Difference between Müllerian Duct and Wolffian Duct

Müllerian Duct

Müllerian duct, also known as the paramesonephric duct, is a paired embryological structure that gives rise to female internal genitalia. It develops to form the cervix, uterus, upper one-third of the vagina and both fallopian tubes.

The Müllerian duct is present in embryos of both sexes, but they develop only in females and degenerate in males. The developing testes in the males produce the Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) that ceases the development of female reproductive organs in males.

The AMH is not secreted in females. The paramesonephric and mesonephric ducts arise in an embryo in about 9 weeks. The mesonephric ducts degenerate due to the absence of male androgens.

Dysfunction in the development of Müllerian ducts can lead to anomalies in the uterus, such as vaginal agenesis, growth of unwanted cells and abnormalities in the axial skeletal and renal system.

The Müllerian ducts are named after a German physiologist Johannes Peter Müller who described them in 1830.

Wolffian Duct

Wolffian ducts, also known as mesonephric ducts, are paired embryological structures that give rise to internal male genitalia. They develop into vas deferens, seminal vesicles and epididymis.

The ducts develop into structures under the influence of male androgens, such as testosterone. The ducts are named after a German physiologist Caspar Friedrich Wolff who described it in 1759.

Improper development of the ducts can lead to congenital absence of the vas deferens, and mutations in the androgen receptor can present with the development of female genitalia.

Müllerian vs Wolffian Duct

Müllerian Duct

Wolffian Duct


The Müllerian duct is a paired embryological structure that gives rise to female reproductive organs. The Wolffian duct is a paired embryological structure that gives rise to male reproductive organs.

Develops into

The Müllerian duct develops into the cervix, upper one-third of the vagina, fallopian tubes and uterus. The Wolffian duct develops into the seminal vesicles, epididymis and vas deferens.

Alternate Name

Paramesonephric duct. Mesonephric duct.

Influence of Anti-Müllerian Hormone

The absence of AMH leads to the development of female genitalia. The presence of AMH leads to the regression of paramesonephric ducts, which would have otherwise developed into female genitalia.

Influence of Testosterone

Testosterone has no influence on the development of Müllerian ducts. The presence of testosterone drives the development of vas deferens and epididymis.

Associated Disorders

Vaginal agenesis Congenital absence of vas deferens

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Frequently Asked Questions on the difference between Müllerian duct and Wolffian duct


Do females have Wolffian ducts?

Females have Wolffian ducts in their embryos, but they regenerate with time.


What does the Müllerian duct differentiate into?

The Mullerian duct differentiates into the cervix, the fallopian tubes and the upper one-third of the vagina.


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