Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine, Urology

Clinical Definition

The urethra is the tube that transports urine (and semen, in males) out of the body. The urethra begins at the bladder in men and extends through the prostate gland, perineum and the length of the penis. In females, the urethral length is shorter and extends from the bladder to just in front of the vagina.

In Our Own Words

The urethra, or urine-carrying tube, is different anatomically in men and women. In men, the tube begins at the bladder, goes through the prostate gland and runs the entire length of the penis, carrying urine and semen out of the body. In women, the urethra is much shorter, beginning at the bladder and ending in front of the vagina.  

Relevant Conditions
  • Urethritis
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  • Harvard Medical School. "Medical Dictionary of Health Terms." 2013. http://www.health.harvard.edu. Accessed November 2013.
  • American Urological Foundation. "Urethral Trauma." January 2011. http://www.urologyhealth.org. Accessed November 2013.
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