6.1  The female bony pelvis

The pelvis is a hard ring of bone (see Figure 6.1), which supports and protects the pelvic organs and the contents of the abdominal cavity. The muscles of the legs, back and abdomen are attached to the pelvis, and their strength and power keep the body upright and enable it to bend and twist at the waist, and to walk and run.

The bones of the female pelvis
Figure 6.1  The bones of the female pelvis.

The woman’s pelvis is adapted for child bearing, and is a wider and flatter shape than the male pelvis. The pelvis is composed of pairs of bones, which are fused together so tightly that the joints are difficult to see. We will describe each of the bones in turn, and their major landmarks. It will help you to visualise the anatomy of the pelvis if you keep referring back to Figure 6.1.

Learning Outcomes for Study Session 6

6.1.1  Ilium