Difference Between the Male & Female Bladder

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Everyone knows that males and females are different "down there." Although this most commonly references traits in reproductive structures, it also refers to the differences between the male and female bladder.

Purpose

  • In both males and females, the purpose of the bladder is identical: To hold and then expel fluid waste in the form of urine. There is no difference in how the bladder connects to the kidneys for this purpose, and since there is no difference in function, there really is not a difference in bladder size.

Location

  • The differences in male and female reproductive organs force the bladder to sit in different positions in both sexes. The bladder rests on the pelvic floor in either gender. In females, however, the bladder is situated behind the uterus and most of the urethra is actually embedded in the top of the vagina.

Urethra

  • The main difference between the male and female bladder is in the length of the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder. In females, the urethra is only in one section, which is very short (about 1.5 inches). It extends only through the neck of the bladder, internal and external sphincters, and the urogenital diaphragm. In males, the urethra is in 3 sections and is much longer than the female version at about 8 inches. It travels through the prostrate, internal and external sphincters, urogenital diaphragm, cowper's glad, and the entire length of the penis.

Reproduction

  • In females, the bladder and urethra are not connected to reproductive function. In males, the urethra serves double duty and carries seminal fluid as well as urine. This is why males may find it difficult to urinate immediately after having intercourse. Furthermore, because the bladder, urethra, and prostate are all connected, frequent urination is one of the primary indications of prostate disease in males.

Infections

  • According to the Mayo Clinic, in women the length of the urinary tract and the short distance between the urethral opening and anus means that there is less of a distance for bacteria and other pathogens to travel before reaching the bladder. This may be one of the contributing factors to the high rate of urinary tract infections in females, when compared to males. Both males and females can take antibiotics when a urinary tract infection occurs.

References

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