Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Weakened Pelvic Muscles Anatomy

To better understand pelvic relaxation, it helps to understand the anatomy of the lower pelvis.

The organs in the pelvis include the uterus, ovaries, vagina, bladder and rectum. Strong muscles and connective tissue around the vagina support the organs. Weakening of the muscles and tissue is called pelvic relaxation.

The vagina is a short, muscular tube that connects the external genitalia to the cervix and uterus. The external genitalia include the vulva (labia) and clitoris.

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.

In an adult, the bladder can hold 10 to 20 ounces of urine--about as much liquid as in one can of soda. Urine is carried out of the body through the urethra, a tube at the bottom of the bladder.

As the bladder fills, it pushes against the rest of the organs in the abdomen. Urine empties from the bladder through the urethra. Muscles located in the base of the urethra control the flow of urine. During urination, these muscles relax, and urine is allowed to pass.

Anatomy examples:

  • Genitourinary system
  • Bladder and lower urinary tract in women

Female anatomy:
  • Female reproductive organs
  • Female external genitalia

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Weakened Pelvic Muscles References
  1. Deval B, Haab F. What's new in prolapse surgery? Curr Opin Urol. 2003 Jul;13(4):315-23. [12811296]
  2. Fielding JR. MR imaging of pelvic floor relaxation. Radiol Clin North Am. 2003 Jul;41(4):747-56. Review. [12899489]
  3. Swift S. Current opinion on the classification and definition of genital tract prolapse. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Oct;14(5):503-7. [12401979]
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