It originates from the anterior section of internal iliac artery in the pelvis. It enters the adductor compartment of the thigh via the obturator canal. Just outside the obturator canal, it breaks up into medial and lateral branches. The lateral branch produces an acetabular twig, which enters the acetabulum via a gap between acetabular notch and transverse acetabular ligament where it provides acetabular fat and produces a slight artery to the femoral head along the ligament of the head of femur.

Vessels originating from the anterior and posterior branches provides to adjacent muscles and anastomose with the inferior gluteal and medial circumflex femoral arteries. Apart from this, an acetabular vessel originates from the posterior branch, goes into the hip joint through the acetabular notch, and contributes to the supply of the head of the femur.

Abnormal obturator artery

Generally a pubic branch of the obturator artery anastomoses with the pubic branch of the inferior epigastric artery. Sometimes this anastomosis is so large and well developed that the obturator artery appears to be a branch of the inferior epigastric artery.