Broad ligament of the uterus is the two-layered peritoneal fold that connects the sides of the uterus to the lateral walls and floor of the pelvis. Superiorly the two layers of the broad ligament are continuous and from the free edge, however, they separate to cover the pelvic floor at the base inferiorly.
Components of the broad ligament:
The broad ligament is divided into three components, as described below:
- Mesometrium: It is the mesentery of the uterus and forms the largest portion of the broad ligament.
- Mesosalpinx: It is the mesentery of the fallopian tube. It lies between fallopian tube and the mesovarium.
- Mesovarium: It is the mesentery of the ovaries.
- Suspensory ligament of ovary: It is the part of broad ligament that lies lateral to the attachment of the mesovarium.
Contents of broad ligament:
- Broad ligament contains the following:
- Fallopian tubes (contained in the mesosalpinx)
- Ovaries (contained in the mesovarium)
- Ovarian artery, vein and lymphatics (contained in the suspensory ligament of ovary)
- Uterine artery, vein and lymphatics
- Round ligament of ovary and round ligament of uterus
- Epoophoron (lies in the broad ligament above the attachment of the mesovarium)
- Paroophoron (lies in the broad ligament lateral to uterus)
Functions of broad ligament:
Broad ligament serves as the mesentery for the uterus, ovaries, and the fallopian tubes. It helps in maintaining the uterus in its normal position; however, it is not the major factor in this regard.