Internal pudendal artery
Internal iliac artery with branches, including internal pudendal artery.
The superficial branches of the internal pudendal artery.
SourceInternal iliac artery
BranchesInferior rectal artery and others
VeinInternal pudendal veins
SuppliesExternal genitalia, perineum
Latinarteria pudenda interna
Anatomical terminology

The internal pudendal artery is one of the three pudendal arteries. It branches off the internal iliac artery, and provides blood to the external genitalia.


The internal pudendal artery is the terminal branch of the anterior trunk of the internal iliac artery.[1] It is smaller in the female than in the male.


It arises from the anterior division of internal iliac artery. It runs on the lateral pelvic wall. It exits the pelvic cavity through the greater sciatic foramen, inferior to the piriformis muscle, to enter the gluteal region.

It then curves around the sacrospinous ligament to enter the perineum through the lesser sciatic foramen.

It travels through the pudendal canal with the internal pudendal veins and the pudendal nerve.


The internal pudendal artery gives off the following branches:

In females In males Description
Inferior rectal artery Inferior rectal artery to anal canal
Perineal artery Perineal artery supplies transversus perinei superficialis muscle
Posterior labial branches Posterior scrotal branches -
Artery of bulb of vestibule Artery of bulb of penis[1] supplies bulb of vestibule/bulb of penis
Dorsal artery of clitoris Dorsal artery of the penis[1] -
Deep artery of clitoris Deep artery of the penis[1] to corpus cavernosum penis/clitoridis

The deep artery of clitoris is a branch of the internal pudendal artery and supplies the clitoral crura. Another branch of the internal pudendal artery is the dorsal artery of clitoris.

Some sources consider the urethral artery a direct branch of the internal pudendal artery,[2] while others consider it a branch of the perineal artery.[citation needed]

In males, the internal pudendal artery also gives rise to the perforating arteries of the penis.[1]


Around 70% of men have an accessory internal pudendal artery.[1] This usually does not originate from the internal iliac artery, instead originating from the external iliac artery, the obturator artery, or the vesical arteries.[1]


The internal pudendal artery supplies blood to the external genitalia.

Clinical significance

In women, the internal pudendal artery may be damaged during childbirth.[3] This may cause a haematoma, which usually resolves without treatment, but may form an infected abscess.[3]

Additional images

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Keegan, Kirk A.; Penson, David F. (2013-01-01), Creager, Mark A.; Beckman, Joshua A.; Loscalzo, Joseph (eds.), "Chapter 28 - Vasculogenic Erectile Dysfunction", Vascular Medicine: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease (Second Edition), Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, pp. 341–348, ISBN 978-1-4377-2930-6, retrieved 2021-01-14
  2. ^ "Internal pudendal artery" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  3. ^ a b Gilbert, Robert O.; Cable, Christina; Fubini, Susan L.; Steiner, Adrian (2017-01-01), Fubini, Susan L.; Ducharme, Norm G. (eds.), "Chapter 16 - Surgery of the Bovine Reproductive System and Urinary Tract", Farm Animal Surgery (Second Edition), W.B. Saunders, pp. 439–503, ISBN 978-0-323-31665-1, retrieved 2021-01-14