Your kidneys make urine by filtering wastes and extra water from your blood. The urine travels from the kidneys to the bladder in two thin tubes called ureters.
The ureters are about 8 to 10 inches long. Muscles in the ureter walls tighten and relax to force urine down and away from the kidneys. Small amounts of urine flow from the ureters into the bladder about every 10 to 15 seconds.
Sometimes the ureters can become blocked or injured. This can block the flow of urine to the bladder. If urine stands still or backs up the ureter, you may get a urinary tract infections.
Doctors diagnose problems with the ureters using different tests. These include urine tests, x-rays, and examination of the ureter with a scope called a cystoscope. Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. It may include medicines and, in severe cases, surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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- Vesicoureteral Reflux (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
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Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Unilateral Ureteral Obstruction as a Model to Investigate Fibrosis-Attenuating Treatments.
- Article: Risk Factors for Ureteral Damage in Ureteroscopic stone Treatment: Results of...
- Article: Ureteroscopic lithotripsy in the Trendelenburg position for extracting obstructive upper ureteral...
- Ureteral Disorders -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Find a Urologist (Urology Care Foundation)
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- Injury - kidney and ureter (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Retroperitoneal fibrosis (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
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- Ureteral retrograde brush biopsy (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Ureterocele (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish