Broad ligament of the uterus
The broad ligament of the uterus is the wide fold of peritoneum that connects the sides of the uterus to the walls and floor of the pelvis. The name for the structure is misleading, because the term ligament typically refers to tissue that connects bones together.
The contents of the broad ligament include the following:
The broad ligament may be divided into three subcomponents:
- Mesometrium - the mesentery of the uterus; the largest portion of the broad ligament
- Mesosalpinx - the part that surrounds the uterine tube
- Mesovarium - the part that surrounds the ovary
Some sources consider the suspensory ligament of the ovary a part of the broad ligament while other sources just consider it a "termination" of the ligament.
The peritoneum surrounds the uterus is like a flat sheet that is folded over the uterus; on the sides of the uterus, this sheet of peritoneum comes in direct contact with itself, forming the double layer of peritoneum known as the broad ligament of the uterus.
The part where this peritoneal sheet is folded (i.e. the free edge) has the uterine tubes running between the two layers; this part is known as the mesosalpinx.
The broad ligament serves as a mesentery for the uterus, ovaries, and the uterine tubes. It helps in maintaining the uterus in its position.
- Template:UCDavisOrganology - Mammal, female overview (Gross, Medium)"
- Diagram at med.mun.ca
Template:Female reproductive system Template:Peritoneum