladder, which sits just above and behind the pubic bone. When it’s empty, the bladder is roughly the size and shape of a pear. A normal bladder can store 400 to 600 milliliters of urine.

Layers of muscle tissue line the bladder. As the bladder fills with urine, the layers of muscle tissue stretch. During urination, the bladder muscles contract and the sphincter, or valve, relaxes and opens to allow the urine to flow out of the bladder and into the urethra.

In women, the urethra is much shorter than it is in men. It’s located just above the vagina. Urine passes from the bladder, through the urethra, and exits the body.