Genitourinary System

What is the Genitourinary System? The genitourinary system refers to the organ systems associated with reproductive function and urine production. Both systems originate from the intermediate mesoderm in the embryo. The urinary system is composed of the kidneys, ureters, and urethra. Ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, vagina, accessory glands, and vulva make up the female genital tract. The male genital system develops from the common genital precursor, which is stimulated to differentiate into the testes by the SRY gene on the Y chromosome. Testes formation and the subsequent production of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone drive further tissue differentiation. The external male reproductive system comprises the penis, scrotum, testes, and epididymis. The internal male reproductive system is composed of the vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate, ejaculatory ducts, bulbourethral glands, and urethra.

Clinical significance of the Genitourinary System 

While the pathology of the female genital and urinary systems may influence the other because their proximity, they exist in separated tracts. 

In males, however, in addition to the common embryological origin and their proximity, the urinary and reproductive systems share a common exit through the urethra. The joint pathway results in an increased frequency of shared pathologies in males, such as congenital defects.

Source:Libretti S, Aeddula NR. (2022). Embryology, Genitourinary. StatPearls [Internet]. 

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