How the bladder and bowel work
The bladder is a pear-shaped stretchy sac made of muscles. It stores urine which is made in the kidneys.
When the bladder is full - this amount varies for everyone - it tells the brain it needs emptying. The brain tells your bladder to hold on until you are ready, when the bladder muscles contract to squeeze out all the urine. At the same time the urethra relaxes, and the urine flows out.
The bowel is a muscular tube, which takes the nourishment from the food and carries the waste (as stools) to the back passage.
Messages are sent between the brain and bowel until you are ready. Then the band of muscles (anal sphincter) around the bowel outlet (anus) relaxes, and the stools are pushed out through the anus.
The frequency of bowel movements varies and does not matter as long as the stools are soft, well formed and easy to pass.
Brain - sends messages to and from the bladder and bowel
Ureters - tubes leading from the kidneys to the bladder
Spinal cord - carries the messages
Kidneys - produce urine
Pelvic floor - muscles which support the bladder and bowel
Bladder - stores urine
Urethra - tube leading from the bladder to outside the body
Bowel - stores faeces
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