The bladder is a hollow organ in human lower abdomen that stores urine.
The kidneys filter waste from the blood and produce urine, which enters the bladder through two tubes called ureters. Urine leaves the bladder through another tube, the urethra.
In males, the base of the bladder lies between the rectum and the pubic symphysis. It is superior to the prostate, and separated from the rectum by the rectovesical excavation. In females, the bladder sits inferior to the uterus and anterior to the vagina. It is separated from the uterus by the vesicouterine excavation. In infants and young children, the urinary bladder is in the abdomen even when empty.
Many conditions can affect bladder function. Some common ones are
- Infection – a urinary tract infection in the bladder is also known as cystitis
- Urinary incontinence – loss of bladder control
- Interstitial cystitis – a chronic problem in which the bladder wall can become inflamed and irritated, leading to frequent, painful urination
- Bladder cancer – the sixth most common cancer in the United States