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Female Pelvic Anatomy and Some Related Common Conditions

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The pelvis is the part of the body between the abdomen and the legs. It houses the bladder and reproductive organs. Read to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Manwani Saloni Dilip

Published At August 26, 2022
Reviewed AtApril 13, 2024

What Is a Female Pelvis?

The pelvic cavity is a bowl-shaped structure beneath the abdominal cavity. The female pelvis supports the intestines and houses the bladder and female reproductive organs. The female and male pelvis have some anatomical distinctions. The majority of these changes are upon giving enough space for a baby to develop and pass via the female pelvis' birth canal. As a result, the female pelvis is larger and more open than the male pelvis.

What Is the Anatomy and Function of the Female Pelvis?

The female pelvic area comprises various organs, muscles, ligaments, and bones. They are described as follows-

A. Female Pelvis Organs:

  • Ovaries- On either side of the uterus, there are two ovaries. The ovaries not only produce eggs, but they also release hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

  • Uterus- The uterus is in the center of the female pelvic cavity. The uterus is a hollow organ with thick walls that develops a baby during pregnancy. During the non-pregnant time throughout the reproductive years, the uterine lining sheds every month, known as menstruation.

  • Fallopian Tubes- Each ovary is connected to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. Cilia are hair-like structures in the fallopian tubes that help direct eggs from the ovaries into the uterus.

  • Cervix- The uterus and the vagina are connected by the cervix. It can expand, allowing sperm to enter the uterus. Furthermore, thick mucus formed in the cervix can aid in the prevention of microorganisms entering the uterus.

  • Vagina- The vagina connects the cervix to the female genitalia on the outside. Since the baby goes through the vagina during delivery, it is also known as the birth canal.

  • Urethra- The urethra is the tube through which urine leaves the bladder and exits the body. The urethra of a woman is substantially shorter than that of a man.

  • Rectum- The rectum is the small intestine's lowest section. This is where feces gather until it exits through the anus.

  • Bladder- Urine is collected and stored in the bladder until discharged. Urine enters the bladder through ureters, which connect the kidneys to the bladder.

  • Vulva- The female genital organs' most exterior part.

B. Female Pelvis Bones:

  • Hip Bones- The hip bones are located on the left and right sides of the body, respectively. They make up the pelvic girdle, a component of the pelvis. The sacrum is where the hip bones connect to the upper section of the skeleton. Each hip bone's ilium, pubis, and ischium join to form the acetabulum, where the thigh bone's head (femur) attaches. During adolescence, three smaller bones fuse to form the hip bone-
    • Ischium: The majority of the body weight is supported by these bones while sitting. They are also known as "sit bones."
    • Pubis: Each hip bone's pubis bone joins at the pubic symphysis.
    • Ilium: The most significant section of the hip bone, it is broad and fan-shaped.
  • Sacrum- The lowest half of the vertebrae is attached to the sacrum. Five vertebrae have fused to form this structure. The sacrum is quite thick and aids in body weight support.
  • Coccyx- The coccyx is also known as the tailbone. It is supported by many ligaments and attached to the sacrum's bottom. The coccyx is made up of four fused vertebrae that form a triangle shape.

C. Female Pelvis Muscles:

  • Levator ani muscles- The levator ani muscles are the pelvis' largest group of muscles. They serve a variety of functions, including supporting the pelvic organs. The levator ani muscles are made up of three different muscles-
    • Pubococcygeus:The majority of the levator ani muscles are made up of this muscle. It starts from the pubic bone and ends at the coccyx.
    • Puborectalis: This muscle is in charge of retaining urine and feces. It relaxes on urinating or having a bowel movement.
    • Iliococcygeus: The iliococcygeus, which has thinner fibers, lifts the pelvic floor and the anal canal.
  • Coccygeus- This little pelvic floor muscle originates from the ischium, connecting to the sacrum and coccyx.

D. Female Pelvis Ligaments:

  • Broad ligament- It supports the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Both sides of the pelvic wall are affected. The broad ligament is divided into three segments, each connected to a separate part of the female reproductive organs.
    • The mesometrium supports the uterus.
    • The mesosalpinx supports the fallopian tubes.
    • The mesovarium supports the ovaries.
  • Uterine ligaments- Uterine ligaments further support the uterus. The following are some of the uterine ligaments:
    • Pubocervical ligaments.
    • The round ligament.
    • Cardinal ligaments.
    • Uterosacral ligaments.
  • Ovarian ligaments- The ovarian ligaments keep the ovaries in place. The ovarian ligaments are divided into two types-
    • Ovarian ligament.
    • Suspensory ligament of the ovary.

What Are the Symptoms That Indicate a Pelvic Disorder?

The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms of a pelvic disorder-

  • Painful sexual intercourse.

  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge.

  • Pain during urination or bowel movements.

  • Burning sensation during urination.

  • Painful menstruation cramps.

  • Bleeding in between the menstrual periods.

  • Pelvic pain.

  • Pressure or fullness in the pelvis.

  • Any bulge or lump felt in the vagina.

What Are Some Commonly Occurring Conditions in the Female Pelvis?

Since the pelvis contains so many organs, bones, muscles, and ligaments, various disorders can affect the entire pelvis or specific sections.

The following are some of the problems that can affect the female pelvis-

  • Endometriosis- When the tissue that lines the internal walls of the uterus (endometrium) begins to grow outside of the uterus, it is known as endometriosis. The condition typically affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic tissues. Endometriosis can cause problems such as infertility and ovarian cancer.

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)- Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID infection affects the female reproductive system. PID is most commonly caused by a sexually transmitted infection, although other illnesses can also cause it. PID that is left untreated might result in infertility or ectopic pregnancy.

  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse- Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic muscles can no longer support the bladder, uterus, or rectum. One or more of these organs may press against the vaginal wall. This can sometimes result in a protrusion outside of the vaginal canal.

How to Maintain a Healthy Pelvis?

The female pelvis is a complicated and vital bodily element. To maintain good pelvic health, the following guidelines should be followed-

  • Regular pelvic examination.

  • Practicing safe and protected sex.

  • Do not ignore any unusual symptoms.

  • Pelvic floor exercises (kegel exercises) strengthen the pelvis, bladder, and vagina muscles.

Conclusion:

In a female, the lower region of the abdomen positioned between the hip bones is known as the female pelvis. Female pelvises are often more delicate, broader, and lower in height than males. The female pubic arch has a wide and circular angle. The female sacrum is broader, and the iliac bone is flatter than the male. In addition, female pelvic basins are larger and less funnel-shaped than male pelvic basins. As a result, the female pelvis is better adapted than the male pelvis to support a fetus throughout pregnancy and allow the baby to be born from an anatomic standpoint.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is the Anatomy of the Female Pelvis Organ?

The uterus is in the center of the female pelvic cavity ovaries on either side of the uterus; there are two ovaries. Each ovary is connected to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. The cervix connects the uterus and the vagina. The vagina connects the cervix to the female genitalia on the outside.

2.

What Are the Symptoms That Indicate a Pelvic Disorder?

Painful sexual intercourse, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pain during urination or bowel movements, burning sensation during urination, painful menstruation cramps, bleeding between the menstrual periods, pelvic pain, pressure or fullness in the pelvis, and any bulge or lump felt in the vagina.

3.

What Are the Organs in the Female Pelvis?

The female pelvic area comprises various organs, muscles, ligaments, and bones. The major organs in the female pelvis are the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tube, vagina, cervix, urethra, rectum, urinary bladder, and vulva.

4.

Which Organ Is Located Right Above the Female Pelvis Bone?

The hip bones are located on the left and right sides of the body, respectively. They make up the pelvic girdle, a component of the pelvis. The sacrum is where the hip bones connect to the upper section of the skeleton. Each hip bone's ilium, pubis, and ischium join to form the acetabulum, where the thigh bone's head (femur) attaches.

5.

What Is a Sacrum?

The lowest half of the vertebrae is attached to the sacrum. The sacrum is quite thick and aids in body weight support. The coccyx is attached to the sacrum's bottom. The coccyx is made up of four fused vertebrae that form a triangle shape.

6.

How to Maintain a Healthy Pelvis?

The female pelvis is a complicated and vital bodily element. To maintain good pelvic health, the following guidelines should be followed: a regular pelvic examination, practicing safe and protected sex, not ignoring any unusual symptoms, and pelvic floor exercises (kegel exercises) strengthening the pelvis, bladder, and vagina muscles.

7.

What Are Some Commonly Occurring Conditions in the Female Pelvis?

Since the pelvis contains many organs, bones, muscles, and ligaments, various disorders can affect the entire pelvis or specific sections. For example, endometriosis is a condition that typically affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic tissues. In addition, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) infection affects the female reproductive system.

8.

Who to Consult for Pelvic Pain?

The female pelvis is a complicated and vital bodily element. The female pelvis supports the intestines and houses the bladder and female reproductive organs. Therefore, in some conditions causing pelvic pain in females, it is always good to consult with a gynecologist first.

9.

What Is Done in the Pelvic Examination?

In the pelvic examination, the doctor will insert two lubricated, gloved fingers into the vagina with one hand. In contrast, the other hand presses gently on the outside of your lower abdomen. During this part of the exam, the doctor will inspect the size and shape of the pelvic organs, any tender areas, or unusual growths.

10.

What Is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs when the pelvic muscles can no longer support the bladder, uterus, or rectum. As a result, one or more of these organs may press against the vaginal wall. This can sometimes result in a protrusion outside of the vaginal canal.
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Dr. Manwani Saloni Dilip
Dr. Manwani Saloni Dilip

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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