Inguinal Canal

Inguinal CanalThe inguinal canal in the groin of men is the remnant of the tube through which the testicle passed before birth from inside the abdomen to the scrotum. The canal contains the arteries, veins and nerves supplying the testicle, and the vas deferens (sperm tube) that carries sperm from the testicle to the seminal vesicle and penis.

The canal is normally just wide enough to contain these structures, but if it opens up, an inguinal hernia occurs as the intestine pushes into the canal. The canal has an internal inguinal ring of ligamentous tissue at its inner end, and a similar external inguinal ring at its outer end.

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