The urethra is the tube through which urine exits the bladder when it empties.
In women, it is a short organ in which most of the continence mechanism resides. This is the urinary sphincter, which is essentially a muscle that surrounds the urethral lining. It is closed most of the time but relaxes to allow the passage of urine. Defects in the female urethra can result in incontinence, the formation of a diverticulum and susceptibility to infection.
The male urethra is enclosed within the penis, after having passed through the prostate and the external sphincter. It obviously also serves a sexual function in men as it is the passage through which the semen is ejaculated.
Disorders of the Urethra treated by St George Urology include: