Continuing inferiorly to the thorax, we come across the abdomen and pelvis. These two regions are often taught separately for didactic purposes, but their contents blend together into one large abdominopelvic cavity. Internally, it is lined by a membrane called the peritoneum which wraps around many structures, making them intraperitoneal. The ones located outside the membrane are named extraperitoneal. The largest organ system located here is the gastrointestinal tract. The intestines, which are mainly responsible for absorption, snail through these regions for a total of 7.5 meters, the equivalent of four human beings stacked upright on top of each other.
Four accessory organs that help the gastrointestinal tract to perform its functions are located inside the abdominopelvic cavity. These are the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen. They help especially with the digestion of proteins and fats, as well as metabolic processing.
It’s easy to think that the abdomen and pelvis are overfilled with the gastrointestinal tract, but there’s even more! Organs like the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and female and male reproductive structuresare also located here. They form entire systems that work in unison to ensure that you eliminate wastes, react to stressful or scary situations, and reproduce.
Your abdomen and pelvis are the home to some of the body’s largest blood vessels. Since they supply major organs and even more distal body parts, they are large caliber structures transporting liters of blood. For example, if either the aorta or a renal artery ruptures during a traumatic event, the person would die in several minutes. Important nerves can also be found in these regions, controlling the activity of the abdominopelvic organs and allowing you to feel pain.