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Sagittal section of the lower part of a female trunk, right segment. (Pouch of Douglas labeled at bottom right.)

Culdocentesis is a medical procedure involving the extraction of fluid from the pouch of Douglas (a rectouterine pouch[1] posterior to the vagina) through a needle. It can be one diagnostic technique used in identifying pelvic inflammatory disease (in which case purulent fluid will be extracted) and ruptured ectopic pregnancies that cause hemoperitoneum.[2]

In the procedure, the rectouterine pouch is often reached through the posterior fornix of the vagina. The process of creating the hole is called "colpotomy" if a scalpel incision is made to drain the fluid rather than using a needle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "culdocentesis" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ "Culdocentesis: Overview, Indications, Contraindications".

External links[edit]