Structure: Sexual Differences

The lower urinary tract is different in males and females. The urethra from the male bladder passes through the prostate gland, carrying either urine or semen to the opening at the tip of the penis. The female bladder sits under the uterus, and the urethra carries urine to the opening in front of the vagina. In both sexes, the passing of urine is partly controlled by muscles in the neck of the bladder.

Length of the urethra

The male urethra is usually about 20 cm (8 in) long. In females, the urethra is about 4 cm (1½ in) long.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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