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The urinary tract system

The normal urinary tract consists of two kidneys, two ureters, the bladder and the urethra. The upper tract consists of the renal calyces, renal pelvis and the ureters, while the lower tract consists of the bladder and urethra. The urinary tract’s main purpose is to remove waste and extra fluid from the body in the form of urine (wee or pee), regulate blood pressure, maintain the body’s water balance and control the levels of chemicals and salts in the blood.

Your kidneys work hard. All your body’s blood passes through them every five minutes. The kidneys remove waste and excess fluid from the blood in the form of urine, which is then carried by the ureters to the bladder where it is stored.

To urinate normally, all the parts of your urinary tract system must work together. Your brain controls your bladder and sends signals when it is time to go to the toilet. Urine then empties from your bladder through your urethra and out of your body.

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This information is reviewed by

This information was last reviewed February 2021 by the following expert content reviewers: the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group Consumer Advisory Panel; Gregory Bock, Urology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, North Metropolitan Health Service, WA; Dr Tom Ferguson, Medical Oncologist, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth, WA; Prof Dickon Hayne, UWA Medical School, The University of Western Australia, and Head, Urology, South Metropolitan Health Service, WA; Steven Jones-Evans, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Carlo Yuen, Urologist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW.