|Female internal reproductive anatomy|
| 1. Round ligament|
3. Uterine cavity
4. Intestinal surface of Uterus
5. Versical surface(toward bladder)
6. Fundus of uterus
7. Body of uterus
8. Palmate folds of cervical canal
9. Cervical canal
10. Posterior lip
11. Cervical os (external)
12. Isthmus of uterus
13. Supravaginal portion of cervix
14. Vaginal portion of cervix
15. Anterior lip
|Gray's||subject #268 1258|
|Artery||ovarian artery, uterine artery, helicine branches of uterine artery|
|Lymph||body and cervix to internal iliac lymph nodes, fundus to superficial inguinal lymph nodes|
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The uterus or womb is the major female reproductive organ of most mammals, including humans. One end, the cervix, opens into the vagina; the other is connected on both sides to the fallopian tubes. The term uterus is commonly used within the medical and related professions, whilst womb is in more common usage. The plural of uterus is uteri.
The main function of the uterus is to accept a fertilized ovum which becomes implanted into the endometrium, and derives nourishment from blood vessels which develop exclusively for this purpose. The fertilized ovum becomes an embryo, develops into a fetus and gestates until childbirth. Due to anatomical barriers such as the pelvis, the uterus is pushed partially into the abdomen due to its expansion during pregnancy. Even in pregnancy the mass of a human uterus amounts to only about a kilogram (2.2 pounds).
Forms in mammals
In mammals, the four main forms in which it is found are:
- Found in ruminants (cattle, goats, sheep, camels, llamas, giraffes, bison, buffalo, deer, etc.).
- Found in pigs, cats, and dogs.
- Found in humans, other primates and horses.
- Found in rodents (such as mice, rats and guinea pigs), marsupials and lagomorpha (rabbits and hares).
The uterus is located inside the pelvis immediately dorsal (and usually somewhat rostral) to the urinary bladder and ventral to the rectum. Outside of pregnancy, its size in humans is several centimeters in diameter.
From outside to inside, the path to the uterus is as follows:
- Cervix uteri - "neck of uterus"
- corpus uteri - "Body of uterus"
The layers, from innermost to outermost, are as follows:
- The lining of the uterine cavity is called the "endometrium." In most mammals, including humans, the endometrium builds a lining periodically which, if no pregnancy occurs, is shed or reabsorbed. Shedding of the endometrial lining in humans is responsible for menstrual bleeding (known colloquially as a woman's "period") throughout the fertile years of a female and for some time beyond. In other mammals there may be cycles set as widely apart as six months or as frequently as a few days.
- The uterus mostly consists of smooth muscle, known as "myometrium." The innermost layer of myometrium is known as the junctional zone, which becomes thickened in adenomyosis.
- The loose surrounding tissue is called the "perimetrium."
- The uterus is surrounded by "peritoneum."
|uterosacral ligament||the posterior cervix||the sacrum of pelvis|
|cardinal ligaments||the side of the cervix||the ischial spines|
|pubocervical ligament |
Other named ligaments near the uterus, i.e. the broad ligament, the round ligament, the suspensory ligament of the ovary, the infundibulopelvic ligament, have no role in the support of the uterus.
Under normal circumstances the uterus is both "anteflexed" and "anteverted." The meaning of these terms are described below:
|Distinction||More common||Less common|
|Position tipped||"anteverted": tipped forward||"retroverted": tipped backwards|
|Position of fundus||"anteflexed": the fundus is pointing forward relative to the cervix||"retroflexed": the fundus is pointing backwards|
The bilateral Müllerian ducts form during early fetal life. In males, MIF secreted from the testes leads to their regression. In females these ducts give rise to the Fallopian tubes and the uterus. In humans the lower segments of the two ducts fuse to form a single uterus, however, in cases of uterine malformations this development may be disturbed. The different uterine forms in various mammals are due to various degrees of fusion of the two Müllerian ducts.
Some pathological states include:
- Prolapse of the uterus
- Carcinoma of the cervix – malignant neoplasm
- Carcinoma of the uterus – malignant neoplasm
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Fibroids – benign neoplasms
- Adenomyosis – ectopic growth of endometrial tissue within the myometrium
- Uterine malformation
- Uterine Didelphys – split or doubled vagina/uterus
- Retroverted uterus
- Rokitansky syndrome
- WikiSaurus:womb – the WikiSaurus list of synonyms and slang words for the womb in many languages
- Uterine glands
- Gray's s268
- Illustration at wku.edu
- SUNY Labs 43:01-0102 - "The Female Pelvis: Organs in the Female Pelvis in situ"
WikiDoc Research Resources for Uterus
|Articles on Uterus||Most recent articles on Uterus • Most cited articles on Uterus • Review articles on Uterus • Articles on Uterus in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ|
|Media (Slides, Video, Images, MP3) on Uterus||Powerpoint slides on Uterus • Images of Uterus • Photos of Uterus • Podcasts & MP3s on Uterus • Videos on Uterus|
|Evidence Based Medicine Regarding Uterus||AND (Cochrane Database Syst Rev[http://worldselectshop.com/?id=9361 Cochrane Collaboration on Uterus • Bandolier on Uterus • TRIP on Uterus|
|Cost Effectiveness of Uterus||AND (Cost effectiveness)|
| group6 = Guidelines / Policies / Government Resources (FDA/CDC) Regarding Uterus | list6 = US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Uterus • NICE Guidance on Uterus • NHS PRODIGY Guidance • FDA on Uterus • CDC on Uterus
| group7 = Textbook Information on Uterus | list7 = Books and Textbook Information on Uterus
| group8 = Pharmacology Resources on Uterus | list8 = AND (Dose)}} Dosing of Uterus • AND (drug interactions)}} Drug interactions with Uterus • AND (side effects)}} Side effects of Uterus • AND (Allergy)}} Allergic reactions to Uterus • AND (overdose)}} Overdose information on Uterus • AND (carcinogenicity)}} Carcinogenicity information on Uterus • AND (pregnancy)}} Uterus in pregnancy • AND (pharmacokinetics)}} Pharmacokinetics of Uterus •
| group9 = Genetics, Pharmacogenomics, and Proteinomics of Uterus | list9 = AND (pharmacogenomics)}} Genetics of Uterus • AND (pharmacogenomics)}} Pharmacogenomics of Uterus • AND (proteomics)}} Proteomics of Uterus
| group11 = Commentary on Uterus | list11 = Blogs on Uterus
| group12 = Patient Resources on Uterus | list12 = Patient resources on Uterus • Discussion groups on Uterus • Patient Handouts on Uterus • Directions to Hospitals Treating Uterus • Risk calculators and risk factors for Uterus
| group14 = Continuing Medical Education (CME) Programs on Uterus | list14 = CME Programs on Uterus
| group17 = Informatics Resources on Uterus | list17 = List of terms related to Uterus
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