The spermatic cord is a tubular structure present in males, which forms a conduit between the abdominal cavity and testis. It houses the ductus deferens and a collection of blood vessels and nerves which run to and from the testis.
The spermatic cord extends from the inferior abdominal wall and ends in the scrotum. It begins at the deep inguinal ring, lateral to the inferior epigastric vessels and extends through the inguinal canal, terminating at the superficial inguinal ring into the scrotum.
The wall of the spermatic cord is composed of three fascial layers which derive from the anterior abdominal wall. From outermost to innermost these include:
- External spermatic fascia: Arises from the aponeurosis of the external oblique muscle.
- Cremaster fascia containing the cremaster muscle: Arises from the internal oblique muscle and aponeurosis.
- Internal spermatic fascia: Arises from the transversalis fasica
The spermatic cord 'drags' the fascial layers of the abdominal wall as it extends from the abdominal wall to the scrotum via the inguinal rings.
Contents of the spermatic cord include the ductus deferens, artery of the ductus deferens, testicular artery, cremasteric artery, pampiniform plexus of veins, genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve, lymphatics and sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve fibers.
A memory tool to help you remember the contents of the spermatic cord is: 3 arteries, 3 nerves, 3 fascias, 3 other things!
- 3 arteries: artery of the ductus deferens, testicular artery, cremasteric artery
- 3 nerves: genital branch of the genitofermoral nerve, parasympathetic and sympathetic nerve fibers
- 3 fascias: external spermatic fascia, cremasteric fascia, internal spermatic fascia
- 3 other things: ductus deferens, pampiniform plexus, lymphatic vessels
English: Spermatic cord
Latin: Funiculus spermaticus
|Definition||Tubular structure which runs between the abdominal cavity and testis|
|Layers||External spermatic fascia, cremaster fascia and cremaster muscle, internal spermatic fascia|
|Contents||Ductus deferens, artery of the ductus deferens, testicular artery, cremasteric artery, pampiniform plexus of veins, genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve, lymphatics, sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve fibers.|
|Memory aid||3 arteries, 3 nerves, 3 fascias, 3 other things|
Take a closer look at structure and function of the the spermatic cord and scrotum in the study unit below.
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