Definitions

gubernacula

Gubernaculum

[goo-ber-nak-yuh-luhm]

The paired gubernacula are folds of peritoneum that attach to the caudal end of the gonads (testes in males and ovaries in females).

Function during development

As the scrotum and labia majora form in males and females, respectively, the gubernaculum aids in the descent of the gonads (both testes and ovaries).

The testes descend to a greater degree than the ovaries and ultimately pass through the inguinal canals.

Adult structures

The gubernaculum is present only during the development of the urinary and reproductive organs, being replaced by distinct vestiges in males and females.

Males

In males:

  • The upper part of the gubernaculum degenerates.
  • The lower part persists as the gubernaculum testis ("scrotal ligament"). This ligament secures the testis to the most inferior portion of the scrotum, tethering it in place and limiting the degree to which the testis can move within the scrotum.

Females

In females:

References

External links

  • - "Inguinal Region, Scrotum and Testes: The Scrotal Ligament"

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