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Muscles of the pelvic floor and perineum

Learning objectives:

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Identify and name the muscles of the pelvic floor and perineum.
  2. Describe the attachments and innervation patterns for these muscles.
  3. Understand the anatomical relationships between the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Watch videos

The pelvic floor is formed by the bowl- or funnel-shaped pelvic diaphragm, consisting of the levator ani and coccygeus muscles and their investing fascia. Structurally, the pelvic floor separates the pelvic cavity from the perineum. Functionally, these pelvic floor muscles support the pelvic organs, keeping them in place and preventing prolapse upon straining. It also aids in maintaining both urinary and fecal continence until one can conveniently void.

Discover all about these muscles of the pelvic floor by watching this video! What’s more, this tutorial provides a comprehensive view of the pelvis itself and the associated muscles of the pelvic wall and perineum.

Take a quiz

Phew! Now that you have watched the video on the pelvic floor muscles, are you ready to consolidate your knowledge with this quiz below?

If you want to test your broader understanding, customize your own quiz and tackle questions on wider topics such as the blood supply and innervation of the pelvis.

Browse atlas

Examine the anatomical features, attachments, and relationships of the pelvic floor muscles below!


Key points about the muscles of the pelvic floor and perineum
Pelvic diaphragm Levator ani muscle: Puborectalis (puboanalis), pubococcygeus, iliococcygeus
Muscles of the perineum Deep perineal pouch: Deep transverse perineal muscle, external urethral sphincter (female: external urethral sphincter proper, compressor urethrae, urethrovaginalis)
Superficial perineal pouch: Superficial transverse perineal muscle, bulbospongiosus, ischiocavernosus
Anal triangle: External anal sphincter

Well done!

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