This compartment contains the urogenital diaphragm, which is a triangular double-layer of fascia, which spans the pubic arch and attaches to the ischiopubic rami. The inferior fascial layer of the urogenital diaphragm forms the perineal membrane, which gives attachment to the bulb and crura of the penis or clitoris. It is pierced by the urethra in both sexes and the vagina in the female.
Below the urogenital diaphragm lies the superficial perineal pouch. The muscles of the superficial perineal pouch are analogous in both sexes but smaller in the female.
In the male, the bulbospongiosus muscles cover the corpus spongiosum, which encloses the urethra, to form the bulb of the penis. The ischiocavernosus muscles arise from the ischial rami, cover the corpora cavernosa and fuse anteriorly together and with the bulb of the penis to form the body of the penis.
In the female, the bulbospongiosus muscles cover the vestibular bulbs. The bulbs arise from the perineal membrane, are united anteriorly by a median commissure and lie each side of the vestibule. The vestibule contains the openings of the vagina, urethra and ducts of the greater vestibular (Bartholins) glands, which lie at the posterior border of each vestibular bulb. The ischiocavernosus muscles fuse with the paired corpora cavernosa to form the crura of the clitoris.
The superficial transverse perineal muscle is a slender muscle that runs along the posterior border of the perineal membrane and attaches to the perineal body and ischial rami.
Deep to the perineal membrane lies the deep perineal pouch, bounded superiorly by the superior layer of the urogenital diaphragm. This principally consists of the deep transverse perineal muscles and the sphincter urethrae. In the male, it contains the bulbourethral (Cowper's) glands and ducts, and in the female, is pierced by the vagina.
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