The kidneys filter the blood to create urine. The kidneys receive sympathetic input from T10-T11 and correspond with the superior mesenteric ganglion. Sympathetic input causes constriction of the afferent arteriole which decreases GFR. The kidneys empty urine into the upper part of the ureters, which also receive sympathetic innervation from T10-T11. Excessive sympathetic input can cause ureterospasm.
The ureters are a conduit from the kidneys to the bladder. The lower or distal portions receive sympathetic input from T12-L1, and excessive sympathetic input can cause ureterospasm. Somatic dysfunction in the T12-L1 area may be noticed during the passage of a renal calculus.
The bladder receives sympathetic innervation from T11-L2. Sympathetic input can cause the bladder wall to relax and the bladder sphincter to contract, causing urine retention.
The gonads are also known as the testes (in males) and the ovaries (in females). They receive sympathetic innervation from T10-T11.
The uterus and cervix receive sympathetic innervation from T10-T12. Sympathetic input to the uterus causes constriction and the cervix to relax. The reverse is true with parasympathetic input.
The penis and clitoris are homologous structures in the male and female and accordingly they both receive sympathetic innervation from T11-L2.
The prostate is a gland situated below the bladder in males. The urethra passes through the prostate, and an enlarged prostate can cause urine retention. Sympathetic tone for the prostate comes from T12-L2.
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