Pelvic Floor

Pelvic floor, also known as pelvic diaphragm, is a sheet of muscle and connective tissue that stretches across the pelvis and divides it into the main pelvic cavity above and perineum below. The main pelvic cavity contains the pelvic viscera, while the perineum contains genitals and anus.

Structure:

The pelvic floor is formed by levatores ani muscles, coccygeus muscle, and associated connective tissue. The sheet is incomplete anteriorly to allow the passage of the urethra in males and the urethra and the vagina in females. Anal canal also passes through the posterior most portion of this deficient part in both males and females.

Function:

Pelvic floor is an important anatomic structure in providing support for the pelvic viscera including bladder, intestine, and uterus. It is also essential in maintenance of continence as it is an important part of urinary and anal sphincters.

In addition, the pelvic floor has an important role in parturition. It facilitates birth by resisting the descent of the presenting part, causing the fetus to rotate forwards to navigate through the bony pelvis.