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Pelvic cavity: Wikis


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Pelvic cavity
Scheme body cavities-en.svg
Latin cavitas pelvis
Lymph primarily internal iliac lymph nodes

The pelvic cavity is a body cavity that is bounded by the bones of the pelvis and which primarily contains reproductive organs, the urinary bladder, and the rectum. The pelvis is a marvel of physiology and is deceptively complex. It contains the lower urinary tract, reproductive system, lower digestive tract, major arteries and veins, muscle systems, nerve systems and bone systems. They all have to work together in a little crowded "house". It can be affected by many different diseases and by many drugs in many different ways. One part may impact upon another, for example constipation may overload the rectum and compress the urinary bladder, or childbirth might damage the pudendal nerves and later lead to anal weakness.



The boundaries are as follows:

roof: pelvic brim [1]
posterior: sacrum, coccyx lateral: obturator internus anterior: pubic symphysis
floor: pelvic floor

Greater and lesser pelvis

The lesser pelvis (or "true" pelvis" only includes structures inferior to the pelvic brim.

For example, the pelvic splanchnic nerves arising at S2-S4 is in the true pelvis, but the femoral nerve from L2-L4 is only in the "false pelvis", or greater pelvis.


Ligament From To
broad ligament of the uterus
* mesovarium ovary
* mesosalpinx Fallopian tube
* mesometrium
cardinal ligament
ovarian ligament ovary uterus
round ligament of the uterus
suspensory ligament of the ovary


The pelvis can be classified into four main types by measuring the pelvic diameters and conjugates at the pelvic inlet and outlet and as oblique diameters.

Pelvic measurements[2]
Measurement From To Length
Transverse diameter
(of inlet)
Between extreme lateral points of pelvic inlet 13.5-14 cm
Oblique diameter I Right sacroiliac joint Left iliopubic eminence 12-12.5 cm
Oblique diameter II Left sacroiliac joint Right iliopubic eminence 11.5-12 cm
Anatomical conjugate Pubic symphysis Promontory ~12 cm
True conjugate
(obsteric conjugate)
Retropubic eminence
(posterior surface
of symphysis)
Promontory 11.5 cm
Diagonal conjugate* Inferior pubic ligament Promontory 13 cm
Straight conjugate Lower border of symphysis Tip of coccyx 9.5-10 cm
Median conjugate Lower border of symphysis Lower border of sacrum 11.5 cm
Transverse diameter
(of outlet)
Between ischial tuberosities 10-11 cm
Interspinous distance Between anterior superior iliac spines 26 cm
Intercristal distance Between furthest lateral points of iliac crest 29 cm
External conjugate Spinous process of fifth lumbar vertebra Upper edge of symphysis ~20 cm
Intertrochanteric distance Between femurs 31 cm
*Because the true conjugate can not be measured directly it is derived from the diagonal conjugate which is measured through the vagina.



Additional images



  • Platzer, Werner (2004). Color Atlas of Human Anatomy, Vol. 1: Locomotor System (5th ed.). Thieme. ISBN 3-13-533305-1.  

External links

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