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21.2: Bladder

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    59475
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    The urinary bladder collects urine from both ureters (Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)). The bladder lies anterior to the uterus in females, posterior to the pubic bone and anterior to the rectum. During late pregnancy, its capacity is reduced due to compression by the enlarging uterus, resulting in increased frequency of urination. In males, the anatomy is similar, minus the uterus, and with the addition of the prostate inferior to the bladder. The bladder is partially retroperitoneal (outside the peritoneal cavity) with its peritoneal-covered “dome” projecting into the abdomen when the bladder is distended with urine.

    The bladder is a highly distensible organ comprised of irregular crisscrossing bands of smooth muscle collectively called the detrusor muscle. The interior surface is made of transitional cellular epithelium that is structurally suited for the large volume fluctuations of the bladder. When empty, it resembles columnar epithelia, but when stretched, it “transitions” (hence the name) to a squamous appearance (see Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)). Volumes in adults can range from nearly zero to 500–600 mL.

    The detrusor muscle contracts with significant force in the young. The bladder’s strength diminishes with age, but voluntary contractions of abdominal skeletal muscles can increase intra-abdominal pressure to promote more forceful bladder emptying. Such voluntary contraction is also used in forceful defecation and childbirth.

    The left panel of this figure shows the cross section of the bladder and the major parts are labeled. The right panel shows a micrograph of the bladder.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): (a) Anterior cross section of the bladder. (b) The detrusor muscle of the bladder (source: monkey tissue) LM × 448. (Micrograph provided by the Regents of the University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)  (CC-BY-4.0, OpenStax, Human Anatomy)

     


    This page titled 21.2: Bladder is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by OpenStax.

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