Perineum LO7

7. Describe the arterial supply of the gonads.

Most pelvic viscera receive arterial supply from branches of the internal iliac aa. The gonads are an important exception, deriving blood supply from the ovarian and testicular aa. These arteries are branches of the abdominal aorta (at approximately L2), branching just distal to the renal aa.

The ovarian aa. travel within the suspensory ligaments of ovaries (infundibulopelvic [IP] ligament) to reach the ovaries. While predominately supplying the ovaries, the ovarian aa. also sends branches to supply the uterine tubes and anastomoses with the uterine aa.

The testicular aa. will enter the deep inguinal ring to travel within the spermatic cord to reach and supply the testes.

It is important to be mindful of the long, retroperitoneal course of the gonadal aa. and the ureters from the abdominal cavity into the pelvic cavity in cases of arterial ligation.