Inferior rectal artery

Medically reviewed by Healthline Medical Team on March 12, 2015

When the body carries blood to the heart, the heart pumps oxygen into the blood. Arteries then transport the oxygen-rich blood into different areas of the body. The inferior rectal artery carries oxygenated blood to the lower portion of the anus and anal canal. The anal canal is the end portion of the large intestine that pushes waste into the rectum for expulsion from the body.

The artery branches off the internal pudendal artery, which supplies blood flow to genitalia located outside the body, such as the penis. The artery branches into three segments that cross over the bones of the pelvis. Each branch supplies blood to the muscles located in the anal area.

The inferior rectal artery supplies oxygenated blood to the gluteus maximus, which is the largest muscle in the human buttocks. The artery also supplies blood to the skin of the buttocks. The arteries then circle the body and connect with blood vessels of the rectum and perineal artery.

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