The transport tube leading from the bladder to discharge urine outside the body. In males, the urethra travels through the penis, and carries semen as well as urine. In females, the urethra is shorter than in the male and emerges above the vaginal opening, as indicated here
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The canal leading from the bladder, discharging the urine externally. [G. ourethra]
- anterior u. the portion of u. distal to urogenital diaphragm (external sphincter).
- female u. [TA] a canal about 4 cm long passing from the bladder, in close relation with the anterior wall of the vagina and having a long axis that parallels that of the vagina, opening in the vestibule of the vagina posterior to the clitoris and anterior to the vaginal orifice. SYN: u. feminina [TA], u. muliebris.
- u. feminina [TA] SYN: female u..
- male u. [TA] a canal about 20 cm in length that opens at the extremity of the glans penis; except for the intramural and upper prostatic parts, it gives passage to the spermatic fluid as well as urine; components include the intramural, prostatic, intermediate, and spongy urethrae. SYN: u. masculina [TA], u. virilis.
- u. masculina [TA] SYN: male u..
- membranous u. intermediate part of male u..
- u. muliebris SYN: female u..
- penile u. SYN: spongy u..
- posterior u. the portion of the u. posterior to the urogenital diaphragm (external sphincter).
- prostatic u. [TA] the prostatic part of the male u., about 2.5 cm in length, that traverses the prostate; it includes the seminal colliculus, and the ejaculatory and prostatic ducts open into it. SYN: pars prostatica urethrae [TA].
- spongy u. [TA] the portion of the male u., about 15 cm in length, which traverses the corpus spongiosum. SYN: pars spongiosa urethrae masculinae [TA], pars cavernosa, penile u., spongy part of the male u..
- u. virilis SYN: male u..

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ure·thra yu̇-'rē-thrə n, pl -thras or -thrae -(.)thrē the canal that in most mammals carries off the urine from the bladder and in the male serves also as a passageway for semen
ure·thral -thrəl adj

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the tube that conducts urine from the bladder to the exterior. The female urethra is quite short (about 3.5 cm) and opens just within the vulva, between the clitoris and vagina. The male urethra is longer (about 20 cm) and runs through the penis. As well as urine, it receives the secretions of the male accessory sex glands (prostate and Cowper's glands and seminal vesicles) and spermatozoa from the vas deferens; thus it also serves as the ejaculatory duct.

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ure·thra (u-reґthrə) [Gr. ourēthra] the membranous canal conveying urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body. See u. feminina and u. masculina and see Plate 44. urethral adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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