b. Male-Female Differences. The female urethra is short and direct. The male
urethra is much longer and has two curvatures. Whereas the female urethra serves
only a urinary function, the male urethra serves both the urinary and reproductive
URINARY TRACT DISORDERS
Several disorders can affect the urinary system. Some of these disorders can
present serious problems.
a. Uremia. Uremia, or as it is frequently called, toxemia, is a condition in
which there is a build-up of toxic substances in the blood. These accumulated waste
products are in the blood because of kidney failure. This condition can occur during
pregnancy, since many pregnant women have fluid retention.
b. Glomerulonephritis. Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the
nephrons--mainly centered in the glomerulus. This condition is due to toxic material
produced by bacteria.
c. Pyelonephritis. Pyelonephritis is another condition caused by bacteria.
Pyelonephritis is an inflammation of the kidney and pelvis area of the kidney.
d. Edema. Edema is a build-up of fluids in the tissues. It is found in a variety
of conditions (that is, pregnancy, congestive heart failure, and renal disease).
e. Diabetes Insipidus. Diabetes insipidus is an increased urine output due to
a low production of the antidiuretic hormone. As previously mentioned, the antidiuretic
hormone increases the reabsorption of water. A lack of the antidiuretic hormone thus
prevents water from being reabsorbed and leads to increased urine output.
f. Cystitis. Cystitis is an inflammation of the urinary bladder, which may
spread to the kidneys.