The urethra (from Greek οὐρήθρα – ourḗthrā) is a tube that connects the urinary bladder to the urinary meatus for the removal of urine from the body of both females and males. In human females and other primates, the urethra connects to the urinary meatus above the vagina, whereas in marsupials, the female's urethra empties into the urogenital sinus.[1]

The urethra transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. This image shows (a) a female urethra and (b) a male urethra.
PrecursorUrogenital sinus
ArteryInferior vesical artery
Middle rectal artery
Internal pudendal artery
VeinInferior vesical vein
Middle rectal vein
Internal pudendal vein
NervePudendal nerve
Pelvic splanchnic nerves
Inferior hypogastric plexus
LymphInternal iliac lymph nodes
Deep inguinal lymph nodes
Latinurethra vagina; feminina (female); urethra masculina (male)
TA23426, 3442
Anatomical terminology

Females use their urethra only for urinating, but males use their urethra for both urination and ejaculation.[2] The external urethral sphincter is a striated muscle that allows voluntary control over urination.[3] The internal sphincter, formed by the involuntary smooth muscles lining the bladder neck and urethra, receives its nerve supply by the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.[4] The internal sphincter is present both in males and females.[5][6][7]

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Urethra, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.