The urinary bladder is a muscular sac in the pelvis, just above and behind the pubic bone. When empty, the bladder is about the size and shape of a pear. Urine is made in the kidneys and travels down two tubes called ureters to the bladder. The bladder stores urine, allowing urination to be infrequent and voluntary. The bladder is lined by layers of muscle tissue that stretch to accommodate urine. The normal capacity of the bladder is 400 to 600 mL. During urination, the bladder muscles contract, and two sphincters (valves) open to allow urine to flow out. Urine exits the bladder into the urethra, which carries urine out of the body. Because it passes through the penis, the urethra is longer in men (8 inches) than in women (1.5 inches). Learn more about your bladder.
Hematuria is blood in the urine. Two types of blood in the urine exist. Blood that can be seen in the urine is called gross hematuria. Blood that cannot be seen in the urine, except when examined with a microscope, is called microscopic hematuria.
The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for removing urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluid. In order for normal urination to occur, all body parts in the urinary tract need to work together in the correct order.
Urinary retention is when the bladder (where you store your urine) does not empty all the way or at all. It can be acute (sudden) or chronic (long-term). Acute means it comes on real quick or is very bad. Chronic means you have had it for a while.
Adult urinary tract infections can be common in women and rarer for men. Urinary tract infections often abbreviated UTI, occur when an overgrowth of bacteria starts affecting the function and biochemistry of the bladder wall and muscles of the bladder.