EN | DE | PT Get help How to study Login Register

Ovarian artery: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

What do you prefer to learn with?

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Ovarian artery

Ovarian artery (Arteria ovarica)

The ovarian artery is a long paired vessel that usually stems from the anterolateral aspect of the abdominal aorta. It courses through much of the abdomen and pelvis, ending in the suspensory ligament of ovary.

The male equivalent of the ovarian artery is the testicular artery. Together, these two arteries are referred to as the gonadal arteries. The ovarian artery provides blood supply for the ovary, ureter, and the uterine tube.

Key facts about the ovarian artery
Origin Abdominal aorta
Branches Tubal branches, ovarian branches, ureteric branches
Supply Abdominal and/or pelvic ureter, ampullary end of uterine tube, ovary

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the ovarian artery.

Course

The ovarian arteries arise from the anterolateral aspects of the abdominal aorta, inferior to the origin of the renal arteries and superior to the inferior mesenteric artery, around the level of vertebra L2/L3. They run inferolaterally in the retroperitoneum; the right artery crosses anterior to the inferior vena cava, while the left one lies posterior to the inferior mesenteric artery. Both arteries run anterior to the psoas major and the middle portion of the ureter which they usually supply. Upon crossing the pelvic brim (the edge of the pelvic inlet), they continue their course between the two layers of the suspensory ligament of ovary, towards the ovary. On their course, the arteries are accompanied by the ovarian veins.

Branches and supply

On their course, the ovarian arteries give rise to several branches named after the structures for which they provide the blood supply. These branches include ureteric branches, tubal branches, and ovarian branches.

  • The ureteric branches usually supply the middle third of the ureter, including its pelvic and abdominal parts.
  • The tubal branches supply the ampullary end of the uterine (fallopian) tubes.
  • The ovarian branches provide arterial blood supply for the ovary. Ovarian and tubal branches form anastomoses with their counterpart branches of the uterine artery.

To learn more about the blood supply of the female pelvis, check out our other articles, videos, labeled diagrams and quizzes.

Anatomical variations

Variations of origin are not uncommon in the ovarian arteries, most often in relation to vertebral level or parent artery. In approximately 10-20% of cases, they can originate from the renal arteries, on one side or on both. Less frequently, it can arise from suprarenal, inferior phrenic, superior mesenteric, lumbar, common iliac or internal iliac arteries.

Ovarian artery: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

What do you prefer to learn with?

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Show references

References:

  • Moore, K. L., Dalley, A. F., & Agur, A. M. R. (2014). Clinically Oriented Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Netter, F. (2019). Atlas of Human Anatomy (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.
  • Standring, S. (2016). Gray's Anatomy (41tst ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
  • Tubbs, R. S., Shoja, M. M., Loukas, M., & Bergman, R. A. (2016). Bergman’s comprehensive encyclopedia of human anatomic variation. Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Sinnatamby, C.S., Last, R.J. (2006). Last's anatomy, regional and applied. Churchill Livingstone.

Illustrations:

  • Ovarian artery (Arteria ovarica) - Samantha Zimmerman
© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

Register now and grab your free ultimate anatomy study guide!