Uterus, also called womb, is an inverted hollow pear-shaped muscular organ of the female reproductive system, located between the bladder and the rectum that is in the lower belly. It is responsible for a variety of functions such as, menstruation, gestation (pregnancy), labor and delivery. The uterus is connected to the fallopian tubes. These tubes help carry eggs from the ovaries into the uterus. The lower part of the uterus connects to the vagina and is called the cervix. The wider, upper part of the uterus is called the corpus or fundus. 

It is the site of nourishment for the growing baby, making it one of the most important reproductive organs in the female body. This all begins when an egg, or ovum, is fertilized by a sperm and will make its way to the uterus since the tight fallopian tubes will not provide enough space to house the growing embryo. The uterus is a thick, muscular organ which will allow it to contract and expand to make room for the developing baby. The uterus is also rich in vasculature. There are many blood vessels supplying the muscle layers at any given time. This especially applies to the endometrium which is highly vascular and will nourish the embryo. Many of the endometrial vessels supplying the embryo will form for this sole purpose. Hence the uterus is termed as the “site of implantation.” 

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Frequently asked questions about Uterus

What are the common uterine conditions?
  • Menorrhagia: Menorrhagia is prolonged or very heavy menstrual bleeding. 
  • Dysmenorrhea: is severe menstrual pain that can occur before and/or during the menstrual period. 
  • Congenital Uterine Malformation: Sometimes, the uterus itself is abnormally shaped. 
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: When bacteria or organisms enter the cervix and spread upward, the infection can affect one or more of the pelvic organs, including the uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes. This is called pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Polyps: are small, soft growths inside the uterus that can cause pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, spotting between periods, and bleeding after intercourse.
  • Fibroids: are growths in the walls of the uterus.
  • Endometriosis: the same kind of tissue that lines your uterus also grows in other parts of the body, usually in the abdomen or ovaries
  • Uterine Scars (Asherman's Syndrome)
  • Cancer.
What is hysterectomy?

Hysterectomy is the surgical term for the removal of the uterus (womb). This results in the inability to become pregnant. 

When is hysterectomy done?

This operation is performed if the woman has cancer of the ovaries or the uterus, or for chronic pain due to recurrent pelvic infection or recurrent endometriosis. radical hysterectomy – the most extensive version of the operation.

What are the types of hysterectomy?

A partial hysterectomy (top left) removes just the uterus, and the cervix is left intact. A total hysterectomy (top right) removes the uterus and cervix. At the time of a total hysterectomy, your surgeon may also remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes 

What is menorrhagia?

Menorrhagia is menstrual bleeding that lasts more than 7 days. It can also be bleeding that is very heavy.

What is the treatment for menorrhagia?
  • Medical therapy for menorrhagia may include:
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium help reduce menstrual blood loss. 
  • Tranexamic acid. Antifibrinolytics are medicines that promote blood clotting by preventing or slowing down a process called fibrinolysis, which is the breakdown of blood clots.
  • Oral contraceptives.
  • Oral progesterone. 
  • Hormonal IUD 
Does severe pain during menses mean I have some problem?

Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) are throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen. Many women have menstrual cramps just before and during their menstrual periods. 

How do you know if Period pain is serious?

Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) are throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen.  But if there is pelvic pain at other times during your cycle, that may signal a problem. If severe cramping is accompanied by fever, vomiting, dizziness, unusual vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, or if the pain is especially severe consult a gynecologist.

Which hospital is best for gynecology in India?
  • Fortis La Femme, Delhi.
  • Fortis La Femme, Bangalore.
  • Motherhood Hospital, Bangalore.
  • Max Smart Superspecialty Hospital, Delhi.
  • Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai.
  • MaxCure Suyosha Woman and Child Hospital.
  • Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore.
  • Rainbow Hospital for Women & Children.
What are the symptoms of uterine prolapse?

Mild uterine prolapse generally doesn't cause signs or symptoms. Signs and symptoms of moderate to severe uterine prolapse include:

  • Sensation of heaviness or pulling in the pelvis
  • Something coming out of the vagina
  • Urinary problems, such as urine leakage (incontinence) or urine retention
  • Trouble having bowel movement
  • Feeling as if one is sitting on a small ball or as if something is falling out of your vagina
  • Sexual concerns, such as a sensation of looseness in the tone of the vaginal tissue

Often, symptoms are less bothersome in the morning and worsen as the day goes on.

What are the stages of uterine cancer?
  • Stages of Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer
  • Stage I: Cancer that is confined to the uterus.
  • Stage II: Cancer that has spread to the cervix.
  • Stage III: Cancer that has spread to the vagina, ovaries, and/or lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV: Cancer that has spread to the urinary bladder, rectum, or organs located far from the uterus, such as the lungs or bones
What is the treatment of uterine cancer?

The most common type of radiation treatment is called external-beam radiation therapy, which is radiation given from a machine outside the body. Some women with uterine cancer need surgery and radiation therapy. The radiation therapy is most often given after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

What is retroverted uterus and is it harmful?

This condition is not an abnormality or a medical problem — physicians simply refer to it as a “normal anatomical variance”. Many women who have a tilted uterus aren't even aware of it, and it has no impact on the health of the baby.

What happens if the uterus is damaged?

Uterine rupture is a rare, but serious childbirth complication that can occur during vaginal birth. It causes a mother's uterus to tear so her baby slips into her abdomen. This can cause severe bleeding in the mother and can suffocate the baby. This condition affects less than 1 percent of pregnant women.

What are the causes of damaged uterus?

Common causes of uterine prolapse include vaginal childbirth, obesity, severe coughing, straining on the toilet and hormonal changes after menopause which can damage the pelvic organ support structures

What are the signs of damaged womb?

Some common symptoms of uterine problems include:

  • Pain in the uterine region.
  • Abnormal or heavy vaginal bleeding.
  • Irregular menstrual cycle.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • Pain in the pelvis, lower abdomen or rectal area.
  • Increased menstrual cramping.
  • Increased urination.
  • Pain during intercourse.
  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Prolonged menstruation
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Constipation; discomfort during a bowel movement
  • Recurrent bladder infections       
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
What are the causes for irregularity in the menstrual cycle?

Sometimes, irregular periods can be caused by some medicines, exercising too much, having a very low or high body weight, or not eating enough calories. Hormone imbalances can also cause irregular periods like thyroid hormone levels that are too low or too high can cause problems with periods.

What is PCOS and what are its symptoms?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common health problem that can affect teen girls and young women. It can cause irregular menstrual periods, make periods heavier, or even make periods stop. It can also cause a girl to have excess hair and acne.

What are the signs that you have PCOS?

Common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • irregular periods or no periods at all.
  • difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
  • excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks.
  • weight gain.
  • thinning hair and hair loss from the head.
  • oily skin or acne.
What is the treatment for PCOS?

Medications: Birth control pills are often prescribed as a first-line treatment after or with lifestyle changes. Antidiabetic medication and anti-androgen medication are sometimes prescribed to help balance hormones. Metformin is a drug sometimes prescribed to help regulate blood sugar in some forms of PCOS

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disorder when the tissue that usually lines the endometrium (inside the uterus) grows out of the uterus. The usual places where this misplaced tissue grows are the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the pelvis tissue lining. In rare cases, the endometrial tissue grows beyond the pelvic region.

What is the treatment for endometriosis?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often the first-line treatment for endometriosis, followed by hormone therapy. Laparoscopy can be used to confirm the diagnosis before additional treatments are pursued; empiric therapy with another suppressive medication is also an option.

Recent Articles

The uterus has 3 layers:

  1. Endometrium. This is the inner lining. It is shed during a female’s period (menses). The endometrium also produces secretions that help keep both the egg and the sperm cells alive. The components of the endometrial fluid include water, iron, potassium, sodium, chloride, glucose (a sugar), and proteins. Glucose is a nutrient to the reproductive cells, while proteins aid with implantation of the fertilized egg.
  2. Myometrium. This is the thick middle muscle layer of the corpus or fundus (top portion of the uterus). This expands during pregnancy to hold the growing baby. It contracts during labor to push the baby out.
  3. Serosa. This is the smooth outer layer. It covers the uterus and makes it easy for the uterus to move in the pelvis as needed.

In women who still have their periods, one ovary releases an egg into a fallopian tube each month. During this time, the endometrium becomes thicker to prepare for a fertilized egg. The egg enters the uterus. If it isn’t fertilized, it leaves the uterus through the vagina and the endometrial lining is shed during the menstrual period. If the egg joins with a male sperm cell, this fertilized egg attaches to the endometrium. The thick wall of the uterus protects the growing baby during pregnancy. During labor, the cervix opens (dilates). The muscles of the myometrium help push the baby out through the vagina. The balance of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone control this process. The uterus of a female child is small until puberty, when it rapidly grows to its adult size and shape. After menopause, the female is no longer capable of having children, the uterus becomes smaller, more fibrous, and paler. 

Some afflictions that may affect the uterus include infections, benign and malignant tumours, endometrial cancer is a malignancy arising from the inner layer of the uterus, the endometrium. Other forms of uterine cancer may involve different tissue layers, such as leiomyosarcoma. Asherman syndrome is intrauterine scarring or adhesions (synechiae), commonly resulting from damage to endometrium from surgical procedures or infection, malformations, such as a double uterus, and prolapse, in which part of the uterus becomes displaced and protrudes from the vaginal opening.

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