Female Urinary Tract
Male Urinary Tract (Note: Urethra in males is longer than in females)
The urethra's main job in males and females is to pass urine outside the body. This thin tube also has an important role in ejaculation for men. When a scar from swelling, injury or infection blocks or slows the flow of urine in this tube, it is called a urethral stricture. Some people feel pain with a urethral stricture.
What Happens under Normal Conditions?
The bladder empties through the urethra and out of the body (called voiding). The female urethra is much shorter than the male's. In males, urine must travel a longer distance from the bladder through the penis.
In males, the first 1" to 2" of the urethra that urine passes through is called the posterior urethra. The posterior urethra includes:
- the bladder neck (the opening of the bladder)
- the prostatic urethra (the part of the urethra by the prostate)
- the membranous urethra
- a muscle called the external urinary sphincter
Strictures that happen in the first 1" to 2" of the urethra that urine passes through are called posterior strictures.
In males, the final 9" to 10" of the urethra is called the anterior urethra. The anterior urethra includes:
- the bulbar urethra (under the scrotum and perineum- the area between the scrotum and anus)
- the penile urethra (along the bottom of the penis)
- the meatus (the exit at the tip of the penis)
Strictures that happen in the last 9" to 10" of the urethra that urine passes through are called anterior strictures.