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System that produces and discharges urine to rid the body of waste products. It consists of the kidneys, which balance electrolytes in blood, retaining and adding needed ones and removing unneeded or dangerous ones for excretion; the ureters, two thin muscular tubes 10–12 in. (25–30 cm) long that move the urine by peristalsis; the hollow, muscular bladder, which receives and stores it; and the urethra, through which it leaves the body. In women the urethra is 1.5 in. (4 cm) long. In men it is longer (since it passes through the penis), about 8 in. (20 cm), and carries semen from the prostate gland as well as urine. Urinary disorders, which can lead to dehydration or edema and to a dangerous buildup of waste and toxic substances, include kidney failure, tumours, and bladder and kidney stones.
Variants of URINARY SYSTEM
urinary system or renal system
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on urinary system, visit Britannica.com.