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Sphincter Urethrovaginalis
Muscular System

Sphincter Urethrovaginalis

Sphincter urethrovaginalis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Perineal body.

Insertion: Fibers encircle urethra and vagina.

Action: Constricts urethra and vagina.

Innervation: Perineal nerve (S2-S4).

Arterial Supply: Perineal artery.

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The sphincter urethrovaginalis muscle originates from anterior aspect of the perineal body.


The fibers of the sphincter urethrovaginalis muscle travel anteriorly, encircle the lower part of the vagina, and continue anteriorly to encircle the urethra. The fibers that encircle the urethra are continuous with those of the compressor urethrae muscle.

Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The female external urethral sphincter muscle is one of the muscles of the deep perineal space, which itself is found in the urogenital triangle. It is a large, circular muscle that partly surrounds both the urethra and vagina in females.

It is located:

- anterior to the perineal body;

- superior to the perineal membrane;

- inferior to the urinary bladder.

For descriptive purposes, the female external urethral sphincter muscle is divided into three parts:

- a superiorly located sphincter urethrae muscle;

- an anteriorly located compressor urethrae muscle;

- a posteriorly located sphincter urethrovaginalis muscle (Jung, Ahn and Huh, 2012).


The female external urethral sphincter muscle constricts the urethra, keeping it closed and contributing to urinary continence. Its fibers relax during micturition (Standring, 2016).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Urinary incontinence


Jung, J., Ahn, H. K. and Huh, Y. (2012) 'Clinical and functional anatomy of the urethral sphincter', Int Neurourol J, 16(3), pp. 102-6.

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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