UAMS Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences - Viscera of the Pelvis and Perineum

Gross Anatomy


Visceral Structures of the Pelvis and Perineum -

Arranged Alphabetically

Organ/Part of Organ Location/Description Notes
ampulla of the ductus deferens dilated part of the ductus deferens located posterior to the bladder ampulla of the ductus deferens joins with the duct of the seminal vesical to form the ejaculatory duct
ampulla of the uterine tube widest and longest part of the uterine tube ampulla of the uterine tube arches over the ovary and ends laterally in the infundibulum
anal canal terminal end of the digestive tract anal canal is continuous with the rectum above and opens at the anus below; it is regulated by external and internal anal sphincters
anal columns longitudinal folds of mucosa on the inner wall of the anal canal anal columns are connected inferiorly by anal valves; rectal vessels lie beneath the submucosa of the anal columns
anal valves folds of mucosa joining adjacent anal columns at their inferior ends anal valves can be difficult to locate in the older individual
appendix of the epididymis small appendage on the head of the epididymis appendix of the epididymis is a remnant of the most cranial part of the mesonephric duct
appendix of the testis small appendage on the upper testis appendix of the testis is a remnant of the paramesonephric duct
bladder, urinary hollow muscular organ posterior to the pubic symphysis and body of the pubis that acts as a reservoir for urine urinary bladder is held in place by the pubovesical/puboprostatic ligaments; ureters enter the posterolateral surface of the bladder at the posterior two angles of the vesical trigone
body of the uterus part of the uterus between the fundus and the isthmus the uterine cavity is thin anteroposteriorly and wide in the transverse plane
broad ligament peritoneal fold extending from the pelvic walls to the uterus and uterine tubes broad ligament has three named parts: mesovarium, mesosalpinx, mesometrium
bulb of the penis expanded part of the corpus spongiosum that attaches to the perineal membrane bulb of the penis is covered on its superficial surface by the bulbospongiosus muscle; it contains a portion of the spongy/penile urethra; it is the homologue of the bulb of the vestibule
bulb of the vestibule erectile tissue located on either side of the vestibule of the vagina, attached to the perineal membrane bulb of the vestibule is continuous with the glans clitoris; it is covered on its superficial surface by the bulbospongiosus muscle; it is the homologue of the bulb of the penis
bulbourethral gland an exocrine gland located posterolateral to the membranous urethra within the sphincter urethrae muscle (in the urogenital diaphragm) male only; its duct passes through the perineal membrane and drains into the spongy/penile urethra in the bulb of penis
cardinal ligament condensations of endopelvic (extraperitoneal) connective tissue surrounding the uterine vessels within the base of the broad ligament cardinal ligament helps in support of the uterus by attaching the uterine isthmus to the lateral pelvic wall
cervix narrowed inferior end of the uterus cervix is inferior to the isthmus of the uterus and projects into the vagina; it is surrounded by the vaginal fornices (anterior, posterior and lateral)
clitoris combination of 3 erectile bodies: glans clitoris and 2 corpora cavernosa clitoris clitoris is covered by smooth skin
corpus cavernosum primary erectile bodies (paired) of the penis and clitoris corpora cavernosa attach via the crura to the ischiopubic rami and the perineal membrane; each crus is covered by an ischiocavernosus muscle; supplied by the deep a. of the penis/clitoris
corpus spongiosum midline erectile body, attached to the perineal membrane at its proximal end (bulb of the penis) corpus spongiosum expands distally as the glans penis which caps the distal ends of the corpora cavernosa; it contains the spongy/penile urethra
crus clitoris lateral part of the corpus cavernosum which is attached to the ischiopubic ramus and the perineal membrane crus clitoris is covered on its superficial surface by the ischiocavernosus muscle
crus of penis lateral part of the corpus cavernosum which is attached to the ischiopubic ramus and the perineal membrane crus penis is covered on its superficial surface by the ischiocavernosus muscle
ductus deferens duct of the testis ductus deferens is continuous with the tail of the epididymis; it passes through the superficial inguinal ring, inguinal canal and deep inguinal ring to reach the posteroinferior surface of the bladder where it joins with the duct of the seminal vesicle to form the ejaculatory duct
ejaculatory duct duct formed by the union of the duct of the seminal vesicle and the ampulla of the ductus deferens ejaculatory duct passes through the prostate gland to empty onto the seminal colliculus along the urethral crest in the prostatic urethra
epididymis beginning of the duct system of the testis the head of the epididymis is located on the superior surface of the testis and receives sperm from the efferent ductules; the body of the epididymis lies posterolateral to the testis and is separated from the testis by the sinus of the epididymis; the tail of the epididymis is located inferiorly and is continuous with the ductus deferens; the ductus deferens ascends to pass through the abdominal wall via the inguinal canal
fascia, deep penile/clitoral an extension of the muscular fascia of the ischiocavernosus m. and bulbospongiosus m. onto the shaft of penis/clitoris deep fascia of the penis/clitoris forms a tubular sheath surrounding the erectile bodies, dorsal n. of the penis/clitoris, dorsal a. of the penis/clitoris, deep dorsal v. of the penis/clitoris; the superficial dorsal v. of penis/clitoris lies superficial to the deep fascia of the penis/clitoris; deep fascia of the penis is also known as: Buck's fascia
fascia, external spermatic outermost covering of the spermatic cord that is derived from a layer of the abdominal wall derived from the aponeurosis of the external abdominal oblique muscle
fascia, cremasteric intermediate covering layer of the spermatic cord derived from the internal abdominal oblique muscle
fascia, internal spermatic innermost covering of the spermatic cord derived from the transversalis fascia
fossa navicularis dilation of the spongy/penile urethra in the glans penis the largest diameter of the penile urethra occurs here
fimbria of the uterine tube finger-like projections surrounding the opening into the uterine tube fimbria spread over the medial surface of the ovary; the ovarian fimbria is an extra long fimbria that attaches to the ovary
fundiform ligament specialization of the membranous layer of superficial (Scarpa's) fascia passing from the lower abdominal wall onto the base of the penis/clitoris suspensory ligament of the penis/clitoris is a deep fascia specialization that lies deep to the fundiform ligament
fundus of the uterus the rounded anterosuperior part of the uterus fundus of the uterus is defined as that portion of the uterus located superior to an imaginary line joining the points of entry of the uterine tubes; the uterus is normally anteverted and anteflexed, so the fundus normally points anterosuperiorly
glans penis/clitoridis expanded distal end of the corpus spongiosum which caps the ends of the corpora cavernosa the fossa navicularis is an expanded portion of the penile urethra that occurs in the glans
greater vestibular gland an exocrine gland located in the superficial perineal space posterior to the bulb of the vestibule greater vestibular gland is covered by the bulbospongiosus muscle; it produces a mucous secretion that drains into the vestibule of the vagina for lubrication of the vulva
hymen thin, usually incomplete septum at the inferior vaginal orifice the hymen is the remnant of the urogenital septum of the embryo, and the hymeneal caruncles are remnants of the hymen
infundibulum of the uterine tube funnel-shaped distal end of the uterine tube fimbria are attached to the margin of the infundibulum
interureteric ridge mucosal fold on the inner posterior wall of the bladder connecting the paired ureteric orifices interureteric ridge is the superior boundary of the vesical trigone
isthmus of the uterine tube constricted part of the uterine tube that is adjacent to the uterus isthmus of the uterine tube is the narrowest part
isthmus of the uterus constricted part of the uterus between the body and the cervix isthmus of the uterus is about 1 cm in length and its cavity enters into the internal cervical os
labia majora fat-filled elevations of hair-covered skin lying on either side of the vestibule of the vagina labia majora are joined across the midline by the anterior and posterior labial commissures; they blend into each other anteriorly to form the mons pubis
labia minora paired folds of hairless skin located medial to the labia majora and extending posteroinferiorly from the clitoris the anterior end of each labium minus divides: the anterior division of each labium forms the prepuce of the clitoris and the posterior division of each labium forms the frenulum of the clitoris
ligamentum teres uteri a connective tissue band that attaches to the inner aspect of the labium majus and the uterus ligamentum teres uteri traverses the superficial inguinal ring, inguinal canal and deep inguinal ring to reach the lateral surface of the uterus below the uterine tube; it is a remnant of the gubernaculum; it is continuous with the ovarian ligament; it holds the fundus of the uterus forward; also known as: round ligament of the uterus
mesometrium part of the broad ligament below the junction of the mesosalpinx and the mesovarium mesometrium attaches the body of the uterus to the pelvic wall
mesosalpinx part of broad ligament that supports the uterine tube mesosalpinx extends inferiorly to meet the root of the mesovarium; it attaches the uterine tube to the mesometrium
mesovarium part of broad ligament that forms a shelf-like fold supporting the ovary mesovarium is located perpendicular to the plane of the mesosalpinx and mesometrium; it attaches the ovary to the mesometrium and mesosalpinx
ovarian ligament a band of connective tissue that connects the ovary to the lateral surface of the uterus a remnant of the gubernaculum; it is continuous with the round ligament of the uterus at the lateral surface of the uterus; ovarian ligament lies within the mesovarium; also known as: proper ovarian ligament
ovary female gonad that lies in the ovarian fossa within the true pelvis in contact with the fimbria of the uterine tube ovary is both an endocrine and an exocrine gland; it is held in place by the ovarian ligament, mesovarium, and suspensory ligament of the ovary
pectinate line an irregular line joining the undersides of the anal valves pectinate line is where the mucosal lining of the digestive tract becomes continuous with the skin of the anal aperture
perineal membrane membrane stretching across the urogenital triangle attaching to both ischiopubic rami perineal membrane is pierced by the urethra, vagina and branches of the pudendal neurovascular bundle
posterior fornix of the vagina space within the vaginal canal posterior to the cervix an incision made superiorly through posterior fornix will enter the rectouterine pouch of the peritoneal cavity
prepuce fold of smooth skin extending over the glans penis/clitoris the anterior divisions of the labia minora combine to form the prepuce of the clitoris
prostate exocrine gland located inferior to the urinary bladder and superior to the urogenital diaphragm multiple small ducts drain into the prostatic urethra as it passes through the prostate; subject to benign and malignant enlargement, which may compromise micturition due to projection of the uvula into the bladder
prostatic utricle a small blind diverticulum in the posterior wall of the prostatic urethra on the summit of the seminal colliculus prostatic utricle is a remnant of the fused lower ends of the paramesonephric ducts - the fused paramesonephric ducts form the uterine canal in the female
rectouterine fold a peritoneal fold extending across the floor of the pelvic cavity from the sacrum (beside the rectum) to the uterus rectouterine fold contains the rectouterine ligament which is a condensation of endopelvic fascia that is important for support of the uterus
rectouterine ligament a condensation of extraperitoneal connective tissue & smooth muscle (rectouterine muscle) connecting the isthmus of the uterus to the sacrum rectouterine ligament is important for support of the uterus
rectum distal end of the colon rectum begins at about the S3 vertebral level; it is continuous distally with the anal canal
round ligament of the uterus a connective tissue band that attaches to the inner aspect of the labium majus and the uterus round ligament of the uterus traverses the superficial inguinal ring, inguinal canal and deep inguinal ring to reach the lateral surface of the uterus below the uterine tube; it is a remnant of the gubernaculum; it is continuous with the ovarian ligament; it holds the fundus of the uterus forward; also known as: ligamentum teres uteri
scrotal ligament band of connective tissue that attaches the inferior end of the testis to the inner aspect of the scrotal sac scrotal ligament is the remnant of the gubernaculum testis
scrotum sac of hair-covered skin containing the testis in the scrotum the fatty and membranous layers of the superficial fascia (as seen in the lower abdominal wall) are fused to form the tunica dartos scroti
seminal colliculus elevation on the posterior wall of the prostatic urethra the seminal colliculus is a mound in the posterior wall of the prostatic urethra; on its summit is found the opening of the prostatic utricle
seminal vesicle blind sac located on the posterior surface of the bladder lateral to the ampulla of the ductus deferens seminal vesicle produces seminal fluid; its duct joins with the ampulla of the ductus deferens to form the ejaculatory duct
sinus of the epididymis a thin space within the tunica vaginalis testis between the body of the epididymis and the testis sinus of the epididymis is lined by a serous membrane (visceral layer of the tunica vaginalis testis)
spermatic cord bundle of vessels, nerves and lymphatics ensheathed in tissue layers derived from the abdominal wall; it begins at the deep inguinal ring, passes through the inguinal canal and the superficial ring to reach the testis in the scrotum spermatic cord contains the: ductus deferens, testicular a., pampiniform plexus, deferential a. & v. and genital br. of the genitofemoral n.; coverings of the cord are the: internal spermatic fascia (from the transversalis fascia), cremasteric muscle and fascia (from the internal abdominal oblique), external spermatic fascia (from the external abdominal oblique aponeurosis)
suspensory ligament of the penis/clitoris a specialization of deep fascia connecting the proximal end of the penis/clitoris to the pubis and pubic symphysis the fundiform ligament is a specialization of superficial fascia that lies superficial to the suspensory ligament
testis an endocrine and exocrine gland contained within the scrotum testis is the male gonad; its exocrine product is sperm which drain to the head of the epididymis via efferent ductules; its endocrine product is testosterone; the testis migrates into the scrotum shortly before birth; it is tethered to the scrotum inferiorly by the scrotal ligament (a remnant of the gubernaculum)
tunica albuginea, corpus cavernosum outer white fibrous covering of the corpus cavernosum of the penis/clitoris tunica albuginea is a dense connective tissue layer that is not distensible, causing erection when the corpus cavernosum becomes engorged with blood
tunica albuginea, testis outer white fibrous covering of the testis tunica albuginea is a dense connective tissue capsule that is covered on its external surface by the visceral layer of the tunica vaginalis testis
tunica dartos scroti a subcutaneous layer of smooth muscle located in the scrotum fatty and membranous layers of the superficial fascia (as seen in the lower abdominal wall) are fused in the scrotum to form the tunica dartos scroti
tunica vaginalis testis a peritoneal sac located anterolateral to the testis tunica vaginalis testis has two layers: visceral and parietal; the visceral layer lies on the anterolateral surface of the testis and epididymis; the parietal layer lines the inner surface of the scrotal sac; the word "vaginalis" is derived from the Latin word for sheath
urethra duct that drains the urinary bladder urethra has three parts in the male: prostatic, membranous & penile/spongy; female urethra is much shorter than the male urethra, consisting of the membranous part only
urethra, membranous part of the urethra that passes through the urogenital diaphragm (sphincter urethrae muscle and perineal membrane) female: membranous urethra connects the urinary bladder to the external urethral orifice at the vestibule of the vagina; male: membranous urethra connects the prostatic urethra with the spongy/penile urethra
urethra, penile part of the urethra contained within the bulb and the corpus spongiosum of the penis longest part of male urethra; penile urethra has a dilation in the region of the glans called the navicular fossa; also known as: spongy urethra
urethra, prostatic part of the male urethra passing through the prostate gland prostatic urethra begins at the internal urethral orifice at the anteroinferior angle of the vesical trigone; posterior wall of the urethra has an elevated ridge called the urethral crest with a prominence called the seminal colliculus (veru montanum); seminal colliculus has a blind diverticulum called the prostatic utricle with orifices of ejaculatory ducts located below it
urethra, spongy part of the urethra contained within the bulb and the corpus spongiosum of the penis longest part of male urethra; spongy urethra has a dilation in the region of the glans called the navicular fossa; also known as: penile urethra
ureter muscular tube that serves as the duct of the kidney to carry urine to the bladder ureter is continuous proximally with the renal pelvis; it passes over the pelvic brim medial to the testicular/ovarian vessels; it passes obliquely through the posterior wall of the urinary bladder and drains at the posterolateral angle of the vesical trigone
uterine tube the duct of the ovary; it extends from the ovary to the uterus uterine tube has four named parts: infundibulum is the funnel shaped opening - fimbria encircle this opening; ampulla is a dilated region that connects the infundibulum with the isthmus; isthmus is the constricted part nearest the uterus; intramural part is within the uterine wall
uterus hollow muscular organ within which the fertilized ovum develops; normally lies anteverted posterosuperior to the bladder uterus is anteflexed (curved anteroinferiorly) at the uterine isthmus; the fundus is the part superior to the entrance of the uterine tubes and it normally lies anterosuperiorly; the body meets the cervix at a constricted area called the isthmus; the cervix projects into the vagina
uvula of the bladder elevation of the inner bladder wall posterosuperior to the internal urethral orifice uvula is caused by the middle lobe of the prostate gland; if the prostate becomes enlarged (either benin hypertrophy or malignancy) the uvula can constrict the internal urethral orifice and cause difficulty in voiding the bladder; only found in males
vagina part of the female genital canal located between the vestibule and the cervix vaginal fornices surround the cervix; the word "vagina" is derived from the Latin word for sheath
vesical trigone smooth triangular region located on the inner surface of the posterior wall of the urinary bladder vesical trigone is bounded by the openings of the ureters (2) superolaterally, the interureteric ridge between the openings of the ureters and the internal urethral orifice inferiorly
vestibule of the vagina region inferior to the hymen/hymeneal caruncles and between the labia minora vestibule of the vagina contains the external urethral orifice, the opening of the vagina and the openings of the greater vestibular glands


Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright 1995.

The content of these tables has been edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright 2009, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Unauthorized use is prohibited.




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