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The striated urogenital sphincter muscle in the female

The Anatomical Record
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date


Striated muscle associated with the female urethra and vagina constitute a continuous mass which appropriately may be called the urogenital sphincter. Though continuous, the muscle may be separated into two parts—one that surrounds the urethra, and the other surrounding the urethra and vagina. The individual muscle fibers are small and are embedded in connective tissue and infiltrated with smooth muscle which obscures the visibility of the muscle to gross dissection. Developmentally the muscle primordium is laid down around the urogenital sinus and urethra early, and foreshadows the anatomical arrangement that is maintained in the adult with little change. The urogenital sphincter muscle extends from the base of the bladder where it lies within the pelvic cavity and continues through the urogenital hiatus of the pelvic diaphragm to expand around the vagina in the perineum. Additional fibers attach to the ischiopubic rami and constitute a compressor of the urethra. As a result there is no superior fascia of the so-called “urogenital diaphragm” which closes off a deep perineal compartment or forms a floor of the urogenital hiatus.

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