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What is Ectopic Ureter?

Male Urinary Tract
Male Urinary Tract
Medical Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

Female Urinary Tract
Female Urinary Tract
Medical Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved

Ectopic Ureter
Ectopic Ureter
Image © Fairman Studios, LLC

Most of us are born with 2 ureters, the tube that drains the urine from each kidney into the bladder.

But some babies are born with 2 ureters that drain a single kidney. In these cases, one ureter drains the upper part of the kidney and the second ureter drains the lower part of the kidney. As long as they both enter the bladder, this extra ureter is usually not a problem.

But if a child is born with a ureter that does not connect with the bladder, it can drain somewhere outside the bladder. This is called an ectopic ureter. In girls, the ectopic ureter can drain into the urethra (the tube leading out of the bladder that we use to pee out of) or even the vagina. In boys, it often drains into the urethra near the prostate or into the sex organs.