Pubic symphysis

The pubic symphysis is a midline or secondary cartilaginous joint located between the left and right pubic bones of the median plane. More specifically, it is located superior to any external genitalia and anterior to the bladder. It can be found above the penis in males and above the vulva in females. In males, the joint connects to the ligament of the penis. In females, the joint is closer located to the clitoris. In women, it is the area in which the pubic bones connect to create the opening that allows children to pass through the region during birth. It is covered by hyaline cartilage and united by a disc of fibrocartilage. The fibrocartilage disc is then reinforced by ligaments which are bound to the disc itself, and it is reinforced by tendons from the obliques externus, rectus abdominis, and gracilis. Normally, the joint can be moved two millimeters and with a one degree rotation. This flexibility changes during child birth. During pregnancy and birth, the ligaments around the pubic symphysis become flexible and relaxed so that the child may pass through.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Pubic symphysis

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