Uterine venous plexus

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 19 Jul 2019

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.

Gross anatomy

The uterine venous plexus lies along the lateral aspects and superior angles of the uterus within the two layers of the broad ligament, extending inferiorly to the level of the cervix. Arising as paired or single veins bilaterally, the uterine veins originate from the lateral aspect of the lower uterus adjacent to the cervix and follow the path of the uterine artery laterally, anterior to the ureter, before draining into the internal iliac veins within the pelvis.

Related pathology

  • uterine venous thrombosis (uncommon)
    • mainly affects women during pregnancy
    • generally associated with puerperal infection
  • cervical varices
    • may arise as a result of obstruction of pelvic venous return due to pelvic crowding in the case of twin pregnancy and increased lower uterine venous plexus drainage in placenta previa

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