The urethra in women and men: the structure, functions, features

Women and men the urethra is an important part of the urinary system. Urinary Department needed to remove the urine the slit where urine exits the body. Anatomy of the urinary canal of men and women have many differences. The urethra is the duct length, except that, on men component of the reproductive system.

The structure of the urinary canal

The second name of the urethra (Latin) — the urethra. Duct that urine to outside is inside and looks like a flexible, soft tube. The tube wall consists of three layers:

  • connective the outer layer;
  • the middle layer represented muscle;
  • mucosa.

Male urethra

Length of the male urethra is significantly more female, the average longitude is about 20-25 cm It is hidden and is divided into posterior and anterior segments. The front is away from the center and the rear urethra goes from hidden openings to cavernous body. The urethra in men can be visually divided into 3 components described in the table:

The structure of the urethra in men
Departments of the urethra Components Location
Prostatic part
  • the ejaculatory duct tubules;
  • duct for excretion of the sperm; the duct of the prostate.
Duration 3 cm Inner hole near the bladder — origin, then pass the prostate. On this stretch of the canal opened a small prostatic glands
The membranous part
  • muscle sphincter.
Duration 1-2 cm Narrow and short, passes through the strips of muscle (urogenital diaphragm), forming an arbitrary sphincter
The spongy part
  • numerous small channels.
Duration 1-2 cm Narrow and short, passes through the strips of muscle (urogenital diaphragm), forming an arbitrary sphincter

The fixed part of the urethra in men represent the prostatic and the membranous divisions, spongy is the moving segment.

The structural features of the on women

The female urethra is opened, its length is about 3-5 cm and width 1-1,5 see Initial segment is located above the pelvic floor. Rushing forward the female urethra passes through the anterior wall of the elastic channel of the reproductive system (the vagina) and the upper pubic bone. At the end of the female urethra beneath the clitoris is the external opening of the urethra. Wide and short female urethra close to vagina and anus, making women susceptible to inflammatory and infectious pathologies.

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Inside channel women covered with mucous collected in longitudinal folds, which make the diameter of the lumen less. Connective tissue consists of many elastic threads and vaginal congestion of veins of various sizes. Together they form a blocking pad, contributing to the closing of the duct.


The development of a microflora begins at the period of birth. Getting on the skin, the microbes penetrate into and distributed in the inner organs and their shell. The microorganisms remain on the mucosa, continue to move it does not allow the urine and the inner secret. Additional protection forms a ciliated epithelium. Those live microorganisms that attach themselves to the mucous membrane, form the innate microflora.

Features women’s microflora

The number of microorganisms in women more than in the body of the stronger sex. Such a difference imprint the structure of the urethra, sexual features and location. 90% of the microorganisms healthy women secrete acid. This is necessary to maintain an acidic environment, as the result of the development of an alkaline environment there is a risk of development of inflammatory processes. Birth is dominated by bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. With the growth of girls micro-organisms change, there is coccal flora.

Features men’s microflora

In the composition of the microflora included Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, corynebacteria. Since the inception for existence, it does not change. For the urethra the urethra is the characteristic neutral-alkaline environment favorable for the life and development of staphylococci. It is the environment necessary for the maturation of sperm. The population of microorganisms does not perform important tasks, but can change, which affects the development of pathological complications.

The normal microflora of the urethra includes a bacteria is a commensal (Staphylococcus aureus), rod-shaped bacteria, Ureaplasma, Neisseria. Fungi Candida, chlamydia, Ureaplasma are much rarer. Microorganisms transmitted via sexual contact, are considered especially threatening.

The function of the urethra in men and women

The leading feature that makes the urinary urethra in men and the urethra for women — withdrawal from the reservoir produced urine. No less important is considered the function and support muscle activity for the formation of the container in which urine is stored. In women the mouth of the urethra is considered one of the sensitive areas. The purpose of the male urethra not only in the output of urine, it comes out semen. This means that the tubular division participates in the reproductive cycle.

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Possible pathology

Diseases of the urinary tract can be divided into several groups. Their separation is affected by the causes of disease:

  • A congenital defect. The urinary channel is above (open channel), the outer slit not the right place or closed (hypospadias, adhesions).
  • Infectious inflammation. The most common is called urethritis. But there are pathologies that affect sexual and urinary system of the body (vulva, post, balanitis, etc.).
  • Allergies.
  • Neoplasms.
  • Injury.


The signs of the disease do not always occur immediately after infection. Manifestation of symptoms depends on the pathology the incubation period. Sometimes the time of development of the disease takes several minutes and sometimes months. The symptoms in men and women are different: women have visible signs may not be present (the clinical picture may show only a survey), and men more sensitive to the manifestations of the disease.

Symptoms of pathology Common symptoms
  • burning, itching when urinating;
  • pus;
  • bonding of the outer lumen;
  • pain in the pubic region;
  • delay of outflow of urine.
  • fever;
  • purulent or bloody discharge;
  • pain when visiting the toilet.
  • redness of the area of the urethra;
  • pain in the abdomen;
  • unpleasant discharge.

It is important to remember that diseases tend to develop, capturing the mucosa completely. The severity of symptoms of the disease gradually increases and after a certain period of time there are complications that can spread to adjacent organs. Control of inflammatory processes is carried out in a medical facility where necessary treatment is chosen.