Key features of the urinary system:
- Paired, right is lower than left
- Hilum is medial cleft for vessels and ureters to pass
- Supplied by renal artery and vein
- Filter the blood to produce urine
- Carry urine away from the kidneys, to the urinary bladder
- Lies within the pelvis
- Stores and expels urine
- Carries urine to the external environment
- Orifices are regulated by internal and external sphincters
- Regulates blood volume, and indirectly, blood pressure; in dialysis patients, the amount of blood volume removed has a significant impact on their blood pressure.
- Regulates erythrocyte production
- Regulates ion balance, and, therefore, the acid/base balance (pH) of the blood.
- Urinary tract infections (UTI) are one of the most common forms of infection and can involve any part of the urinary system; infection that spreads to the kidneys, called pyelonephritis, can have serious health consequences.
- Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that form within the kidney and pass through the urinary system; they can be quite painful, and if they become lodged, they may require surgical extraction.