Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us
Pararectal Fossa
Digestive System

Pararectal Fossa

Fossa pararectalis

Read more


The peritoneum is a complex, continuous serous membrane consisting of a layer of mesothelium and varying degrees of connective and adipose tissue. Visually, it is largely unremarkable, smooth, and has a lubricated surface due to the presence of peritoneal fluid.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Anatomical Relations

The pararectal fossae are a result of the peritoneal reflections off the anterolateral sides of the rectum. The lateral limit of the pararectal fossae is the sacrogenital fold in males and uterosacral fold in females. Posteriorly, the pararectal fossae are limited by the sacrum and separated anteriorly from the paravesical fossae, laterally by the ureter and, in females, the broad ligament.


The pararectal fossae are depressions of peritoneum that offer space for the rectum to expand into as it fills. Usually the pararectal fossae are deeper in females than males (Standring, 2016).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Ascites

- Adhesions


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41 edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy