Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 1260
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
below on to the posterior vaginal wall, when it is reflected on to the rectum, forming the rectouterine excavation. It is in relation with the rectum, from which it may be separated by coils of small intestine.
  The vaginal portion (portio vaginalis [cervicis]) of the cervix projects free into the anterior wall of the vagina between the anterior and posterior fornices. On its rounded extremity is a small, depressed, somewhat circular aperture, the external orifice of the uterus, through which the cavity of the cervix communicates with that of the vagina. The external orifice is bounded by two lips, an anterior and a posterior, of which the anterior is the shorter and thicker, although, on account of the slope of the cervix, it projects lower than the posterior. Normally, both lips are in contact with the posterior vaginal wall.

Interior of the Uterus (Fig. 1167).—The cavity of the uterus is small in comparison with the size of the organ.
  The Cavity of the Body (cavum uteri) is a mere slit, flattened antero-posteriorly. It is triangular in shape, the base being formed by the internal surface of the fundus between the orifices of the uterine tubes, the apex by the internal orifice of the uterus through which the cavity of the body communicates with the canal of the cervix.
  The Canal of the Cervix (canalis cervicis uteri) is somewhat fusiform, flattened from before backward, and broader at the middle than at either extremity. It communicates above through the internal orifice with the cavity of the body, and below through the external orifice with the vaginal cavity. The wall of the canal presents an anterior and a posterior longitudinal ridge, from each of which proceed a number of small oblique columns, the palmate folds, giving the appearance of branches from the stem of a tree; to this arrangement the name arbor vitæ uterina is applied. The folds on the two walls are not exactly opposed, but fit between one another so as to close the cervical canal.

FIG. 1167– Posterior half of uterus and upper part of vagina. (See enlarged image)

  The total length of the uterine cavity from the external orifice to the fundus is about 6.25 cm.

Ligaments.—The ligaments of the uterus are eight in number: one anterior; one posterior; two lateral or broad; two uterosacral; and two round ligaments.
  The anterior ligament consists of the vesicouterine fold of peritoneum, which is reflected on to the bladder from the front of the uterus, at the junction of the cervix and body.
  The posterior ligament consists of the rectovaginal fold of peritoneum, which is reflected from the back of the posterior fornix of the vagina on to the front of the rectum. It forms the bottom of a deep pouch called the rectouterine excavation, which is bounded in front by the posterior wall of the uterus, the supravaginal cervix, and the posterior fornix of the vagina; behind, by the rectum; and laterally by two crescentic folds of peritoneum which pass backward from the cervix uteri on either side of the rectum to the posterior wall of the pelvis. These folds are named the sacrogenital or rectouterine folds. They contain a considerable amount of fibrous tissue and non-striped muscular fibers which are attached to the front of the sacrum and constitute the uterosacral ligaments.
  The two lateral or broad ligaments (ligamentum latum uteri) pass from the sides of the uterus to the lateral walls of the pelvis. Together with the uterus they form


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