The genitourinary and reproductive systems: Interpretation of Avicenna's (980–1037 AD) treatise in the Canon of Medicine
Avicenna (also known as Ibn Sina 980–1037 AD) was the most influential Persian physician and scholar in the medieval times (9–12th century AD). Avicenna contributed to various fields of medicine, astronomy and metaphysics during his time. In the field of basic medical sciences, Avicenna systematically described the anatomy and pathology of various organs of the human body and devised surgical interventions towards the treatment of disorders associated with them. Avicenna compiled his famous book the Canon of Medicine which went on to become a reference textbook of medicine in the region and the West. Although neither formal human cadaveric dissection nor surgical training was recorded during his time, the anatomical and surgical information presented in the Canon of Medicine is comparable to modern literature. In the current vignette, we present an analysis of the basic structural anatomy and functional aspects of the genitourinary and reproductive systems and some reproductive concepts presented in the Canon of Medicine textbook and compare their relevance in modern medical literature. We found Avicenna's information on these systems to be congruent to modern anatomy and physiology literature. The only differences are attributed to the differences in the experimental approaches with Avicenna's information being derived in an era with less technological advances especially on the histology of organs. However, Avicenna's information in this treaty can be regarded as pioneering in the fields of urology and gynaecology.