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Urogenital Disorders

Kidney Diseases
Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fists. They are located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. Inside each kidney about a million tiny structures called nephrons filter blood. They remove waste products and extra water, which become urine. The urine flows through tubes called ureters to your bladder, which stores the urine until you go to the bathroom.

Most kidney diseases attack the nephrons. This damage may leave kidneys unable to remove wastes. Causes can include genetic problems, injuries, or medicines. You are at greater risk for kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a close family member with kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease damages the nephrons slowly over several years. Other kidney problems include:
  • Cancer
  • Cysts
  • Stones
  • Infections
Your doctor can run tests to find out if you have kidney disease. If your kidneys fail completely, a kidney transplant or dialysis can replace the work your kidneys normally do.

Bladder Diseases
The bladder is a hollow organ in your lower abdomen that stores urine. Many conditions can affect your bladder. Some common ones are
  • Cystitis - inflammation of the bladder, often from an infection
  • Urinary incontinence - loss of bladder control
  • Overactive bladder - a condition in which the bladder squeezes urine out at the wrong time
  • Interstitial cystitis - a chronic problem that causes bladder pain and frequent, urgent urination
  • Bladder cancer
Doctors diagnose bladder diseases using different tests. These include urine tests, x-rays, and an examination of the bladder wall with a scope called a cystoscope. Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. It may include medicines and, in severe cases, surgery.

Urine and Urination
Your kidneys make urine by filtering wastes and extra water from your blood. The waste is called urea. Your blood carries it to the kidneys. From the kidneys, urine travels down two thin tubes called ureters to the bladder. The bladder stores urine until you are ready to urinate. It swells into a round shape when it is full and gets smaller when empty. If your urinary system is healthy, your bladder can hold up to 16 ounces (2 cups) of urine comfortably for 2 to 5 hours.

You may have problems with urination if you have
  • Kidney failure
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Bladder control problems like incontinence, overactive bladder or interstitial cystitis
  • A blockage that prevents you from emptying your bladder
Some conditions may also cause you to have blood or protein in your urine. If you have a urinary problem, see your healthcare provider. Treatment depends on the cause.

Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Ohio State is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as one of the nation's best hospitals for urology and nephrology. Schedule an appointment with Ohio State's urology and kidney experts. Call 614-293-8155.​