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Descend of gonads

Both testis and ovary are formed in lumbar region of post-abdominal wall



During fetal life they gradually descend to the scrotum with the help of gubernaculum


Iliac fossa (3m)


Deep inguinal ring (7m)


Through inguinal canal (7m)


Scrotum (End of 8m)

  • Gubernaculum forms as in male which extends from the ovary to the labia majora.
  • It becomes attached to the developing uterus at its junction with uterine tube.
  • Part of gubernaculum that persists between ovary and uterus becomes ovarian ligament.
  • Part between uterus and the labium majus becomes round ligament of uterus.
    • Ovaries descend from lumbar to the true pelvis.

Development of External Genital Organs In Females

  • The external genital organs start developing almost simultaneously with the development of the internal genital organs. The site of origin is from the urogenital sinus.
  • Clitoris is developed from the genital tubercle.
  • Labia minora are developed from the genital folds.
  • Labia majora are developed from the genital swellings.
  • The Bartholin's glands are developed as outgrowths from the caudal part of the urogenital sinus and correspond to the bulbourethral glands of male.
  • The vestibule develops from inferior portion of the pelvic part and whole of the phallic part of the urogenital sinus.

Development of Internal Genital Organs

The major part of the female genital tract develops from the Mullerian ducts.

Development of Mullerian ducts/ paramesonephric ducts in females

  • In the 5th-6th week of intrauterine life of the embryo mullerian ducts develop as an invagination of intermediate cell mass. Two Mullerian duds develops, one on either side and grow caudally. They approach each other in the midline after crossing the Wolffian duct and fuse. Fusion begins by 7-8 weeks and is completed by 12 weeks.
  • The cervix can be differentiated from corpus by 10th week.
  • Fusion proceeds in below upwards direction.
  • Initially when the two Mullerian ducts fuse, an intervening septum is present but later by 5th month Q of intrauterine life, it also disappears.

Development of Vagina

Vagina develops from two sources:

  • Mainly from the Mullerian duct (forms upper 3/5th part)
  • Partly from the urogenital sinus (forms lower 1/5th part) which together form a solid vaginal plate.
  • Canalization of the solid vaginal plate occurs at 20 weeks
  • If this canalization fails to occur it leads to - transverse vaginal septum.
  • The mucous membrane of vagina is derived from endoderm of urogenital sinus and muscles from mesoderm of mullerian duct.

Development of Ovary

  • The ovary is developed from the genital ridge.
  • The cortex and the covering epithelium are developed from the coelomic epithelium and the medulla from the mesenchyme.
  • The germ cells are endodermal in origin and migrate from the yolk sac to the genital ridge.
  • The number of oogonia reaches its maximum at 20th week numbering about 7 million. The estimated number at birth is about 2 million.
  • The ovaries descend during seventh to ninth months, and at birth, they are situated at the pelvic brim.

Note: The bipotential gonad develops into an ovary about two weeks later than the testicular development.

  • The cranial end of the genital ridge becomes the infundibulopelvic ligament.
  • The ovary is developed from the middle part of the genital ridge.

Homologous Parts of Genital Tract



Male development

Female development

Wolffian/mesonephric ducts

Epididymis, vas deferens, and seminal vesicles

Regress-Remnant is duct of epoophoron

Gartner's duct

Mesonephric tubules


Epoophoron, and Paroöphoron

Mullerian/paramesonephric ducts

Regresses-Remnant is Appendix of testes

Uterus, cervix, tubes, and upper vagina

Urogenital sinus

Urinary bladder, urethra, prostate, prostatic utricle, and bulbourethral glands

Urinary bladder, urethra, paraurethral glands, Bartholin's glands, and lower vagina

Mullerian tubercle/genital tubercle

Genital swellings

Urogenital folds

Glans of penis


Penis and urethra


Labia majora

Labia minora


Male and female derivatives of embryonic urogenital structures.


Embryonic structures





Labioscrotal swelling


Labia majora

Genital folds

Ventral aspect of penis

Labia minora

Genital tubercle



Urogenital sinus

Urinary bladder

Urethra except navicular fossa

Prostate gland

Prostatic utricle

Bulbouretheral glands

Urinary bladder

Urethral and paraurethral glands

Lower part of Vagina

Bartholin's glands

Paramesonephric duct / Mullerian duct

Appendix of testes

Hydatid of Morgagni, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, upper part of vagina

Mesonephric duct/Wolffian duct

Ductus epididymis

Seminal vesicles

Duct of epoophoron

Gartner's cyst

Mesonephric tubules

Ductus efferentes


Epoophoron (cranial end)

Paraoophoron (caudal end)

Genital ridge




Extra Edge:


Part of female genital system

Originate from


Genital ridge

Fallopian tubes



Upper part of vagina

Mullerian / paramesonephric duct

Lower part of vagina

Urogenital sinus


Gartners Cyst

Gartners cyst are cysts of the remnants of wolffian duct


Main location = Anterolateral aspect of vagina, hence are often confused with cystocele.

Features of Gartner's cyst

  • Rugosities of the overlying vaginal mucosa are lost
  • Vaginal mucosa over it becomes tense and shiny
  • Margins are well defined
  • Not reducible
  • No impulse on coughing

Extra Edge: Anomalies caused by in utero exposure to Diethylstilbestrol (DES)

  • Benign vaginal adenosis (it is the most common anomaly caused by DES)
  • Cervical hoods, septae, collars, and cockscomb
  • Uterine hypoplasia (most common uterine anomaly associated with DES exposure)
  • T-shaped uterus
  • Wide lower segment
  • Constriction bands in uterus
  • Peri fimbrial para tubal cysts
  • Vaginal clear cell adenocarcinoma (Rare).

Transverse Vaginal Septum

If there is a disorder in fusion of down growing Mullerian duct and up growing derivative of urogenital sinus, results in transverse vaginal septum which causes imperforate vagina (or vaginal agenesis)

  • 46% septa are located in upper part.
  • 40% septa are located in middle part.
  • 14% septa are located in lower part.
    Transverse vaginal septum can present either in

Neonatal Age-group

The placental transfer of estrogen results in stimulating the glands of the endocervix which results in formation of mucocolpos, and can present as:

  • Abdominal tumour.
  • Can compress the ureter resulting in hydroureter followed by hydronephrosis.
  • Can compress the rectum resulting in obstipation/intestinal obstruction.

At Puberty

  • Patient can present with primary amenorrhea (actually called as cryptomenorrhea as uterus menstruates normally but blood does not come out due W outflow tract obstruction).
  • Secondary sexual characteristics are normal.
  • Due to cryptomenorrhea, blood gradually collects and distends first the vagina (hematocolpos), then cervix, uterus (hematocervix and hematometra) and finally the tube (hematosalpinx), All these present as pelvic/ abdominal tumor.
  • The abdominal tumor can irritate the bladder followed by compression of internal urinary meatus leading to complete retention of urine (This occurs 3-4 years after the onset of hidden menstruation and therefore, patient is generally aged 15-18 years-').
  • Patient may complain of monthly cyclic pain (backache/lower abdomen pain).


  • In case of septa in lower and middle part of vagina- surgical removal of septa vaginally followed by reanastomosis.
  • In case of upper septa, abdominal surgery is required.

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