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Female perineum

Learning objectives

After completing study unit you will be able to: 

  1. Locate and identify the borders of the female perineum. 
  2. Describe the main components and borders of the anal triangle. 
  3. Describe the main components and borders of the urogenital triangle.
  4. Identify the external features and surface anatomy of the urogenital triangle.

Watch videos

The perineum is a diamond shaped compartment which sits just beneath the pelvic cavity, forming the lowest portion of the trunk in the human body. 

The female perineum is bounded superiorly (internally) by the pelvic diaphragm and inferiorly (externally) by the perineal skin and fascia. It is occupied by muscles, erectile and cavernous tissues which facilitate excretion, egestion and reproduction. A transverse line, known as the interischial line, stretches between the two ischial tuberosities dividing the perineum into two regions: the anal and urogenital triangles. 

  • The urogenital triangle, which is located anteriorly, is further subdivided by the perineal membrane into the superficial and deep perineal space. The female urogenital triangle contains the muscles, fasciae, erectile tissues and spaces associated with the female urogenital system. It also functions as an anchoring point for the external female genitalia. 
  • The anal triangle, located posteriorly, houses the anal canal and the internal and external anal sphincters. These are all surrounded by a fat-filled space known as the ischioanal fossa

Find out more about the divisions, boundaries, muscles and viscera of the female perineum by watching the video below!

Check out the video below if you want to continue your learning on the neurovasculature of the female perineum.

Take a quiz

That is a lot of information to learn! Increase your learning retention with a quiz below.

If you would like to challenge yourself even further, try out our fully customizable quiz below on the pelvis and perineum. You can even save your selections and quiz yourself on it later!

Browse atlas

It can be hard to wrap your head around the location and structure of the perineum, but not to worry because now you can explore the features of the perineum from three different perspectives in the galleries below!

Now let’s take a look at some of the internal features of the female perineum from a coronal view of the anal and urogenital triangles.

Finally, let's take a look at a sagittal view of the female perineum.


Key points about the female perineum
Borders Internal (Roof): Pelvic diaphragm (levator ani and coccygeus muscles)
External (Floor): Fascia and skin
Anterior: Pubic symphysis
Posterior: Sacrum and coccyx
Anterolateral: Ischiopubic rami
Posterolateral: Sacrotuberous ligaments
Divisions 1. Urogenital triangle (deep perineal space and superficial perineal space)
2. Anal triangle

Divided by: Interischial line

Structures between triangles: Perineal body and perineal raphe
Key points about the urogenital triangle
Boundaries  Superiorly: Pelvic diaphragm (levator ani and coccygeus muscles)
Inferiorly: Fascia and skin
Anteriorly: Pubic symphysis
Posteriorly: Interischial line
Laterally: Ischiopubic rami and ischial tuberosities
Divisions Deep perineal space and superficial perineal space
Layers and contents From deep to superficial
Inferior fascia of pelvic diaphragm
Deep perineal space:
deep transverse perineal muscle, compressor urethrae muscle, sphincter urethrovaginalis muscle, external urethral sphincter, parts of urethra and vagina and anterior recess of the ischioanal fossa
Perineal membrane
Superficial perineal space: crus of clitoris, ischiocavernosus muscle, bulb of vestibule, bulbospongiosus muscle
Fascia: Perineal fascia and subcutaneous tissue of perineum
Surface anatomy Mons pubis, labium majus of vulva, anterior labial commissure, posterior labial commissure, cleft of vulva, labium minus of vulva, glans of clitoris, vestibule of vagina (external urethral orifice, opening of para-urethral glands and vaginal orifice)
Key points about the anal triangle
Boundaries  Superiorly: Pelvic diaphragm (levator ani and coccygeus muscles)
Inferiorly: Fascia and skin
Anteriorly: Interischial line
Posteriorly: Coccyx and sacrum
Laterally: Sacrotuberous ligament and ischial tuberosities
Contents External anal sphincter, internal anal sphincter, anal canal, anal aperture, anococcygeal ligament and ischioanal fossa

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