The bladder is an organ in the human body that collects and stores the urine from the kidneys for later urination. To achieve this task the bladder is hollow and elastic, which allows it to stretch to as the urine accumulates. The tubes that enter the bladder and known as the ureters and the exit is a single tube known as the urethra. The bladder can hold about 300-500 ml (10.1 – 16.9 fl oz) of urine, although in general the female bladder holds less than the male bladder. This is due to the location of the bladder, which is different for both genders.
Where is the bladder located?
Generally speaking the bladder is located in the pelvic area. In males, the bottom of the bladder is positioned between the rectum and the pubic symphysis (the joint that unites the left and right pubic bones), above the prostate gland. In females, the bladder is positioned under the uterus, in front of the vagina and behind the pubic symphysis. In young children the bladder is always located in the abdomen, even when it is empty.
The other main difference between the female and male bladder the urethra. In males, the urethra carries both urine and sperm, while the female urethra plays no part in the reproductive system. The male urethra is about 20 cm (8 in) long, while the female urethra is only about 3.5 cm (1.5 in) long. This, along with the close proximity of the urethral opening and the anus, is the reason that urinary tract infection (cystistis) and kidney infection (pyelonephritis) occur more commonly in females!