Just above the inguinal ligament, identify the terminal branches of the two cutaneous nerves supplying this region, the iliohypogastric nerve (L1), and the ilioinguinal nerve (L1). Both of these nerves arise from the lumbar plexus. The iliohypogastric nerve pierces the aponeurosis of the external abdominal oblique muscle 3-5 cm above the superficial inguinal ring. The ilioinguinal nerve emerges from the superficial inguinal ring (to be described in Step 9) and passes on the surface of the spermatic cord (in the male) or the round ligament of the uterus (in the female) into the scrotum or labia majora respectively.
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