Broad Ligament of the Uterus
The uterus is a secondary sex organ. It is an organ of the female reproductive system. Secondary sex organs are components of the reproductive tract that mature during puberty under the influence of sex hormones produced from primary sex organs.
The broad ligaments are the folds of peritoneum which attach the uterus to the lateral pelvic wall. It is the wide fold of peritoneum that connects the sides of the uterus to the walls and floor of the pelvis. It extends from the lateral pelvic walls on both sides, and folds over the internal female genitalia, covering their surface anteriorly and posteriorly. It carries blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatics to the structures within the mesentery.
Borders and surfaces –
- Surfaces – Anterior surface and Posterior surface.
- Boders – Upper border, Lower border, Medial border and Lateral border.
- The ovary is attached to the posterior layer of the ligament through mesovarium.
- The part of the broad ligament lying between the uterine tube and the ovarian ligament is called the mesosalpinx.
- The part below the ovarian ligament is called the mesometrium.
Fig: Broad Ligament of the Uterus
Functions of broad ligament
Broad ligament serves as the mesentery for the uterus, ovaries, and the fallopian tubes. It helps in maintaining the uterus in its normal position; however, it is not the major factor in this regard.
The broad ligament contains the following structures:
- The uterine tube.
- The round ligament of the uterus.
- The ligament of the ovary.
- Uterine vessels near its attachment to the uterus.
- Ovarian vessels in the infundibulopelvic ligament.
- The uterovaginal and ovarian nerve plexuses.
- Epoophoron. (lies in the broad ligament above the attachment of the mesovarium)
- Paroophoron. (lies in the broad ligament lateral to the uterus)
- Some lymph nodes and lymph vessels.
- Dense connective tissue.