The pudendal nerve originates from the ventral rami of the S2-S4 spinal roots.
Ventral divisions of S2-S4 → Sacral Plexus → Pudendal Nerve
This nerve gives rise to the inferior rectal nerve.
This nerve provides motor and sensory innervation to the perineal region of the body.
Sensory branches innervate the external genitalia as fellas the skin around the anus and perineum.
Motor branches innervate the pelvic floor muscles, as well the external urethral and anal sphincters.
CAUSE OF INJURY
Stretch injury can commonly affect this nerve because of its curved course around the ischial spine. The following scenarios are associated with pudendal nerve injury.
- Active pushing during prolonged labor can cause damage to the nerve.
Patients may present with the following complaints that are associated with pudendal nerve damage.
- Fecal incontinence
- Urinary incontinence
- Perineal pain
- Sexual dysfunction
Physical exam can reveal:
- Decreased/absent anal wink reflex
- Decreased anal sphincter tone
Page Updated: 07.31.2016