Cloacal membrane

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Cloacal membrane
Gray991.png
Tail end of human embryo from fifteen to eighteen days old.
Latin membrana cloacalis
Gray's p.47
Carnegie stage 7
Days 15
Precursor caudal end of the primitive streak
Code TE E5.4.0.0.0.0.15

The cloacal membrane is the membrane that covers the embryonic cloaca when still in the development of the urinary and reproductive organs.

It is formed by ectoderm and endoderm coming into contact with each other.[1] As the human embryo grows and caudal folding continues, the urorectal septum dividing the cloaca into a ventral urogenital sinus and dorsal anorectal canal. Before the urorectal septum has an opportunity to fuse with the cloacal membrane, the membrane ruptures, exposing the urogenital sinus and dorsal anorectal canal to the exterior. Later on, an ectodermal plug, the anal membrane forms to create the lower 3rd of the rectum.

It has been suggested that developmental errors may be associated with enlarged clitorises.[2]

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This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.