The Urinary System

The urinary system works as a filter, removing toxins and wastes from your body through urine. It uses a series of tubes and ducts to pass this waste. These tubes are connected to your blood vessels and digestive system. Your urinary system helps the rest of your body work properly.

Your urinary system filters your blood to get rid of what your body doesn’t need. It eliminates extra water and salt, toxins, and other waste products. Different parts of the urinary system perform tasks including:

  • Filtering blood
  • Separating the toxins you don’t need from the nutrients you do need
  • Storing and carrying urine out of your body

Your kidneys are an essential part of filtering your blood. Here’s how the urinary system works:

  1. Your blood enters each kidney through lots of little arteries
  2. Your kidneys filter your blood, separating toxins from nutrients
  3. Vitamins, minerals, nutrients and proteins return to your bloodstream
  4. Waste products and urine move through your ureters to your bladder. Your bladder stores urine until you use the toilet
  5. Urine leaves your body through your urethra

The kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra make up the urinary system. They all work together to filter, store and remove liquid waste from your body.

Here’s what each organ does:

Kidneys: These organs work constantly. They filter your blood and make urine, which your body eliminates. You have two kidneys, one on either side of the back of your abdomen, just below your rib cage. Each kidney is about as big as your fist.

Ureters: These two thin tubes inside your pelvis carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder.

Bladder: Your bladder holds urine until you’re ready to empty it (pee). It’s hollow, made of muscle, and shaped like a balloon. Your bladder expands as it fills up. Most bladders can hold up to 2 cups of urine.

Urethra: This tube carries urine from your bladder out of your body. It ends in an opening to the outside of your body in the penis (in men) or in front of the vagina (in women).