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Rectovesical pouch

Anatomy and function of the rectovesical pouch.

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Hello again everyone! This is Matt from Kenhub, and in this tutorial, we will be looking at an anatomical space of the male pelvic cavity – the rectovesical pouch.

The rectovesical pouch in green is an anatomical space only found in the male pelvis. It lies between the rectum here and the urinary bladder here. The pelvic cavity is home to these and other infraperitoneal organs. They mostly lie inferior to the peritoneum which envelops the area here. In the posterior region of the male pelvic cavity, a single layer of the peritoneum is reflected from the superior posterior surface of the urinary bladder onto the anterior wall of the middle to upper portions of the rectum. This forms a recess which is continuous with the peritoneal cavity – the rectovesical pouch.

The rectovesical pouch, as a continuation of the peritoneal cavity, is lined by peritoneum. It is also the deepest part of the peritoneal cavity. The rectovesical pouch along with the other pelvic spaces provide the infraperitoneal organs with some degree of mobility as well as providing route for the spread of inflammation or posttraumatic hemorrhage.

For comparison, in the female pelvis, there is no rectovesical pouch because of the presence of the uterus. Instead, there is a vesicouterine pouch between the uterus and urinary bladder and the rectouterine pouch between the uterus and the rectum.

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