Middle rectal artery

Within the body's pelvic region, the middle rectal artery serves oxygenated blood to the rectum. However, there are anatomical variances between males and females. For men, the artery branches into blood vessels that serve the prostate as well as the seminal vesicles. In women, the artery branches into vessels that run into the vagina. In both sexes, the artery arises from the internal iliac artery. Also, the rectum is the end of the digestive tract. The supply of oxygenated blood that assists in the final stages of digestion is left over ingested matter processed into feces to be expelled from the body. The middle rectal artery has venal counterparts in the middle rectal veins. These vessels actively drain deoxygenated blood from the area and move it to the internal ileac vein. From there, the deoxygenated blood moves through venal circulatory system until it ends up in the heart via the inferior vena cava. The right side of the heart then pumps it into the lungs for fresh oxygen.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Middle rectal artery

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