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Rectouterine Pouch
Digestive System

Rectouterine Pouch

Excavatio rectouterina

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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.

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Anatomical Relations

The rectouterine pouch results from a peritoneal reflection between the posterior surface of the uterus onto the anterior surface of the rectum. This reflection is deeper in women than the rectovesical pouch in men, and it is also deeper than the vesicouterine pouch. The reflection usually occurs at the level of the posterior vaginal fornix. It is limited laterally by the uterosacral ligaments.


The rectouterine pouch functions to reduce friction between the mobile uterus and the rectum which can distend due to changes in volume (Standring, 2016).

List of Clinical Correlates







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

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