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Urinary System Function and Anatomy Medical Terminology

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Knowledge of urinary system function and its parts is critical to understanding the system and disorders of it. The building blocks of that knowledge is key medical terms relating to it.

What is the Urinary System?  

The urinary system is the group of organs and structures involved in the production of urine and its excretion urinary system functionfrom the body. Its main components are the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. As such, it is the kidneys and the urinary tract.

There are often references to the renal system, equating it to the urinary system. Such interchangeable use of the terms is imprecise though. Renal refers to the kidney which is a part of the urinary system. But it does not apply to the entire system in that the kidneys are not truly a part of the urinary tract.

Moreover, the kidneys don’t just produce urine. They perform other functions necessary for health and life. The kidneys are a system in and of themselves. But the term renal system is not one that healthcare professionals or disease reporting and classifying entities recognize as official.

Medical Terminology of the Urinary System 


Bladder – Is the hollow muscular sac in the floor of the pelvis which collects urine as it flows from the ureters. Urine flows from it to exit the body through the urethra.  

Micturition – Is the act of urinating. 

Renal – Pertaining to the kidney.   

Ureter – One of the two long narrow ducts (one on each side) that conveys urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder. – Ureteral adj.    

Urethra – The canal through which urine flows from the bladder as it leaves the body. The urethral meatus is the opening of the urethra on the body’s surface.  It is the terminal part of the urinary tract. – Urethral adj. 

Urinary tract – It is the urine passageway just before the outside of the kidney through which urine passes before it exits the body. The first portion of it is the renal pelvis. The final portion is the urethral meatus. The ureters and bladder are the portions in between.   

Urination – The passage of urine from the bladder. – urinate v.  

Urine – Is fluid with waste products that the body excretes through the urinary tract.  Technically, it is former glomerular filtrate which has gone through all of the renal tubular processing. It is composed of 95% water. Its main solute is urea. Other elements of it include creatinine; sodium; potassium; chloride; ammonium and other ions; as well as inorganic and organic compounds. – Urinary adj.  

Void – To urinate.




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