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Spermatic cord

Recommended video: Scrotum and spermatic cord [19:08]
Scrotum and spermatic cord, including the coverings and contents.

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: 

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
Terminology  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. 

Spermatic cord: want to learn more about it?

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