25.1 Anatomy and Physiology

1. The genitourinary system is one of the portals of entry for pathogens to invade the body.

The Urinary System (Figure 25.1)

1. The kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra compose the urinary system.

2. Frequent complete emptying is an important bladder defense mechanism against infection.

3. Infections occur more frequently in women than in men because of the shortness of the female urethra and its closeness to openings of the genital and intestinal tracts.

The Genital System (Figure 25.2)

1. The fallopian tube, open on both ends, provides a passageway for infection to enter the abdominal cavity.

2. The uterine cervix is a frequent site of infection and a place where cancer can develop. The vagina is a portal of entry for a number of infections. In men, the prostate can enlarge and partially obstruct the urinary flow.

25.2 Normal Flora of the Genitourinary System

1. The distal urethra is inhabited by various microorganisms, sometimes including potential pathogens.

2. The normal vaginal flora is influenced by estrogen hormones, which cause deposition of glycogen in the cells lining the

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