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The Bladder (Human Anatomy): Structure, Uses, Function and Diseases

The Bladder is an organ that is part of the urinary system. The urinary system helps to get rid of fluid from the body. The urinary bladder is an organ that serves as temporary storage of urine in the lower abdominal cavity before it is passed through the urethra and finally voided out of the body.

The urinary bladder is located primarily at the lesser pelvis region when it is absolutely empty but when the bladder is filled with urine, it is extended to the abdominal cavity.

It has an apex( head like), a base (tail-like), angle of tigone and it is made up of muscular muscle in the bladder wall. The muscular muscle is known as Detrusor muscles.

The urinary bladder has the shape of a pear or a large grapefruit that can stretch or expand when the urine is stored there for a while and can also shrink back to its normal shape when the bladder is empty.

The urinary bladder has its size from 2 inches to more than 6 inches long but that depends on the amount of the intake of liquids. Even if the human bladder gets to its capacity between 16 to 24 ounce of urine, the persistent to urinate comes about when the bladder is a quarter full.

The bladder is an important part of the human body that is why it is advised to always empty the bladder whenever you are pressed or else there will be a bladder burst or urinary tract infection that can lead to urine pouring in the abdomen which might lead to surgery.

Functions of the bladder

The bladder has some major functions which is listed below.

1. The temporary storage of urine

The urinary bladder is connected to the ureters. The urine that goes out to the ureters comes from the kidneys in which the urine passed to the urinary bladder. The urinary bladder is a sac-like structure that accommodates urine for a while, then voided out by the Urethra from the body.

2. Collection of Urine

The kidney produced the urine, then the ureters collect the urine and pass it to the bladder. So the urinary bladder function as a collection of urine also.

3. Passage of Urine

This is the flow of urine to the urethra through the Detrusor muscles. When there is a contraction of the Detrusor muscle of the bladder, the urine is pushed downward to the Urethra. The urine is then passed out from the vagina or penis to the environment.

Bladder disease

There are some common diseases of the bladder that can affect the bladder to some certain conditions. These diseases are:

1. Frequent Urge to urinate

This is mostly as a result of the decreased capacity of the urinary bladder. The urinary bladder takes half a liter of urine.

In a case whereby the bladder cannot take half a liter of urine but takes a lesser capacity of urine, that means you will have to visit the restroom quite frequently to urinate.

2. Leaking Urine

This is as a result of hyperactive or overactive of the urinary bladder. This may be due to large or excess caffeine in the blood which causes excess work or activity of the bladder and may result to wear out of the bladder causing it to leak urine.

3. Bladder stones

This is mainly the intake of some minerals ( caffeine, salt, sugar, etc), crystallines or any sediments that form solute at the bottom of the urinary bladder.

When the minerals form solute in the bladder, it caused painful urination and also it decreased the capacity of the bladder to accumuymiee urine. And this leads to frequent urination also.

4. Involuntary Contraction of bladder muscles

This is as a result of bacterial infection. In a female, some bacteria can pass through the female reproductive system (vagina) orifice down to the external urethra orifice.

That is, the bacteria pass through the opening of the urethra where urine often passes out from the body, then down to the urinary bladder.

Also, this infection will make you have the feeling that you are often pressed thereby causing the muscles in the wall of the bladder to contract or squeeze without your permission.

In a male, some bacteria pass through the male reproductive system (penis) into the external urethra orifice from the opening. This also causes involuntary squeezing of the wall muscles leading to excess or frequent urination.

Some conditions that affect the bladder

1. Blood in Urine( Hematuria)

Hematuria is the medical term for blood in the urine. There are different things that can lead to Hematuria. Also, blood in urine can be as a result of an injury to any of the urinary system.

  • When there is an injury or damage in the ureters (carries the urine from the kidney down to the bladder), there will be presence of blood in the urine.
  • If there is an injury or damage in the urinary bladder ( carries urine from the ureter down to the urethra), it can also cause blood in the urine.
  • If there is damage or injury in the urethra ( final passage of urine from the bladder to the outside environment), there is a possibility of blood in the urine.
  • Another cause of hematuria( blood in urine) is Bladder cancer. Bladder cancer itself may be as a result of improper differentiation of bladder cells or the presence of tumor cells in the urinary bladder. It is also abnormal multiplication or division of bladder cells which can cause damage or injury within the bladder. Hence manifested by the presence of blood in urine, condition which is termed HEMATURIA

2. Cystitis

This is the inflamed or an abnormal condition of the urinary bladder or presence of cystic cells in the urinary bladder.

3. Bladder Stone (Calculi)

This is as a result of sediments such as some minerals, inorganic substances and various solute that has form solid either in the kidney or urinary bladder itself. The minerals that form solute, can be carried through the Urethra down to the Urinary bladder.

4. Overactivity of the bladder

The bladder has a muscular wall which comprises of muscles ( Detrusor muscle). Overactivity of the bladder is an excessive contraction of Detrusor muscles in the urinary bladder by passing of urine down to the external environment.

That is, when the muscle contract, it makes the muscle become weak and makes the urinary bladder overactive.

Bladder Test

1. Urine Analysis

This is the test done in the laboratory to check the content or substance that are present in urine with the use of the strip.

2. Urine m/s/c ( microscopic culture and sensitivity)

This is a more intensive test that is carried out in the medical laboratory. This is to check the microscope content of urine.

The urine m/c/s is more precise because in case of urine analysis is to check the content of what the eyes can see. But the urine m/c/s it required the use of a microscope to check the substances in urine that is not visible to the eyes.

3. Cystoscopy

This is a diagnostic measure that is carried out with the use of cystoscope. The cystoscope is an instrument that is inserted in both the male and female urethra down to the urinary bladder.

The cystoscope has light and camera and as such, the physician will be able to view the internal layers of the urinary bladder to know the problem.

Bladder treatments

  1. In cases of bacterial infection in the bladder, the use of some antibiotics as recommended by your doctor can be useful.
  2. Constant drinking of water to keep hydrated.
  3. Avoid keeping urine in the bladder for a long period of time. When you feel pressed, you are advised to rush down to the restroom(toilet) to urinate.


The main means of diagnosis is by going to meet with your doctor or physician so a test can be conducted. Test such as urine analysis, urine m/s/c ( microscopic culture and sensitivity).

These tests can show the presence of bacteria in the bladder in cases of urinary tract infection.


Conclusively, the bladder is an important organ that is part of the respiratory system that serves the purpose of temporary storage of urine before it is passed through the urethra o the external environment.

Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy urinary bladder in order to avoid series or several pathological conditions such as diseases of the urinary bladder which results in the urinary tract infection.

Consequently, you have to maintain the overall health of the urinary bladder by staying hydrated constantly and also avoid delay of urinating whenever you feel pressed.

By so doing, the urinary bladder will be kept in a healthy state which will help prevent any form of urinary disease

Ehikioya Hope
making my mark in the digital world, one post at a time.

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