Urethra – Definition, Anatomy, Function and Pain

What is Urethra?

Urethra is an opening that allows the urine to discharge from the Urinary Bladder. It is due to the existence of Urethra tube that we pass out Urine from our body. Urethra is a tube that connects the Bladder to the Genitals and Genitals discharge the Urine.

The Sphincter muscle allows the Urine to stay in the Bladder till it is expelled out. The Sphincter muscle expands and contracts to permit the excretion and storage of Urine.

Definition of Urethra

Urethra is a small tube that excretes the Urine from the Bladder to outside of the body with the help of Genitals.
Genitals are Penis in males and Vagina in the females.

Urethra Anatomy

The male Urethra is different from female Urethra.

  1. Female Urethra

Female Urethra is about 1.5 to 2 inches long. It is located at the posterior end of the Pubic Symphysis. It is situated at the front wall of Vagina. The Urethra is curved in shape and is directed in the forward direction. The Membranous Canal of female Urethra is made up of 3 layers

  1. Muscular Layer

    It is the continuation of the Muscular layer of the Urinary Bladder.

  2. Mucous Layer

    This layer is also the continuation of the Bladder. It is made up of Laminated Epithelium.

  3. Spongy Erectile Tissues

    It is a thin layer which is made up of the Spongy Epithelial Tissues. It includes the Plexus of Veins and smooth Muscle Fibers.

  1. Male Urethra

The Male Urethra is 8 to 9 inches long. It has the shape of tube. The male Urethra is longer than the female Urethra. The male Urethra has the additional function of reproduction along with the excretion of Urine. It also transports the Semen out of the body at the time of Ejaculation.

The male Urethra has 3 parts

  1. The Prostatic Urethra

    This part of Urethra is the widest part of Urethra. It starts at the narrow opening of Bladder and it continues through Prostate gland.

  2. Membranous Urethra

    It is the shortest and the very narrow part of the male Urethra. It passes through the Urogenital Diaphragm.

    Here a Sphincter is situated that controls the storage and removal of Urine from the Bladder.

  3. Spongy Urethra

    It is longest part of the Urethra. It has the length of almost 6 inches. It starts from the end of the Membranous portion and continuous through the Penis and ends at the external end of the Urethra. The Urine leaves the Body at this point.

The Ejaculation of Semen takes place from Urethra itself. This is the fact that structure of Male Urethra is more complicated than Female Urethra.

Urethra Function

The key function of Urethra is to expel the Urine. This seems to be an easy function but it needs a lot of effort.

The Levator Ani muscle in the Pelvic area controls the Urination in the Humans. This muscle is a very weak muscle and it can be damaged at the time of Childbirth.

The Male Urethra is longer than the female Urethra. At the time of Ejaculation, this provides the route of Semen along with the Urine. This is the reason the Male Urethra passes through the Prostate Gland.

Urethra Location

The Urethra is located below the Bladder. It is located at the Pelvic Floor Cavity. In Males, it is located at the front of Rectum. In Female, it is located at the anterior end of the Uterus in the upper region of Vagina.

Difference between Urethra and Ureter

The ureter is a tube that connects the Kidney to the Bladder to allow the flow of Urine from the Kidney to the Bladder.

The Urethra connects the Bladder to the Genitals.

Both these tubes are connected to the transportation of Urine.

Pain in Urethra

The pain in the Urethra is a serious problem. It may show the existence of some serious disorder in the Urinary tract as well as in the Reproductive organs.

This pain is sometimes mild, severe or acute. The pain can be due to an infection or any blockage in the Urinary Tract.

This pain can also be due to the Inflammation of Urethra.

If anyone feels pain while discharging Urine, this is surely due to the inflammation of Urethra. This condition is known as Urethritis.

These diseases are sometimes accompanied with the conditions like Swollen Urethra.

The Urethral pain should be immediately diagnosed to find out its reason and to start the treatment. The Urethral pain can be dangerous if not treated on time.

The pain in Urethra is mostly considered as the symptom of any of the following diseases

  • Gonorrhea
  • Urethritis
  • Obstructive Uropathy
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Chlamydia
  • Enlarged Prostate
  • Kidney Stones
  • Prostatis

Urethral Problems should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, so that no problems remain in the Urinary Tract. Urethra is one of the most important Excretory Organ. Everyone should take measures, if any Urethral disorder exists.

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