The Müllerian ducts are paired ducts of the embryo which empty into the cloaca, and which in the female develop into the upper vagina, cervix, uterus and oviducts; in the male they disappear except for the vestigial vagina masculina and the appendix testis .
The development of the Müllerian ducts is controlled by the presence or absence of the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) (also called Müllerian inhibiting factor (MIF) or Müllerian inhibiting hormone (MIH)). During embryogenesis of a male the testes produces AMH and as a result the development of the Müllerian ducts is inhibited. In contrast, during female embryogensis, the absence of AMH results in the develeopment of female reproductive organs, as noted above. Disturbance in the development may result in uterine absence (Mullerian agenesis) or uterine malformations.
The Müllerian ducts are also referred to as paramesonephric ducts. They are named after Johannes Peter Müller, a physiologist who described these ducts in his text "Bildungsgeschichte der Genitalien" in 1830.