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.
The gubernaculum is present only during the development of the urinary and reproductive organs
, being replaced by distinct vestiges in males and females.
- 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.
- - "Inguinal Region, Scrotum and Testes: The Scrotal Ligament"