DIRECTORY of all topics on MUM
CONTRIBUTE to Humor, Words and expressions about menstruation and Would you stop menstruating if you could?
Some MUM site links:
homepage | LIST OF ALL TOPICS | MUM address & What does MUM mean? | e-mail the museum | privacy on this site | who runs this museum?? |
Amazing women! | the art of menstruation | artists (non-menstrual) | asbestos | belts | bidets | founder bio | Bly, Nellie | MUM board | books: menstruation and menopause (and reviews) | cats | company booklets for girls (mostly) directory | contraception and religion | costumes | menstrual cups | cup usage | dispensers | douches, pain, sprays | essay directory | extraction | facts-of-life booklets for girls | famous women in menstrual hygiene ads | FAQ | founder/director biography | gynecological topics by Dr. Soucasaux | humor | huts | links | masturbation | media coverage of MUM | menarche booklets for girls and parents | miscellaneous | museum future | Norwegian menstruation exhibit | odor | olor | pad directory | patent medicine | poetry directory | products, current | puberty booklets for girls and parents | religion | Religión y menstruación | your remedies for menstrual discomfort | menstrual products safety | science | Seguridad de productos para la menstruación | shame | slapping, menstrual | sponges | synchrony | tampon directory | early tampons | teen ads directory | tour of the former museum (video) | underpants & panties directory | videos, films directory | Words and expressions about menstruation | Would you stop menstruating if you could? | What did women do about menstruation in the past? | washable pads
Leer la versión en español de los siguientes temas: Anticoncepción y religión, Breve reseña - Olor - Religión y menstruación - Seguridad de productos para la menstruación.
More articles by Dr. Soucasaux: Anatomical drawings - Anovulatory cycles - Archetypal aspects of the female genitals - The breasts: some morphological aspects - Colposcopy - Comments on the corpus luteum and related aspects - Comments on some anatomical and symbolic aspects of the female pelvis - The curious relations between androgens and estrogens in women - Drospirenone Oral Contraceptives - Due to prohibition, Brazilian women don't have access to modern medicinal abortion - Endocrinology of menstruation - The Fallopian tubes - Female sexual response - The Gräfenberg Spot (G-Spot) - The Gynecologic Palpation (descendant of "The Touch") - Gynecological assistance: the three basic areas - Gynecology and Gynecologic Surgery - Gynecologist versus obstetrician: what lies behind the combination? - "Gyneco-obstetric-surgical" stubborness and the perpetuation of one of the greatest mistakes of women's medicine - Hypermenorrhea and/or Menorrhagia (Prolonged and/or Excessive Menstrual Bleedings) - Hypertrichosis, Hirsutism and Androgenic Manifestations in Women - Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKHauser) Syndrome - Menstrual toxin: An old name for a real thing? - Nature and the ovaries - On the Intimate, or Small-Scale, Mechanisms of Menstruation - On the Strange Nature of the Ovaries - Oral hormonal contraceptives (the "Pill") - The Ovaries: Some Functional and Archetypal Considerations - Peculiarities of the Female Genitals' Sensory Innervation - Physiology of menstruation - Polycystic ovaries syndrome - The Possibility of Becoming Pregnant, Its Implications for Women, and Abortion - Premenstrual congestion of the breasts - Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) - The Psychology of Gynecology part 1 (part 2) - Psychosomatic and symbolic aspects of menstruation - Psychosomatic gynecology - Some Details on the Function of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Ovaries Axis - Stanislav Grof's Perinatal Matrixes of the Unconscious and Women's Medicine - Symmetric Patterns in the Female Genitals - Thoughts on Female Sexual Psychology - Uninterrupted use of hormonal contraceptives for menstrual suppression: why I do not recommend it - The uterine cervix - Uterine contractility - The Uterus and the Female "Passive-Active" - Women's corporeal consciousness and experience - Women's Experience of the Breasts - Women's Undesired Pregnancies and Women's Right to Abortion and see his Art of Menstruation
© 2006 Harry Finley. It is illegal to reproduce or distribute work on this Web site in any manner or medium without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations to



Comments on some anatomical and symbolic aspects of the female pelvis

Dr. Nelson Soucasaux, Brazilian gynecologist
(links to more of his articles at the bottom of the column at left)

The ways women experience their genitals and the pelvis that houses them constitute a very special aspect of the mind-body relationship in the female sex. They consist of several anatomical, physiological, pathological, symbolic and archetypal experiences that have an enormous importance mostly in psychosomatic gynecology. The extremely rich symbolism that surrounds the woman's genitals, pelvis and belly contributes a lot for the correct understanding of the female psycho-physical constitution.

If we pay enough attention from the archetypal and symbolical standpoints we will see that the anatomical configuration of the vulva, vagina, uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries and the whole female pelvis exhibits very peculiar aspects. In a way, the female genitals and the woman's pelvic frame are deeply inter-connected, giving rise to an inseparable wholeness. Even considering that most of the female genitals are intrapelvic, the very typical configuration of the woman's pelvis just by itself lets us know its content.

It is pertinent to remember here that the very special anatomic features of the female pelvic bones are partly responsible for the external morphology of the woman's body from the waist down. Obviously, in addition to this there is also the typically female distribution of the subcutaneous fatty tissue on the hips, buttocks and upper parts of the thighs.

Another greatly significant anatomical feature is that through the genitals, the woman's belly becomes, in a way, "opened" to the exterior. (Remember that the Fallopian tubes' terminal orifices open directly into the peritoneal cavity. There is nothing similar in the male genitals.)

The vagina can be seen as the canal or "tunnel" that leads to the uterus and the interior of the female pelvis. This means that from the sexual, symbolical and archetypal points of view, it is the "way in" ( and the "way out" ) of the woman's body. The vagina possesses a thin muscular layer and is coated by a mucosa lined by a stratified squamous epithelium highly sensitive to the action of the ovarian hormones. In repose conditions the vaginal walls remain collapsed, but a typical reaction of vaginal lengthening and widening takes place during sexual excitement, culminating with the "ballooning" of the upper third of this organ. The contractile capacity of the vaginal musculature is very small, and the strong contractions that take place around the lower third of the vagina during orgasm does not originate in its muscles but in the muscular groups of the perineum and pelvic floor that surround the vaginal entrance.

The vulva, in turn, is the "doorway" of the vagina. At the genital level, the main areas for women's sexual stimulation are found at the vaginal entrance, the vulvar cleft, the labia minora and majora and, over and above all, at the clitoris (and, in many women, also at the Gräfenberg Spot.) (Regarding the G-Spot, which actually is part neither of the vagina nor the vulva, see my article here at the MUM.) Behind and around the vulvar structures there are the already mentioned muscles of the perineum and the pelvic floor. They surround the vaginal entrance and are capable of giving rise to strong contractions. During orgasm, they contract rhythmically. Among those that constitute the pelvic floor, the most important one is the pubococcygeus. In cases of vaginismus, the psychologically-triggered strong spastic contraction of these muscles is able to impede sexual intercourse.

Regarding the above mentioned view of the vulva as the female genitals' "doorway," we must observe that, certainly due to archetypal reasons, there are amazing morphologic similarities between several doorways of temples, churches and palaces built by different civilizations of the past and the vulvar structures.

Just like all the other woman's sexual organs, the trophicity not only of the vagina but also of the vulvar mucosa and labia is maintained by the estrogens.


While the uterus occupies a basically central position inside the female pelvis, the Fallopian tubes and ovaries are placed bilaterally (see Note 1 below). Though entirely explainable for reasons of physiological order, this highly "centralized" uterine position inside the pelvis also seems to be endowed with a particular symbolism (as to that, see my article "Symmetric Patterns in the Female Genitals"). In spite of the great mobility of the uterine corpus (the main part of the womb), the uterus as a whole remains "anchored" in its basic position by means of the uterine cervix and an intricate group of ligaments named retinaculum uteri. These ligaments originate in the uterine cervix and attach to specific points of the pelvic walls. Of these, the most important ones are the cardinal and the sacro-uterine ligaments. There are also the pubo-vesico-uterine ones, but these are not so important as the former.

The cardinal ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that extend from the lateral parts of the uterine cervix towards the lateral pelvic walls. The sacro-uterine ligaments are fibro-muscular cords that, emerging from the posterior part of the uterine cervix, attach to the walls of the sacrum. The "anchorage" of the uterus in the pelvis is completed by the round and the broad ligaments, that arise from the uterine corpus and are less tense than the others, which provides this part of the organ with its usual great mobility. The broad ligaments are formed by folds of the pelvic peritoneum that encase the corporal part of the uterus; they emerge from the lateral sides of this organ and attach to the pelvic walls. The broad ligaments give the uterine corpus a curious "winged-like" appearance. The round ligaments are fibro-muscular cords that arise from both uterine upper-lateral angles and run to the inguinal canals, terminating inside the vulvar labia majora.


The ovaries are linked to the uterus by means of the utero-ovarian ligaments and to the pelvic lateral walls through the suspensory-ligaments of the ovaries or infundibulo-pelvic ligaments; they are also attached to the broad ligaments through the meso-ovaries. The Fallopian tubes, in turn, are "anchored" to the broad ligaments through peritoneal folds named mesosalpinges.

By means of this intricate and complex ligamentary system, a direct anatomic connection between the woman's inner genitals and her pelvic frame is established. Considering that the morphology of the female pelvic bones all by itself exhibits typical sexual features, the concept of "pelvis" in women must be regarded as a entity.

It comprehends everything that, in this part of the body, characterizes the female sex: vulva, vagina, uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries and respective sustaining structures, pelvic bones and, finally, muscles of the pelvic floor and perineum. With the addition of its very typical cutaneous, subcutaneous, fatty and muscular coating on the hips, belly and buttocks, the external morphology of the female pelvis only by itself is an important element of sexual attraction, acquiring great importance in the woman's corporal image.

More articles by Dr. Soucasaux in the column at left.

Note 1: For more specific details on the uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries, see several other articles of my authorship published here at the MUM ( see column at left).

Note 2: The text above consist of excerpts from the introduction of the second chapter of my book "Os Órgãos Sexuais Femininos: Forma, Função, Símbolo e Arquétipo" ("The Female Sexual Organs: Shape, Function, Symbol and Archetype"), published by Imago Editora, Rio de Janeiro, 1993. For more details on the book, see page , at my website .

Copyright  Nelson Soucasaux  1993, 2006 (text and illustrations)

Nelson Soucasaux is a gynecologist dedicated to clinical, preventive and psychosomatic gynecology. Graduated in 1974 by Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he is the author of several articles published in medical journals and of the books "Novas Perspectivas em Ginecologia" ("New Perspectives in Gynecology") and "Os Órgãos Sexuais Femininos: Forma, Função, Símbolo e Arquétipo" ("The Female Sexual Organs: Shape, Function, Symbol and Archetype"), published by Imago Editora, Rio de Janeiro, 1990, 1993. He has been working in his private clinic since 1975.

Web site (Portuguese-English):