Spermatic cord

The spermatic cord is the cord-like structure in males formed by the vas deferens (ductus deferens) and surrounding tissue that runs from the deep inguinal ring down to each testicle. Its serosal covering, the tunica vaginalis, is an extension of the peritoneum that passes through the transversalis fascia. Each testicle develops in the lower thoracic and upper lumbar region and migrates into the scrotum during its descent it carries along with it vas deferens, its vessels, nerves etc. There is one on each side.

Spermatic cord
The spermatic cord in the inguinal canal (label for spermatic cord in lower right)
LatinFuniculus spermaticus
Anatomical terminology


The spermatic cord is ensheathed in three layers of tissue:

The normal diameter of the spermatic cord is about 16 mm (range 11 to 22 mm).[1]



The pampiniform plexus, testicular artery, cremasteric artery, artery of the ductus deferens, lymphatic vessels, testicular sympathetic nerves, and ductus deferens all run deep to the internal spermatic fascia.[2] The ilioinguinal nerve runs on the superficial surface of the external spermatic fascia.

Clinical significance

The spermatic cord is sensitive to torsion, in which the testicle rotates within its sac and blocks its own blood supply. Testicular torsion may result in irreversible damage to the testicle within hours. A collection of serous fluid in the spermatic cord is named 'funiculocele'.

The contents of the abdominal cavity may protrude into the inguinal canal, producing an indirect inguinal hernia.

Varicose veins of the spermatic cord are referred to as varicocele. Though often asymptomatic, about one in four people with varicocele have negatively affected fertility.[3]

Additional images


  1. Firoozabadi R, Stafford P, Routt M (2015). "Risk of Spermatic Cord Injury During Anterior Pelvic Ring and Acetabular Surgery: An Anatomical Study". Arch Bone Jt Surg. 3 (4): 269–73. PMC 4628634. PMID 26550592.
  2. Shadbolt, Clair; Stefan B. J. Heinze; Rosalind B. Dietrich (2001). "Imaging of Groin Masses: Inguinal Anatomy and Pathologic Conditions Revisited". RadioGraphics. doi:10.1148/radiographics.21.suppl_1.g01oc17s261. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) Figure 3.
  3. "Learn About Varicocele Treatment". VARICOCELE HEALING. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
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