Seminal vesicle

Last revised by Dr Yahya Baba on 28 Aug 2021

The seminal vesicles are paired accessory sex glands of the male reproductive system. The seminal vesicle produces over two-thirds of the ejaculate and is very high in fructose. 

The seminal vesicle is actually a 10-15 cm long tubular structure but is coiled tightly so it only measures 4-5 cm in length. It is located superiorly and posteriorly to the prostate.

The excretory duct of the seminal vesicle unites with the ductus deferens to form the ejaculatory duct

  • anteriorly: base of bladder
  • inferiorly and anteriorly: prostate
  • posteriorly: rectovesical fascia
  • medially: ampulla of ductus deferens
  • laterally: prostatic venous plexus
  • superiorly: tips of the seminal vesicles covered by the peritoneum of the rectovesical pouch
  • drain to internal iliac lymph nodes 9
  • sympathetic fibers from the testicular and hypogastric plexuses 4
  • fluid-filled structure located posteriorly and superiorly to the prostate gland 2
  • has a typical "bow-tie" appearance and soft-tissue density; located between the prostate and the bladder 2,5
  • normally separated from the bladder by a fat plane
  • normally are less than 1.5 cm in diameter, beyond that they can be considered dilated 5
  • according to one publication the mean length was estimated to be around 3 cm with the mean width at around 1.5 cm 6

  • they may be larger in those with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease 7

  • T1: low-to-intermediate signal
  • T2: convoluted areas of high signal representing seminal fluid and low signal walls 5

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: prostate gland and seminal vesicles (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 2: anatomy of the penis (Gray's illustration)
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  • Case 1: left seminal vesicle agenesis
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