The Pelvic Girdle

The pelvic girdle, which is also referred to as the hip girdle, consists of two hip bones (left and right).  The hip bones are also called the coxal bones.  At birth the coxal bones are divided into three parts: the ilium, the ischium, and the pubis.  As one ages, the three bones fuse together.  The two hip bones meet in the back on either side of the sacrum.  In the front the two bones are connected by a muscle.

The pelvic girdle serves several purposes in the body.  First, it, together with the vertebral column, helps to support the body's weight and maintain the body upright.  The pelvic girdle also protects the important organs of the urinary system and reproductive systems, and in a female protects a devloping fetus during pregnancy.

One thing that is unique about the pelvic girdle is that it differs in males and females.  In males, the pelvic girdle is larger and the bones are closer together.  In a female the pelvic girdle is smaller, but the bones are further apart to allow for a fetus to pass through during childbirth.  The diagram below shows the pelvic girdle.

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