The urethra

The urethra is a tube that conveys urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. Its wall is lined with mucous membranes and contains a relatively thick layer of smooth muscle tissue. It also contains numerous mucous glands, called urethral glands that secrete mucus into the urethral canal. In females the urethra is about 4 cm long. It passes forward from the bladder, descends below the symphysis pubis, and empties into the labia minor. Its opening is located above the vaginal opening and about 2.5 cm below the clitoris. In males, the urethra functions both as a urinary canal and a passageway for cells and secretions from various reproductive organs. It can be divided into three sections: the prostatic urethra, the membranous urethra, and the penile urethra.