Pudendal comes from a Latin word meaning, “to be ashamed”. Interesting that this term is an archaic reference to the external genitalia. Obviously, the association of “shame” to “private parts”, those areas that should be hidden from view whether with a fig leaf or clothing, stems from ancient times. However, the term is still used to identify the artery, vein and nerve that primarily supply the genital area: internal pudendal artery, vein and pudendal nerve. Pudendal is also attached to a medical procedure used during delivery, a pudendal block, to anesthetize the area surrounding the vagina before passage of the baby’s head.
Anatomy word of the month: Pudendal nerve
Apr 2, 2013 | Updated May 6, 2015