The cardinal ligaments, also known as transverse cervical ligaments or Mackenrodt ligaments, are paired structures that act to support the pelvic organs of the female pelvis. These along with the uterosacral and pubocervical ligaments, provide support to prevent pelvic organ prolapse 1.
Ovary size and volume is frequently determined with ultrasound. The volume estimate is calculated by the formula for an ellipsoid, where D1, D2, and D3 are the three axial measurements:
D1 x D2 x D3 x 0.52
The normal, adult, non-pregnant, mean ovary volume of women who are not postmenopausal i...
A subseptate uterus is a mild form congenital uterine anomaly (often considered as a normal variant) where there is a presence of a partial septum within the uterus not extending to the cervix and with the central point of the septum at an acute (<90°) angle. The external uterine contour is unif...
The urogenital diaphragm is an incorrect historic term describing a structure or structures in the perineum. The term is still in occasional use despite not appearing in Terminologia Anatomica.
Most descriptions of the diaphragm relate to a discoid space between the superficial and deep fasciae...
Ectopic ovaries are a rare ovarian abnormality. Supernumerary ovaries contain normal ovarian tissue in an ectopic location with a ligamentous attachment 1.
A few of the etiological explanations of ectopic ovary include embryologic origin, post-inflammatory implantation of ovarian...
The adnexa, or more formally the adnexa uteri, and also known as the uterine appendages, is a collective term for the:
Some texts also include the associated blood vessels, nerves and other supporting tissues in the definition. It is interesting to not...
The viscera (singular: viscus) refers to all the internal organs within the major cavities of the thorax, abdomen and pelvis. Therefore it does not include organs of the CNS, head and neck or musculoskeletal compartments nor does it encompass non-internal organs (e.g. the skin) 1.
The suspensory ligament of the ovary is a thin fold of the parietal peritoneum which attaches to the lateral margin of the ovary and extends to the lateral pelvic sidewall. It is also referred to as the infundibulopelvic ligament 1,2. It should not to be confused with the ovarian ligament which ...
The chevron sign refers to the appearance caused on axial pelvic MR images by posterior drooping of the posterolateral wall(s) of the upper third of the vagina, due to loss of integrity of the lateral level 1 endopelvic fascia.
The endopelvic fascia is the enveloping connective tissue network for the pelvic viscera, suspending, supporting and fusing the pelvic organs to the arcus tendineus fasciae pelvis, which itself inserts onto the pelvic sidewalls and pubic bones.
The major anterior component is the pubovesical li...
The H and M lines are reference lines for the pelvic floor on imaging studies and help detect and grade pelvic floor prolapse on defecography studies.
The H line is drawn from the inferior margin of the pubic symphysis to the posterior aspect of the anorectal junction, and represents the diamet...
The pubococcygeal line (PCL) is a reference line for the pelvic floor on imaging studies and helps detect and grade pelvic floor prolapse in defecography studies. It is defined as a line that joins the inferior border of the symphysis pubis to the final coccygeal joint and it is drawn in a midli...
Ampulla (plural: ampullae) is an anatomical term used for tubular structures with a short segmental bulbous dilatation:
ampulla (fallopian tube)
ampulla (lacrimal system)
ampulla (esophagus): a.k.a. phrenic ampulla
ampulla (semicircular ducts)
ampulla of ...
The clitoris (plural: clitorides), the female homologue of the penis, and part of the female reproductive system, is situated at the anterior aspect of the labia minora. The clitoris, like the penis, is formed of a body and glans, formed respectively from the crura of the clitoris and the bulbs ...
The bulbs of the vestibule (also known as the vestibular, vestibulovaginal or clitoral bulbs) are conglomerations of erectile soft tissue, collectively homologous to the bulb of the penis. However unlike in the male, the developing bulb is bisected by the vaginal opening to form two halves.
The vaginal opening, is also known as the introitus (plural: introituses), vaginal orifice, or ostium vaginae (plural: ostia vaginarum) (TA) .
The entrance to the vagina lies in the vestibule of the vulva in the median plane. It has an anteroposterior orientation and is partially...
The inguinal lymph nodes (often shortened to the inguinal nodes) are a major group of lymph nodes in the lymphatic system. They are the major drainage pathway of the lower limbs, genitals, dorsal perineum and the inferior most aspect of the anterior abdominal wall. Inguinal lymph nodes larger th...
The biological/medical term agenesis (plural: ageneses) refers to failure of an organ to grow or develop during the embryological period.
corpus callosum agenesis
dental agenesis (anodontia)
The uterine venous plexus is a network of veins surrounding the uterus and has extensive anastomoses with the vaginal venous plexus inferiorly and ovarian venous plexuses laterally.
The uterine venous plexus lies along the lateral aspects and superior angles of the uterus within ...
The paired uterosacral ligaments are one of the supporting structures of the uterus. Uterosacral ligaments are not infrequently affected in cases of deep infiltrating endometriosis.
The paired uterosacral ligaments are extraperitoneal structures which extend posteriorly from the ...
The round ligament is one of the supporting structures of the uterus. It has a function in uterine anteflexion.
It is part of the embryologic remnant of the gubernaculum.
It is a rope-like fibromuscular band which extends from the anterolateral aspect of the uterus a...
The eponym Fallopian may refer to:
Fallopian canal (facial nerve canal)
Fallopian tube (uterine duct)
Fallopian ligament (inguinal ligament)
History and etymology
It is named after Gabriele Falloppio (also known by his Latin name Fallopius), Italian anatomist (1523-1562).
Isthmus (plural: isthmi) is an anatomical term and refers to a slender structure joining two larger components. Some of these uses of the word isthmus are now rarely used or only seen in older texts and articles:
isthmus (auditory tube)
isthmus (auricle of the ear)
This article lists a series of labeled imaging anatomy cases by body region and modality.
CT head: non-contrast axial
CT head: non-contrast coronal
CT head: non-contrast sagittal
CT head: angiogram axial
CT head: angiogram coronal
CT head: angiogram sagittal
CT head: venogram axial...
The vestibule of the vulva (vestibule of the vagina in some texts 2) is the area between the labia minora, and posterior to the glans of the clitoris. It marks the boundary between the vagina and the vulva. The urethra, vagina and the greater vestibular glands open out into the vestibule.
The hymen (plural: hymens) is a thin fold of mucous membrane which extends across the vaginal opening, usually with some form of internal defect, which permits the free passage of normal menses.
It usually ruptures during coitus with the remnants, usually in the form of small tags of tissue ar...
Frenulum (plural: frenula) is an anatomical term and refers to a small fold of soft tissue that checks the movement of an anatomical part.
frenulum (ileocecal valve)
frenulum (labia minora)
History and etymology
Frenulum derives from ...
The labia minora (singular: labium minus) are small glabrous cutaneous folds lying between and just superior to the labia majora. At their posterior margin the labia may be conjoined by a thin cutaneous fold of skin, the frenulum of the labia (also known as the fourchette or posterior commissure...
The labia majora (singular: labium majus) form the anteroinferior most part of the vulva, they are continuous with the mons pubis anteriorly and the perineum posteriorly. The labia are apposed in the midline forming the, externally-visible, pudendal cleft.
The labia majora have ...
The paraurethral ducts (or Skene ducts) drain the paraurethral glands of the female urethra. There is one duct, draining each gland, on each side, just proximal to the external urethral meatus.
History and etymology
Skene ducts are named after the Scottish-American gynecologist Alexander John...
The mons pubis (plural: montes pubis) refers to the rounded protuberant skin-covered soft tissue overlying the symphysis pubis (in both sexes). It is most prominent in adult females.
In females it forms the most superior part of the vulva and it is also called the mons Veneris (plural: montes V...
The vulva (plurals: vulvas or vulvae), also known as the pudendum, (plural: pudenda) is the collective term given to the female external genitalia.
The vulva consists of the:
bulbs of the vestibule
vestibule of the vulva
The endometrium refers to the inner lining of the uterine lumen, composed of endometrial glands surrounded by loose highly cellular connective tissue.
In women of reproductive age, the endometrium is composed of two layers:
stratum basale (basal layer):
describes the de...
A vestibule is an anatomical term and refers to a small cavity at the proximal end of a tube. It may refer to:
History and etymology
Vestibule derives ultimate...
The urogenital triangle forms the anterior half of the diamond-shaped perineum. The triangle's corners are defined by the pubis symphysis anteriorly and the ischial tuberosities anterolaterally. The anterolateral borders are the ischiopubic rami and the posterior border is the transverse perinea...
A useful mnemonic to remember the order of the five segments of the fallopian tube, from lateral to medial, the direction an ovum would pass following ovulation, is:
Four INches Across IS IMpossible
Four inches (10 cm) is the approximate length of the fallopian tube.
The term fornix (plural: fornices) is used for anatomical structures in multiple organ systems that all share an arch-like morphology:
History and etymology
Fornix is Latin for...
The fornices are superior recesses of the vagina formed by the protrusion of the cervix into the vaginal vault. There is a large posterior fornix and a smaller anterior fornix with two small lateral fornices.
History and etymology
Fornix is Latin for 'arch'.
The Bartholin glands, also known as the greater vestibular glands (or vulvovaginal glands) are paired pea-sized structures, lying on either side of the vaginal opening, and are homologous to the bulbourethral (Cowper) glands in the male. They form part of the vulva.
These glands ...
The internal iliac lymph nodes (often shortened to internal iliac nodes) are the lymph nodes found adjacent to the internal iliac artery and its branches and drain the regions supplied by these vessels. This encompasses a large area from the genitalia anteriorly, the psoas muscle posteriorly and...
The gonadal arteries are the paired primary vascular supply to the ovaries in the female and the testes in the male. As the anatomy of the gonadal arteries differs substantially between the sexes, they are covered separately:
The broad ligaments (TA: ligamentum latum uteri or plica lata uteri 4) are the paired lateral folds of the parietal peritoneum which reflect over the upper genital tract in females.
The broad ligament extends from the lateral aspect of the uterus to the lateral pelvic wall and ca...
The anatomy curriculum is one of our curriculum articles and aims to be a collection of articles that represent the core anatomy knowledge for radiologists and imaging specialists.
Head and neck anatomy
Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
The superficial perineal pouch is an anatomic space below the perineal membrane in the urogenital triangle of the perineum.
The superficial perineal pouch is inferior (superficial) to the perineal membrane in the urogenital triangle, anterior to the transverse line between the is...
The deep perineal pouch is an anatomic space superior (deep) to the perineal membrane in the urogenital triangle of the perineum, anterior to the transverse line between the ischial tuberosities.
The deep perineal pouch is above (deep to) the perineal membrane in the urogenital t...
The perineum is a diamond-shaped region below the pelvic diaphragm and is divided by an imaginary line drawn between the ischial tuberosities into anteriorly the urogenital triangle and posteriorly the anal triangle.
The perineum is bounded by the pubis anteriorly, the ischial tu...
The deep inguinal lymph nodes (often shortened to the deep inguinal nodes) form a subgroup of the inguinal lymph node group, and are located within the femoral sheath, medial to the femoral vein. They receive afferent lymphatic drainage from the deep lymphatics of the distal lower extremity and ...
Cervical plicae palmatae are normal folds seen on the anterior and posterior walls of the cervical canal. They are often described as longitudinal ridges or oblique elevation.
Sometimes they are identified on MRI, and one must make sure not to misinterpret this finding as abnormal. Studies repo...
The corpus albicans is a fibrous scar that results from the involution of the corpus luteum if fertilisation does not occur. When seen on ultrasound, it is a small, lobulated echogenic intra-ovarian lesion.
History and etymology
It is Latin for "whitening body", after the white appearance of ...
The female reproductive system (or tract) comprises the vulva, vagina, uterus, uterine tubes and ovaries.
It can be imaged using a wide range of imaging modalities but ultrasound and MRI are most useful.
Abdominal and pelvic anatomy encompasses the anatomy of all structures of the abdominal and pelvic cavities.
This anatomy section promotes the use of the Terminologia Anatomica, the international standard of anatomical nomenclature.
Adnexa (single/plural) is a general term that refers to the accessory structures of an organ.
Adnexa have been described in relation to:
hair follicles, sweat glands, nails
structures in the mastoid (posterior) wall of the middle ear, e.g. mastoid antr...
The levator ani muscle, also known as the muscular pelvic diaphragm, is the musculotendinous sheet that forms the majority of the pelvic floor, supports the pelvic viscera, and aids in urinary and fecal evacuation as well as maintaining continence.
The levator ani has three main ...
A retroverted uterus is a normal variation of female pelvic anatomy in which the body of the uterus is tilted backwards (usually leans forward, i.e. anteverted) on itself to match the isthmus of the neck and lower uterine segment. There are variable grades of uterine retroversion.
A mnemonic for the contents of the broad ligament is:
B: bundle (ovarian neurovascular bundle)
R: round ligament
O: ovarian ligament
A: artifacts (vestigial structures)
D: duct (oviduct)
A dominant ovarian follicle refers to the follicle that enlarges to release an ovum during a menstural cycle. Usually approximately 10 Graafian follicles begin to mature where one becomes a dominant follicle and the rest become atretic ovarian follicles. After release of the ovum the remainder o...
There are many classification systems for congenital utero-vaginal anomalies. These include:
Buttram and Gibbons classification 2
American Fertility Society (AFS) classification
Modified Rock and Adam - AFS classification
Modified Rock and Adam - AFS classification
This classification divid...
Transverse vaginal (transvaginal) septum (TVS) is a type of rare congenital uterovaginal anomaly (class II under the Rock and Adam classification).
It is rare with a frequency of 1 in 70,000 females.
In the case of a complete septum, patients commonly prese...
An ovarian follicle (also known as a Graafian follicle in its mature state) is the basic unit of female reproductive biology and is composed of roughly spherical aggregations of cells and contains a single oocyte.
An ovarian follicle can be initiated to grow and develop, culminat...
Uterine duplication anomalies are a group of Müllerian duct anomalies where fusion of the Müllerian duct associated structures fail to some degree:
uterus didelphys: class III
bicornuate uterus: class IV (second commonest duplication anomaly)
septate uterus: class V (commonest duplication ano...
A persistent right umbilical vein (PRUV) is an uncommon vascular anomaly which is often detected in utero.
The estimated prevalence is ~2 per 1000 births 1,2.
In the normal situation, the right umbilical vein begins to obliterate in the ~4th week of gestation and disap...
The canal of Nuck is an abnormal patent pouch of parietal peritoneum extending anteriorly from the round ligament of the uterus into the labia majora through the inguinal ring into the inguinal canal. Incomplete obliteration of this canal is known as a patent processus vaginalis and can result i...
The parametrium is a band of fibrous tissue that separates the supravaginal portion of the cervix from the bladder. It extends on to its sides and laterally between the layers of the broad ligaments.
The uterine artery and ovarian ligament are located in the parametrium.
The parametrium is imp...
The corpus luteum (plural: corpora lutea) is a temporary endocrine structure involved in ovulation and early pregnancy.
During ovulation, the primary follicle forms the secondary follicle and subsequently the mature vesicular follicle.
At ovulation the follicle ruptures expelling the ovum into...
Uterine agenesis is the extreme of Mullerian duct anomalies (Class I) where there is a complete absence of uterine tissue above the vagina.
The uterine agenesis-hypoplasia spectrum accounts for ~10-15% of all Müllerian duct anomalies.
The Müllerian ducts (or paramesonephric ducts) are paired ducts of mesodermal origin in the embryo. They run laterally down the side of the urogenital ridge and terminate at the Müllerian eminence in the primitive urogenital sinus.
In the female, they will develop to form the uterine tubes, ute...
A unicornuate uterus or unicornis unicollis is a type of Müllerian duct anomaly (class II) characterized by a banana-shaped uterus usually draining into a single fallopian tube.
This type can account for ~10% (range 6-13%) of uterine anomalies and infertility is seen in ~12.5% (ra...
Abdominal surface anatomy can be described when viewed from in front of the abdomen in 2 ways:
divided into 9 regions by two vertical and two horizontal imaginary planes
divided into 4 quadrants by single vertical and horizontal imaginary planes
These regions and quadrants are of clinical imp...
Ovarian tumors are relatively common and account for ~6% of female malignancies. This article focuses on the general classification of ovarian tumors. For specific tumor features, please refer to the relevant subarticles.
Primary ovarian tumors
Surface epithelial-stromal o...
The ovarian artery is a paired structure and is the main gonadal artery in females.
The ovarian artery arises anterolaterally from the aorta just inferior to the renal arteries and superior to the inferior mesenteric artery (between L2 and L3).
Descends caudally ...
The uterine artery is seen bilaterally and is a branch of the anterior division of the internal iliac artery.
It runs medially in the pelvis, within the base of the broad ligament, to the outer surface of the uterus. From lateral to medial it has a descending, transverse ...
The term pelvis (plural: pelvises or pelves) can refer to either the bony pelvis or the pelvic cavity.
The bony pelvis is formed by the sacrum and coccyx and a pair of hip bones ("ossa coxae"), which are part of the appendicular skeleton. Its primary function is the transmission of...
The vagina is a midline fibromuscular tubular organ positioned in the female perineum extending superiorly from the vulva, to the cervix and uterus in the pelvis.
The vagina is 6-8 cm in length, extending posterosuperior from the vestibule through the urogenital diaphragm to the...
The uterus is an extraperitoneal hollow, thick-walled, muscular organ of the female reproductive tract that lies in the lesser pelvis.
The uterus has an inverted pear shape. It measures about 7.5 cm in length, 5 cm wide at its upper part, and nearly 2.5 cm in thickness in adults....
The cervix or uterine cervix is the lower constricted segment of the uterus providing the passage between the uterus proper and the vagina.
The cervix is somewhat conical in shape, with its truncated apex directed posteriorly and inferiorly. The inferior aspect of the cervix pro...
The ovaries (TA: ovarium 9) are paired female gonads of the reproductive and endocrine systems. They lie within the ovarian fossa on the posterior wall of the true pelvis and form part of the adnexa.
The ovaries are firm and ovoid in shape and measure approximately 1.5-3.0 cm × ...
The fallopian tube (TA: tuba uterina 8), also known as the uterine tube or less commonly the oviduct, is a paired hollow tube that bridges between each ovary and the uterus and functions to convey the mature ovum from the former to the latter. If conception occurs, it normally does so within the...
A bicornuate uterus is a type of uterine duplication anomaly. It can be classified as a class IV Mullerian duct anomaly.
Overall, congenital uterine anomalies occur in ~1.5% of females (range 0.1-3%). Bicornuate uteri are thought to represent ~25% (range 10-39%) of Mullerian duct ...