Where Is The Urethra Located In A Female
There are two openings in the vulva — the vaginal opening and the opening to the urethra (the hole you pee out of). The urethral opening is the tiny hole that you pee out of, located just below your clitoris. The vaginal opening is right below your urethral opening. It’s where menstrual blood leaves your body, and babies are born.
You’ve probably seen it on a diagram or two, but have you ever wondered exactly where this little urethral valve is? What does it look like and how does it function? If you’re curious about all things female anatomy, here’s an overview of what the urethra is and its role within our bodies.
The urethra is actually made up of three tubes:
Ureters – These are responsible for removing urine from the kidneys. They stretch down into the bladder and attach there. This is why we sometimes call them “bladder pipes.”
Bladder – This is the organ that stores urine until we need to urinate.
Vagina – As mentioned above, the vagina connects to the urethra and takes part in the removal of waste material through menstruation.
In addition to these channels, there are several other important parts of the urethra:
Labia majora – The labia are the outer lips of the vulva.
Pudendal arteries – Located at the base of each leg, these arteries allow us to move around comfortably without getting too hot underfoot.
Clitoris – Also known as the hooded prepuce, the clitoris sits atop a small nub of bone called the crura. The clitoris extends downward toward the entrance of the urethra.
Urethra- Vagina connection – At the very bottom of the urethra, near the entrance of the vagina, is a small flap of skin called the internal urethral orifice. Here, the urethra meets with the vagina and creates a one-way passage for sperm to travel through.
So now we know that the urethra plays a pretty big role in our bodies, but what kind of work do those little flaps perform? Well, they help us urinate by narrowing the opening between the urethra and the vagina. But aside from helping us stop peeing everywhere when we get nervous, what else can the urethra do? Read on to find out.
What Is The Function Of The Urethra?
When you think of the word “urethra,” you might conjure images of women lifting their skirts during a heavy period flow, or maybe even thinking back to high school health class and hearing about the reproductive system of animals. However, the urethra also has another purpose altogether.
It begins inside the abdomen. There, the urethra splits into two branches: the anterior urethra and posterior urethra. From there, both the ureters remove urine from the kidneys, which then travels down the urethras into the bladder. Once in the bladder, the urine collects there and waits to be released through urination.
While the urethra was once thought only to connect the urinary tract to the external genital organs, recent research shows that the urethra may play more than one critical role in our bodies. It appears that the urethra serves not only as a conduit for the movement of semen, but also helps regulate fluid levels throughout the body.
Additionally, the urethra functions as a means of preventing infection. Its inner lining is covered in protective mucous membranes that keep bacteria and viruses from entering the body through the urethra. Furthermore, the urethra acts as a barrier against pathogens such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Aside from keeping our insides clean, the urethra also allows for proper sexual intercourse. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to experience orgasm. When aroused, blood flows freely into the genitals and fills the urethra. Since the urethra expands along with the rest of the penis, it becomes engorged with blood and swells to accommodate the size of the male erection.
As if the idea of the urethra isn’t enough to make a girl want to learn more, let’s take a closer look at the anatomy surrounding the urethra.
Anatomy Surrounding The Urethra
Now that we know what the urethra is and how it works, let’s talk about the various structures surrounding it. First off, we should mention the urethral sponge. While most people don’t pay much attention to this structure, it actually does quite a bit of work.
Located just beneath the urethral opening, the urethral sponge is filled with watery fluid. This liquid lubricates any passing sperm. Another special feature is that the urethral sponge secretes estrogen and prostaglandin F2 alpha, hormones associated with ovulation.
Next, we’ll talk about the clitoral glans. Just underneath the urethral sponge lies the clitoral glans, a specialized area of tissue that controls sexual arousal. Specifically, the clitoral glans contains nerve endings sensitive to touch. Stimulating the clitoral glans will increase a woman’s sensitivity to touch and pleasure.
Finally, let’s discuss the clitoris itself. The clitoris is a small nub of flesh that protrudes outward from the top of the vulva. Like the urethra, the clitoris ends in a point. However, unlike the urethra, the clitoris doesn’t extend past the tip. Instead, it stops at a rounded piece of skin that looks somewhat similar to the head of a penis. This skin is called the clitoral glans and houses many of the same nerve endings found in the penis.
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