The Bladder Overview

The bladder is a hollow, muscular, balloon shaped organ that lies in your pelvis. It collects urine from your kidneys and stores it until it is full enough to empty through the urethra.

The bladder swells into a round shape when it is full and gets smaller when empty. If the urinary system is healthy, the average adult bladder holds about 2 cups of urine for 2 to 5 hours. Kegal exercises can strengthen the muscles that hold the bladder and improve bladder control.

The bladder's main function is to store and release urine. Nerves in the bladder tell you when it is time to urinate (empty your bladder). As the bladder first fills with urine, you may notice a feeling that you need to urinate. The sensation to urinate becomes stronger as the bladder continues to fill and reaches its limit. At that point, nerves from the bladder send a message to the brain that the bladder is full, and your urge to empty your bladder intensifies. When you urinate, the brain signals the bladder muscles to tighten, squeezing urine out of the bladder.