- Pouch of Douglas
- An extension of the peritoneal cavity between the rectum and back wall of the uterus. The term "cul-de-sac," aside from being any "blind pouch or cavity that is closed at one end," is used specifically to refer to the rectouterine pouch. From that fact comes: Culdoscopy, the introduction of an endoscope through the vagina into the cul-de-sac; Culdoscope, the viewing tube (endoscope) that is used to look into the cul-de-sac; and Culdocentesis, the aspiration (withdrawal) of fluid from the cul-de-sac. In French, "cul-de-sac" literally is "bottom of (a) sack." As early as the 13th century, a cul-de-sac was a dead-end street (or a dead-end way), a blind alley. (The third letter in "cul" is silent in French; in English it is spoken. So, in French "cul" is pronounced "ku" and in English "kul"). The rectouterine pouch is called the pouch of Douglas after the Scottish anatomist James Douglas (1675-1742) who explored this region of the female body and left his name attached to at least 3 other structural features in the vicinity.
* * *pouch of Doug·las -'dəg-ləs n a deep peritoneal recess between the uterus and the upper vaginal wall anteriorly and the rectum posteriorly called also cul-de-sac, cul-de-sac of Douglas, Douglas's cul-de-sac, Douglas's pouchDouglas James (1675-1742)British anatomist. Douglas was the author of a number of books and papers on human, comparative, and pathological anatomy. In 1707 he published an important book on muscles. In 1730 he published a detailed study of the peritoneum which contained his original description of the pouch of Douglas.
Medical dictionary. 2011.