Within the body's pelvic region, the middle rectal artery delivers oxygenated blood to the rectum. The rectum is the end of the digestive tract. 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 toward the vaginal region.

In both sexes, the artery arises from the internal iliac artery. 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 iliac vein.