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Female Reproductive Organs: Introduction

by James Pickering, PhD
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    00:01 In this lecture we are going to look at the female reproductive organs.

    00:07 So we are going to look at numerous structures within the female pelvis and include the vagina, its position and relations to other structures within the pelvis. I will also look at the structure of the vagina itself.

    00:21 We will look at the uterus, again look at the structure, the variations in position the uterus can assume. And also its peritoneal relations in association with the broad ligament.

    00:33 And then we will look at the uterine tubes and the ovaries, their parts.

    00:37 And again the relationship they have with the peritoneum.

    00:41 So the female reproductive organs consist of the uterus, the vagina, the uterine tubes and the ovaries. And together they receive the sperm from the male and they permit fertilization. And then they facilitate the development of the embryo and foetus.

    01:00 So here we have that hemisected view once again of the female pelvis. So we can just orientate ourselves and see some of these structures. And we can see that here we have the anterior aspect of the pelvis and here is the posterior aspect.

    01:18 In the midline we have got the pubic symphysis and as we spoke about in the male lecture, the previous lecture, directly posterior to the pubic symphysis, we have the bladder which we can see here. And then we have the urethra leading from the bladder to the external environment.

    01:37 Now sitting directly posterior to the bladder into the urethra we have the vagina, this muscular fibrous tube that connects the uterus to the outside world. And then sitting on the superior surface of the bladder, we find we have the uterus which we can see here. And then posterior to the vagina we can make out the rectum, most posteriorly sitting against the sacrum which we can see here.

    02:07 So we can see we have the bladder most anterior in the female pelvis.

    02:11 We have the vagina and the uterus and then most posteriorly, we have the rectum.

    02:17 We can see radiating away from the uterus from its lateral surface, we have a few structures which we will cover in more detail. Here we can see the uterine tubes connected to the ovary.

    02:29 And here we can also see the round ligament of the uterus.

    02:33 And this is similar to the vas deferens in that it passes through the inguinal canal and we will look at that later on.

    02:41 I also just want to remind you what the relationship these organs have with the peritoneum and the two pouches that they form, the two peritoneal pouches.

    02:51 So if we remember we have a layer of parietal peritoneum on the anterior abdominal wall.

    02:57 And this is going to cross over the superior surface of the bladder here and then it can turn back over the top of the bladder to then create the second pouch as it dips down and then runs up over the anterior surface of the rectum.

    03:13 So we find we have two pouches, a pouch here and we have a pouch more posteriorly between the uterus and the rectum.

    03:21 And as I mentioned previously, these two pouches are the vesicouterine pouch between the bladder and the uterus, so the vesicouterine pouch here. And then behind the bladder, sorry, then behind the uterus and the rectum we find we have the rectouterine pouch which is here. We can see that peritoneum pouch formed posterior to the uterus.

    03:48 So let's carry on looking at the general desposition of the pelvis.

    03:52 And this time we are looking at kind of superior view down into the pelvis with the part of the gastrointestinal tract being removed so the small intestines which may drape into the pelvis are being removed.

    04:06 We can see most posteriorly here, we have the rectum.

    04:10 So here we find this space will be our rectouterine pouch and then we have the uterus and then most anteriorly with the pubic symphysis being deep down in here, we find we have the bladder. And here we have the the vesicouterine pouch.

    04:29 So we can see in this view, we have these two pouches sitting either side of the uterus. Sitting anterior and posterior to the uterus.

    04:38 We can now in this view again clearly see the uterine tubes radiating away from the lateral aspect. And these are then in contact with the ovaries which we can see in this position.

    04:52 Once again we can see destined for the anterior abdominal wall we have the round ligament of the uterus.

    05:00 So this view is if we have taken the small intestine which will drapes down into the pelvis away and we are looking onto the superior surface of these pelvic organs.

    05:10 In this diagram, on the right hand side, we can see that we have the bladder here and this is being displaced. So this is an anterior view and the bladder is being displaced to highlight the position of the uterus in relation to the uterine tubes.

    05:28 And we can see with our kidney up here, the ureter passes inferior to these structures.

    05:36 So the ureter is passing inferior, we can pick the ureter up here in this cartoon.

    05:41 The ureter is passing inferior to the uterine tube to the various ligaments which we will come across. And this is an important consideration, remember Remember in the male, the ureter passed inferior to the vas deferens too. So similar arrangement here for the female.

    06:01 If we then start by looking at the vagina, then the vagina which we can see is this muscular tube here opens up into the vestibule, which is this space here.

    06:13 And we can see the vagina is then continuous up with the uterus at the region known as the cervix here.

    06:19 The general boundaries of the uterus are the anteriorly, we find we have the fundus and we have the urethra associated with the bladder. Posteriorly, we find we have the rectum which we can see here. So we have got the vagina, just this musculomembranous, this musclofibrous tube which we can see in between these two structures.

    06:44 Laterally as we will come to appreciate later in this lecture and in subsequent lectures we have the pelvic floor specifically levator ani.

    06:53 The vagina has a number of the roles. It receives the penis and ejaculate during sexual intercourse.

    07:00 It forms part of the birth canal when a baby is being delivered. And it also allows menstrual fluid to leave from the walls of the uterus.

    07:10 So the vagina is a really important structure associated with the female reproductive system.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Female Reproductive Organs: Introduction by James Pickering, PhD is from the course Pelvis.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Vagina
    2. Uterus
    3. Uterine tube
    4. Ovaries
    1. Posterior
    2. Anterior
    3. Lateral–left
    4. Lateral–right
    1. Vesico-uterine pouch
    2. Recto-uterine pouch
    3. Pubovesical pouch
    4. Retro-uterine pouch
    5. Infraperitoneal space
    1. Round ligament
    2. Broad ligament of uterus
    3. Transverse cervical ligament
    4. Uterosacral ligament
    5. Pubocervical ligament

    Author of lecture Female Reproductive Organs: Introduction

     James Pickering, PhD

    James Pickering, PhD


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