The main difference between the male urethra and the female urethra is the length. In men, the urethra is 8 inches long and in women, only 2 inches long. The male urethra has been differentiated into four parts, while the female urethra has no differentiation.
Male urethra vs. female urethra
The word “urethra” is derived from the Greek language. It is a tube in placental mammals that connects the urinary bladder with the urinary meatus for the elimination of fluids, specifically urine from the body to the external world. The male urethra is longer than the female urethra. Another difference would be the path taken from the bladder to the outside world. In men the path is more curved and in women the path is more direct. This curved path makes catheterization of males difficult. Due to the short length of the urethra in women, infection can be a problem.
|Male urethra||Female urethra|
|Its length is about 20 cm.||It is almost 4 cm long.|
|8-9 mm||6 mm|
|It has four parts; pre-prostatic region; prostatic, membranous and penial region.||It has no specific regions.|
|It opens at the top of the penis through the urinogenital opening.||It opens in front of the vaginal opening through the urinary opening.|
|It carries both urine and semen outside.||Only carry urine outside.|
|Kidney stones||Urethritis and kidney stones|
What is the male urethra?
Males use their urethra for two purposes, urinating and ejaculating. The external sphincter of the male urethra is a striated muscle that allows voluntary control of urination and this additional internal urethral sphincter muscle is present only in men. Semen travels through the urethra during intercourse in men. The urethra connects the bladder, the place for collecting urine, to the outside world. In men, the urethra is 8 inches long and divided into four parts. The first part is the pre-prostatic urethra which is the intramural part of this organ and is approximately 0.5 to 1.5 cm in length depending on the fullness of the bladder. Its second part is the prostatic urethra that passes through the prostate gland. There are several openings; the ejaculatory duct obtains sperm from the vas deferens and ejaculates fluid from the seminal vesicle; various prostatic ducts through which fluid from the prostate enters and contributes to ejaculation; the prostatic utricle, which is simply a cleft. All of these openings are collectively called verumontanum. The third part of the male urethra is the membranous urethra, which is a small portion that crosses the external urethral sphincter and is about 1 to 2 cm in length. This is the smaller diameter part of the urethra. It is present in the deep perineal bursa. The bulbourethral glands and are found posterior to this region but open in the spongy urethra. Its fourth part is a spongy urethra that runs the length of the penis on its ventral surface. It is between 15 and 16 cm long and goes through the spongy body. This is where the duct of the urethral gland enters. The opening parts of the bulbourethral glands are also found here.
What is the female urethra?
The female urethra is part of the female urinary system. It has developed from the endoderm and splanchnic mesoderm of the urogenital sinus. The paramesonephrenic tubercle divides the urogenital sinus into the pelvic sinus that will later become a vesicourethral unit and a phallic portion that will later become the vagina. Female urethra develops in 12 thgestational week. The female urethra is a relatively simple tubular structure that has the sole purpose of urinating. It is a short organ without a complex lining structure. It is a spongy cylinder with great vascular richness and is designed to provide continence. Although the female urethra is less prone to intrinsic pathology compared to the male urethra, infection can be initiated due to its short length. Urethritis is a common inflammation of the urethra. It also causes pain when urinating. Urethritis can also be caused by viral and bacterial infections. Its symptoms are urgent urination and pus like excretions and secretions. Treatment of urethritis depends on the exact causes and symptoms, but it mostly involves different types of medications.
- The male urethra is longer than the female urethra.
- Both are important parts of the body useful for excretion.
- In women, the path that urine takes to get from the bladder to the outside world is more direct.
- In men, the path that urine takes to get from the bladder to the outside world is more curved.