The urinary system, also known as the renal system or urinary tract, consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and the urethra. The purpose of the urinary system is to eliminate waste from the body, regulate blood volume and blood pressure, control levels of electrolytes and metabolites, and regulate blood pH. The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for the eventual removal of urine.The kidneys have an extensive blood supply via the renal arteries which leave the kidneys via the renal vein. Each kidney consists of functional units called nephrons. Following filtration of blood and further processing, wastes (in the form of urine) exit the kidney via the ureters, tubes made of smooth muscle fibres that propel urine towards the urinary bladder, where it is stored and subsequently expelled from the body by urination (voiding). The female and male urinary system are very similar, differing only in the length of the urethra
The main functions of the urinary system and it’s components are to
- Regulate blood volume and composition (e.g. sodium, potassium and calcium)
- Regulate blood pressure.
- Regulate pH homeostasis of the blood.
- Contributes to the production of red blood cells by the kidney.
- Helps synthesize calcitrol the (active form of Vitamin D).
- Stores waste product (mainly urea and uric acid) before it and other products are removed from the body.