What is the Pubococcygeus Muscle? - Definition & Anatomy

Instructor: Charity Hacker

I am a nursing instructor with over 20 years of nursing experience and a Masters Degree in Nursing Education.

The vital organs located in the upper half of the body above the legs, are just that: vital. What supports all of these organs? The pubococcygeus muscle does, that's what! In this lesson, we will learn about the definition and anatomy of the pubococcygeus muscle.

Let's Meet the Pubococcygeus Muscle

What is the pubococcygeus muscle? Well, you could look at it as the floor of a high-rise building that has several underground levels. How many levels do most high-rise buildings have? 1, 2… maybe 3. Let's try the floor of a high-rise building that has as many levels underground as over. That is what you have when you are describing the pubococcygeus muscle of the human body. Let's read on to learn more.

Definition of the Pubococcygeus Muscle

No really, what is the pubococcygeus muscle? The pubococcygeus muscle, also referred to as the PC muscle or PCM, is the muscle that makes up the floor of the abdominopelvic cavity. The abdominopelvic cavity is the lower half of the human body trunk. It holds the abdominal and pelvic organs. Actually, it is the middle and primary component of three muscles that make up a muscle group, called the levator ani. The levator ani muscles are central components of the complete pelvic floor. Besides supporting the pelvic organs, their primary function is control of urinary flow.

Pelvic floor muscles
Picture of the pubococcygeus muscle.

Anatomy of the Pubococcygeus Muscle

Before delving deeper into the anatomy of the pubococcygeus muscle, you should become familiar with the pelvic girdle. The pelvic girdle is a skeletal structure made of three bones, the ilium, ischium, and pubis. It makes a ring around the lower body and joins with coccyx bone posteriorly.

Picture of pelvic girdle.

Points of Attachment

Now, let's get back to the pubococcygeus muscle. An origin point is where a muscle begins. The PC muscle arises from two different locations in the front of the body, the pubis bone and the fascia of the obturator internus. You can see the pubis bone in the picture of the pelvic girdle. It is in the front of the body directly above the urethra. But, you ask what is the fascia of the obturator internus? The obturator internus is a muscle that helps the hip move. It runs laterally, from the sides of the pelvic girdle to the thigh bone or femur. Muscle fascia is connective tissue which separates and helps to attach muscles. This bundle of muscle fascia is called the tendinous arch.

Let's recap. The PC muscle's origin points are located at the front of the body: the pubis bone and the fascia of the obturator internus. Try to use the images to picture it.

The obturator internus
obturator internus

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