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Pelvic floor muscles

Synonym: perineal musculature, muscles of the pelvic floor
German: Beckenbodenmuskulatur

1 Definition

The pelvic floor muscles refers to the skeletal musculature in the pelvic floor or small pelvis region.

2 Classification

The pelvic floor muscles can be broken down as follows:

2.1 pelvic diaphragm

The pelvic floor in the narrow sense (diaphragma pelvis) is formed from the following muscles:

2.2 urogenital diaphragm

The diaphragma urogenitale, which counts as part of the pelvis floor, contains the following muscles:

2.3 Other perineal muscles

The following are included among the other perineal muscles:

Note: The musculus sphincter ani internus belongs in the broadest sense to the muscles of the pelvic floor. It however consists of involuntarily innervated smooth muscle and is therefore discussed separately.

3 Function

The pelvic floor muscles form the muscular closure of the pelvic cavity. Together with the diaphragm and abdominal muscles they span across the abdominal components. With any increase in pressure in the abdominal cavity, the musculature as a unit elastically retains the pressure from the pelvic organs. It thus protects the positioning of the abdominal and pelvic organs and supports the closure of anus and urethra.

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