Reproductive System: Facts, Functions & Diseases

Variations in the reproductive system

Excretory system
Antidiuretic hormone ADH , secreted by the posterior pituitary gland, passes through the circulatory system to the kidneys. Kidney and urinary-tract disorders drug treatment In drug: The blood urea increases, the rate of increase being conditioned both by the degree of renal failure and by the amount of tissue breakdown. If the urinary system is healthy, the bladder can hold up to 16 ounces 2 cups of urine comfortably for 2 to 5 hours. Squeezing the wrong muscles can put more pressure on your bladder control muscles.

Analytical approaches

Urinary System Anatomy and Physiology

ARF may lead to permanent loss of kidney function. But if the kidneys are not seriously damaged, they may recover. Chronic kidney disease CKD is the gradual reduction of kidney function that may lead to permanent kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease ESRD. You may go several years without knowing you have CKD. Urinary tract infections UTIs are caused by bacteria in the urinary tract.

Women get UTIs more often than men. UTIs are treated with antibiotics. Drinking lots of fluids also helps by flushing out the bacteria. The name of the UTI depends on its location in the urinary tract.

An infection in the bladder is called cystitis. If the infection is in one or both of the kidneys, the infection is called pyelonephritis. This type of UTI can cause serious damage to the kidneys if it is not adequately treated. Urinary incontinence , loss of bladder control, is the involuntary passage of urine. There are many causes and types of incontinence, and many treatment options.

Treatments range from simple exercises to surgery. Women are affected by urinary incontinence more often than men. Urinary retention , or bladder-emptying problems, is a common urological problem with many possible causes. Normally, urination can be initiated voluntarily and the bladder empties completely. Urinary retention is the abnormal holding of urine in the bladder. Acute urinary retention is the sudden inability to urinate, causing pain and discomfort.

Causes can include an obstruction in the urinary system, stress, or neurologic problems. Chronic urinary retention refers to the persistent presence of urine left in the bladder after incomplete emptying. Common causes of chronic urinary retention are bladder muscle failure, nerve damage, or obstructions in the urinary tract.

Treatment for urinary retention depends on the cause. Your primary doctor can help you with some urinary problems. But some problems may require the attention of a urologist, a doctor who specializes in treating problems of the urinary system and the male reproductive system. A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in the female reproductive system and may be able to help with some urinary problems. A urogynecologist is a gynecologist who specializes in the female urinary system.

A nephrologist specializes in treating diseases of the kidney. Department of Health and Human Services. Join KUFA today and become an essential part of the fight to save and improve lives. There are no fees for patients, family and friends to get connected!

Urinary System and how it Works. How does the urinary system work? What causes problems in the urinary system? How are problems in the urinary system detected? What are some disorders of the urinary system? Who can help me with a urinary problem? Points to Remember Your urinary system filters waste and extra fluid from your blood.

Problems in the urinary system include kidney failure, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, prostate enlargement, and bladder control problems. Urinary incontinence UI is the accidental leakage of urine. At different ages, males and females have different risks for developing UI.

In childhood, girls usually develop bladder control at an earlier age than boys, and bedwetting -- or nocturnal enuresis -- is less common in girls than in boys. However, adult women are far more likely than adult men to experience UI because of anatomical differences in the pelvic region and the changes induced by pregnancy and childbirth.

Nevertheless, many men do suffer from incontinence. Its prevalence increases with age, but UI is not an inevitable part of aging. UI is a treatable problem. To find a treatment that addresses the root of the problem, you need to talk with your health care provider. The three forms of UI are.

There are many different types of incontinence, depending upon the reason for the problem. Abnormalities in bladder function can cause so-called urge incontinence, thought to be related to abnormal contractions of the bladder muscle.

What causes urinary incontinence UI in men? For the urinary system to do its job, muscles and nerves must work together to hold urine in the bladder and then release it at the right time. Any disease, condition, or injury that damages nerves can lead to urination problems. Nerve problems can occur at any age. The prostate is a male gland about the size and shape of a walnut.

It surrounds the urethra just below the bladder, where it adds fluid to semen before ejaculation. If your prostate could be involved in your incontinence, your health care provider may ask you a series of standardized questions, either the International Prostate Symptom Score or the American Urological Association AUA Symptom Scale. Your answers to these questions may help identify the problem or determine which tests are needed.

Your symptom score evaluation can be used as a baseline to see how effective later treatments are at relieving those symptoms. How is urinary incontinence UI in men diagnosed? The first step in solving a urinary problem is talking with your health care provider. Your general medical history, including any major illnesses or surgeries, and details about your continence problem and when it started will help your doctor determine the cause.

You should talk about how much fluid you drink a day and whether you use alcohol or caffeine. You should also talk about the medicines you take, both prescription and nonprescription, because they might be part of the problem. You may be asked to keep a voiding diary, which is a record of fluid intake and trips to the bathroom, plus any episodes of leakage. Studying the diary will give your health care provider a better idea of your problem and help direct additional tests.

A physical exam will check for prostate enlargement or nerve damage. In a digital rectal exam, the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels the part of the prostate next to it. This exam gives the doctor a general idea of the size and condition of the gland. To check for nerve damage, the doctor may ask about tingling sensations or feelings of numbness and may check for changes in sensation, muscle tone, and reflexes.

Your doctor might recommend other tests, including an electroencephalogram EEG , a test where wires are taped to the forehead to sense dysfunction in the brain. In an electromyogram EMG , the wires are taped to the lower abdomen to measure nerve activity in muscles and muscular activity that may be related to loss of bladder control. For an ultrasound, or sonography, a technician holds a device, called a transducer, that sends harmless sound waves into the body and catches them as they bounce back off the organs inside to create a picture on a monitor.

In abdominal ultrasound, the technician slides the transducer over the surface of your abdomen for images of the bladder and kidneys.

In transrectal ultrasound, the technician uses a wand inserted in the rectum for images of the prostate. Urodynamic testing focuses on the bladder's ability to store urine and empty steadily and completely, and on your sphincter control mechanism. It can also show whether the bladder is having abnormal contractions that cause leakage. The testing involves measuring pressure in the bladder as it is filled with fluid through a small catheter.

This test can help identify limited bladder capacity, bladder overactivity or underactivity, weak sphincter muscles, or urinary obstruction. If the test is performed with EMG surface pads, it can also detect abnormal nerve signals and uncontrolled bladder contractions. How is urinary incontinence UI in men treated? No single treatment works for everyone. Your treatment will depend on the type and severity of your problem, your lifestyle, and your preferences, starting with the simpler treatment options.

Many men regain urinary control by changing a few habits and doing exercises to strengthen the muscles that hold urine in the bladder.

If these behavioral treatments do not work, you may choose to try medicines or a continence device -- either an artificial sphincter or a catheter. For some men, surgery is the best choice. For some men, avoiding incontinence is as simple as limiting fluids at certain times of the day or planning regular trips to the bathroom -- a therapy called timed voiding or bladder training.

As you gain control, you can extend the time between trips. Bladder training also includes Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles, which help hold urine in the bladder.

Extensive studies have not yet conclusively shown that Kegel exercises are effective in reducing incontinence in men, but many clinicians find them to be an important element in therapy for men. How do you do Kegel exercises? The first step is to find the right muscles.

Imagine that you are trying to stop yourself from passing gas. Squeeze the muscles you would use. If you sense a "pulling" feeling, those are the right muscles for pelvic exercises. Do not squeeze other muscles at the same time or hold your breath. Also, be careful not to tighten your stomach, leg, or buttock muscles.

Squeezing the wrong muscles can put more pressure on your bladder control muscles. Squeeze just the pelvic muscles. It is also referred to as enuresis. It can be caused by any number of factors, and in young infants and toddlers, it is usually completely normal. In order to understand the different causes better, one must have some basic understanding of the processes involved in urination. How does the urinary system work? The urinary system is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

Urine is produced by the kidneys and drains via the ureters to the bladder. The bladder serves as the storage tank, stowing the urine until emptied through micturition urinating. The act of emptying the bladder requires significant coordination between the brain, nerves, and muscles. There are two major muscles involved in urination, the detrusor and the sphincter. The detrusor is a large muscle which contracts to squeeze urine out of the bladder, and the sphincter is a group of muscles which remains contracted to keep urine in the bladder.

These two muscles must work in concert, one contracting while the other relaxes, to control the flow of urine. Dysfunction in either may result in some degree of loss of urinary control. The urethra serves as the canal which carries the urine from the bladder during voiding. Achieving bladder control must be learned, and some children learn earlier than others, and therefore urinary incontinence is normal in most young infants and children, but in older children and adolescents, it is not considered normal.

If your child is younger than 5, don't worry about bedwetting. Many children do not stay dry at night until age 7. Most children outgrow wetting the bed. A single episode of bedwetting should not cause alarm, even in an older child. If your child is 7 years old or older and wets the bed more than two or three times in a week, a doctor may be able to help.

If both day and night wetting occur after age 5, your child should see a doctor before age 7. What are the different types of urinary incontinence in children?

It is easiest to divide childhood enuresis into two groups. Nocturnal enuresis occurs during sleep and diurnal daytime enuresis occurs during waking hours. Nocturnal enuresis is often referred to as bedwetting and is the most common type of urinary incontinence in children over 5 years of age. Diurnal enuresis is more often seen in younger children and more often a result of certain behaviors, though rarely it can be a sign of more serious problems.

Another way to categorize incontinence is by the timing of the symptoms. If a child has good daytime bladder control but has never had a dry night, it is referred to as primary enuresis. Secondary enuresis is incontinence in an individual who has been dry for at least six months and then develops symptoms after that period.

How common is urinary incontinence in children? In addition, nocturnal enuresis is more common in boys, and diurnal incontinence is more common in girls.

Secondary enuresis accounts for about one-quarter of all cases and is most often associated with some psychological stressor or anxiety. What causes nighttime incontinence in children? Any number of normal and abnormal things can cause nocturnal enuresis in children.

Boys are more commonly affected than girls. Most young children who suffer from bedwetting are physically and emotionally normal.

Although the exact cause is unknown, the bedwetting is believed to be the result of a number of nonorganic factors, including developmental issues, overproduction of urine, and an inability to respond to the normal physiological signals associated with bladder distension while asleep. In addition to nonorganic causes, there are also some less common organic causes including infection, anatomic abnormalities, neurologic abnormalities, and endocrine abnormalities such as diabetes mellitus.

What causes daytime incontinence in children? Common causes of daytime wetting include voluntary holding of urine, urinary tract infection , constipation , and wetting with giggling. Girls are more commonly affected than boys. Less common causes include more serious issues such as neurological causes neurogenic bladder , urinary tract anatomic abnormalities, and diabetes. Voluntary holding of urine is the most common cause of daytime wetting in young children.

This is often observed in 3- to 5-year-olds who don't want to take the time to use the toilet. They are just too busy to take a break and will often fidget, squirm, and hold on to their perineal areas. Most children grow out of this on their own as they get older. How do you differentiate between organic and nonorganic causes of urinary incontinence? It is important to recognize that most cases of urinary incontinence are caused by nonorganic problems, but since there are organic causes, physicians may evaluate affected children with some basic studies.

Evaluation always begins with a complete history and physical exam. This differentiates between the otherwise healthy child and the child with underlying disease. The clinician will probably ask about psychological stressors, such as starting a new school, the birth of a sibling, or parental strife. In addition, in order to evaluate the severity of the symptoms, parents will be encouraged to keep a voiding diary. These are diaries which document the number of daytime voids, volumes, timing, and relationship with eating and drinking.

Practice Quiz: Urinary System Anatomy and Physiology