ANATOMY, PREGNANCY - stock photo
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Model of the internal anatomy of an adult female pelvis (median section) at the end of pregnancy (nine months). The fetus has been removed in order to visualize the placenta (2, pink), the structure which enables feto-maternal exchanges. The placenta is composed of a tissue of fetal origin, the chorion, and of a maternal surface, the basal decidua, a mucous membrane which forms during transformations in the uterine endometrium (red). It is highly vascularized (arterioles and venules) in order to bring the oxygen and necessary nutrients to the fetus, as well as to remove its waste products. These vessels converge at the umbilical cord to form the umbilical vein (red) which carries deoxygenated fetal blood towards the placenta, and two umbilical arteries (blue) which bring oxygenated blood to the fetus. During pregnancy, the womb gradually occupies the entire abdominal cavity, pushing the digestive organs upwards (not visible here). The uterine cervix (4) leads to the vagina (5). Located below the womb, the urinary bladder (9), compressed by the fetus, is linked to the urethra (10) which leads to the labia minora (6) of the vulva. The female genitalia include the pubis, a mound of fatty tissue (yellow) covering the pubic symphysis (11, pelvic bone, bluish), the labia majora and minora of the vulva (6 and 7, cutaneous folds) and the clitoris (8, flesh-colored, located in front of the labia minora). In the back lies the rectum, composed of two segments: the rectal ampulla in its upper part, which stores feces, and the anal canal, ending in the anus. The opening of the extremity of the anal canal, the anus, is controled by an internal anal sphincter, composed of smooth muscle (a, reflex opening for defecation) and an external anal sphincter of striated muscle (b, voluntary relaxation). Dorsally, the lower part of the spine is known as the lumbar region, the last three vertebrae of which are visible here; it ends in the sacrum (15), a bone resulting from the fusion o...


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