Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Monthly Pelvic Pain Anatomy

To better understand pelvic pain chronic, it helps to understand the anatomy of the pelvis.

The pelvis supports the spinal column and forms the hip joints.

The other functions of the pelvis include:

  • Production of blood cells:
    • Red blood cells (erythrocytes)
    • White blood cells (leukocytes)
    • Platelets (thrombocytes)
  • Protection of pelvic organs:
    • Bladder
    • Reproductive organs
    • Sigmoid colon and rectum
  • Muscles in the abdomen, back and thighs attach to the pelvis

Anatomy examples:
  • Bones and ligaments of the pelvis
  • Sacrum and coccyx
  • Sacroiliac joint of the pelvis
  • Major blood vessels of the pelvis:

Female Reproductive Anatomy
The uterus, or womb, is part of the female reproductive system. The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus. The ovaries, fallopian tubes and vagina are the other parts of the female reproductive system.

Anatomy examples:
  • The uterus, cervix, and vaginal canal
  • The bladder
  • The fallopian tubes:
    • These paired structures connect each ovary to the uterus
  • The ovaries:
    • One on each side of the uterus. A normal adult ovary is about the size of an unshelled almond
  • Female organs during a pelvic examination

Male Reproductive Anatomy
The prostate gland is a male organ that is part of the lower genitourinary system. It lies between the base of the penis and anus.

The prostate is made up largely of muscle and gland tissues. This gland is about the size of a walnut. It usually weighs about one ounce. The urethra drains urine from the bladder, through the prostate, and exits at the penis.

The prostate makes fluid that becomes part of the semen. The semen also contains sperm from the testicles.

Male anatomy examples:
  • Cross section of the prostate gland
  • Bladder and lower urinary tract in men
  • Side view of bladder and prostate
  • Genitourinary system

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Monthly Pelvic Pain References
  1. Kalish GM, Patel MD, Gunn ML, Dubinsky TJ. Computed tomographic and magnetic resonance features of gynecologic abnormalities in women presenting with acute or chronic abdominal pain. Ultrasound Q. 2007 Sep;23(3):167-75. [17805165]
  2. Liddle AD, Davies AH. Pelvic congestion syndrome: chronic pelvic pain caused by ovarian and internal iliac varices. Phlebology. 2007;22(3):100-4. [18268860]
  3. van Goor H. Consequences and complications of peritoneal adhesions. Colorectal Dis. 2007 Oct;9 Suppl 2:25-34. [17824967]
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