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Nerve: Ilioinguinal nerve
Plan of the lumbar plexus. The ilioinguinal is visible at the upper left.
The lumbar plexus and its branches. The ilioinguinal nerve is visible at the upper left.
Latin nervus ilioinguinalis
Gray's subject #212 952
From lumbar plexus
MeSH {{{MeshNumber}}}

The ilioinguinal nerve, smaller than the iliohypogastric nerve, arises with it from the first lumbar nerve.

It emerges from the lateral border of the psoas major just below the iliohypogastric, and, passing obliquely across the quadratus lumborum and iliacus, perforates the transversus abdominis, near the anterior part of the iliac crest, and communicates with the iliohypogastric nerve between the transversus and the obliquus internus.

The nerve then pierces the obliquus internus, distributing filaments to it, and, accompanying the spermatic cord through the subcutaneous inguinal ring, is distributed to the skin of the upper and medial part of the thigh, and to the following locations in the male and female:

  • In the male ("anterior scrotal nerve"): to the skin over the root of the penis and upper part of the scrotum.
  • In the female ("anterior labial nerve"): to the skin covering the mons pubis and labium majus.

Note that the ilioinguinal nerve does not pass through the deep inguinal ring, and therefore it only travels through part of the inguinal canal.


The size of this nerve is in inverse proportion to that of the iliohypogastric.

Occasionally it is very small, and ends by joining the iliohypogastric; in such cases, a branch from the iliohypogastric takes the place of the ilioinguinal, or the latter nerve may be altogether absent.

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

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