In anatomy, the urethra (from Greek οὐρήθρα – ourḗthrā) is a tube that connects the urinary bladder to the urinary meatus for the removal of fluids from the body. In male placental mammals, the urethra travels through the penis, and carries semen as well as urine. In female placental mammals, the urethra is shorter and emerges at the female external urethral orifice above the vaginal opening. Female placental mammals use their urethra only for urinating, but male placental mammals use their urethra for both urination and ejaculation. The external urethral sphincter is a striated muscle that allows voluntary control over urination.