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Female urinary bladder and urethra: want to learn more about it?

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Female urinary bladder and urethra

Learning objectives: 

This study guide will help you to:

  1. Identify the main anatomical features of the female urinary bladder and urethra.
  2. Understand the anatomical relations of the female urinary bladder and urethra to surrounding structures.
  3. Develop an understanding of the neurovascular supply of the female urinary bladder and urethra.

Watch videos

The empty adult urinary bladder is a pyramidal shaped pouch which receives urine from the kidneys via the ureters and functions to temporarily store urine received from the kidneys before it is passed through the urethra for elimination. 

The female urinary bladder is located posterior to the pubic symphysis and retropubic space and lies just anterior to the vagina. Similar to its male counterpart, the female urinary bladder is made up of three surfaces: a superior surface and two inferolateral surfaces. It is also made up of four distinct parts known as the apex, body, fundus and neck of the urinary bladder. The female urethra, which is much shorter than that found in males, extends from the neck of the urinary bladder at the internal urethral orifice and measures approximately 5cm in length. 

Find out more about the female urinary bladder and urethra by watching the video below!

Take a quiz

That’s a lot to learn! Why not test and consolidate your knowledge with the quiz below:

Challenge yourself even further with a fully customizable quiz on the structures of the female pelvis and perineum.

Browse atlas

Explore the anatomical features and surrounding structures of the female urinary bladder and urethra seen on a coronal section in the gallery below.

Coronal section of female urinary bladder and urethra

Now that you have a good understanding of the female urinary bladder, let’s explore its surrounding structures and relations from different perspectives.

Anatomical relations and neurovasculature of female urinary bladder

Summary

Key points about the female urinary bladder
Surfaces Superior, left inferolateral and right inferolateral
Parts Apex, body, fundus and neck
Lining/wall Peritoneum (superior surface only), pelvic visceral fascia
Bladder wall: Serosa (reflection of peritoneum), detrusor vesicae muscle and mucosa
Internal features Right ureteric orifice, left ureteric orifice, interureteric crest, trigone and internal urethral orifice
Neurovascular supply Arterial: Superior vesical artery, vaginal artery
Venous: Vesical venous plexus (vesical veins)
Nerve: Vesical plexus, inferior hypogastric plexus
Surrounding structures and spaces Superior: pelvic visceral fascia, peritoneal membrane and sigmoid colon
Anterior: Retropubic space and pubic symphysis
Posterior: Vesicouterine pouch and vagina
Inferior: Pelvic diaphragm
Key points about the female urethra
Begins Internal urethral orifice of urinary bladder
Ends External urethral orifice [vestibule of vagina]
Neurovascular supply Arterial: Internal pudendal artery, vaginal artery
Venous: Vesical venous plexus (vesical veins)
Nerve: Vesical plexus, pudendal nerve
Surrounding structures Pelvic diaphragm, external urethral sphincter, compressor urethrae, sphincter urethrovaginalis, perineal membrane, and urethral glands

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