Ilioinguinal nerve

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Nerve: Ilioinguinal nerve
Lumbar plexus.svg
Plan of the lumbar plexus. The ilioinguinal is visible at the upper left.
The lumbar plexus and its branches. The ilioinguinal nerve is visible at the upper left.
Latin nervus ilioinguinalis
Gray's p.952
Innervates Skin over the root of the penis and upper part of the scrotum (male), skin covering the mons pubis and labium majus (female)
From lumbar plexus

The ilioinguinal nerve is a branch of the first lumbar nerve (L1). It separates from the first lumbar nerve along with the larger iliohypogastric nerve.

It emerges from the lateral border of the psoas major just inferior to the iliohypogastric, and passes obliquely across the quadratus lumborum and iliacus. The ilioinguinal nerve then perforates the transversus abdominis near the anterior part of the iliac crest, and communicates with the iliohypogastric nerve between the transversus and the internal oblique muscle.

It then pierces the internal oblique muscle, distributing filaments to it, and then accompanies the spermatic cord through the superficial inguinal ring. Its fibers are then distributed to the skin of the upper and medial part of the thigh, and to the following locations in the male and female:

Note that the ilioinguinal nerve does not pass through the deep inguinal ring, and therefore it only travels through part of the inguinal canal.


The size of this nerve is in inverse proportion to that of the iliohypogastric.

Occasionally it is very small, and ends by joining the iliohypogastric; in such cases, a branch from the iliohypogastric takes the place of the ilioinguinal, or the latter nerve may be altogether absent.

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