Sagittal section through the pelvis of a newly born female child. (Label for round ligament of uterus visible at upper right.)
|Gives rise to||Gubernaculum testis (males), suspensory ligament of ovary, round ligament of uterus, ovarian ligament (females)|
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The paired Gubernacula (from Ancient Greek κυβερνάω = pilot, steer, also called the Caudal Genital Ligament) are embryonic structures which begin as undifferentiated mesenchyme attaching to the caudal end of the gonads (testes in males and ovaries in females).
Function during development
The testes descend to a greater degree than the ovaries and ultimately pass through the inguinal canal.
The gubernaculum is present only during the development of the urinary and reproductive organs, being replaced by distinct vestiges in males and females.
- The upper part of the gubernaculum degenerates.
- The lower part persists as the gubernaculum testis ("scrotal ligament"). This ligament secures the testis to the most inferior portion of the scrotum, tethering it in place and limiting the degree to which the testis can move within the scrotum.
- The gubernaculum has two vestigial remnants in females, the ovarian ligament and the round ligament of the uterus (ligamentum teres uteri) which respectively serve to support the ovaries and uterus in the pelvis.
- Anatomy photo:36:06-0101 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "Inguinal Region, Scrotum and Testes: The Scrotal Ligament"