Internal sphincter muscle of male urethra

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Internal sphincter muscle of urethra
Coronal section of anterior part of pelvis, through the pubic arch. Coronal section. (Region visible, but muscle not labeled.)
Illu bladder.jpg
Urinary bladder (Region visible, but muscle not labeled.)
Origin The inferior ramus of the pubic bone
Insertion Perineal raphe
Nerve Sympathetics from L1-L2 through lumbar splanchnic nerves. Parasympathetics from S2-S4 through inferior hypogastric plexus.
Actions Sympathetic contracts and parasympathetic relaxes the muscle
Latin Musculus sphincter urethrae internus
TA A09.2.03.009
FMA 45769
Anatomical terms of muscle

The internal sphincter muscle of male urethra is a urethral sphincter muscle which constricts the internal urethral orifice. It is the junction of the urethra with the urinary bladder. The muscle is made of smooth muscle, so therefore it is under involuntary control. It is kept tonically contracted by lumbar plexus of the sympathetic nervous system.


During micturition it is relaxed via branches from the inferior hypogastric plexus (S2-S4) parasympathetic nervous system. This is the primary muscle for maintenance of continence of urine. It prevents urine leakage as the muscle is contracted via sympathetic stimulation from the lumbar splanchnic nerves. During ejaculation, it contracts to prevent reflux of semen into the urinary bladder, a phenomenon called retrograde ejaculation.[1]

Because the internal urethral sphincter is under involuntary control, it is believed to play a role in paruresis, in which a person who perceives himself to be under observation is unable to urinate.


  1. ^ Moore, Keith L.; Dalley, Arthur F.; Agur, A. M. R. (2013-02-13). Clinically Oriented Anatomy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 366. ISBN 9781451119459.