Pelvic peritoneal space

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 8 Apr 2020

The pelvic peritoneal space is the inferior reflection of the peritoneum over the fundus of the urinary bladder and the front of the rectum at the junction of its middle and lower thirds. In females, the reflection is also over the anterior and posterior surface of the uterus and the upper posterior vagina.

The urinary bladder subdivides the pelvis into right and left paravesical spaces.

In males there is only one potential space for fluid collection posterior to the bladder, the rectovesical pouch.

In females there are two potential spaces posterior to the bladder, the uterovesical pouch, and posterior to the uterus the deeper rectouterine pouch (pouch of Douglas).

The layers of peritoneum on the anterior and posterior surfaces of the uterus are reflected laterally to the pelvic side walls as the broad ligaments, containing the fallopian tubes.

The pelvic peritoneal spaces are continues with the right and left inframesocolic spaces via the right and left paracolic gutters, respectively.

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Cases and figures

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