Uterus

Where is the womb? How do you look like structure and function? The answers to all important questions about the uterus can be found here!

Uterus

The uterus (uterus) is the fruit holder or breeding area where the embryo develops until birth. Through the contractions of the muscular uterine wall at birth (labor), the child is born. Read all about the topic: How is the uterus built up? Where is the uterus? Which task does she have? What health problems can affect the uterus?

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uterus

  • What is the uterus?

  • What is the function of the uterus?

  • Where is the womb?

  • What problems can the uterus cause?

What is the uterus?

The uterus (uterus) is a muscular organ in the shape of an inverted pear. Inside the uterus is the uterine cavity (Cavum uteri) with a flat, triangular interior. The upper two-thirds of the uterus is called the uterine body (corpus uteri) with the dome (fundus uteri) in the uppermost area, which dominates the right and left, the departure of each fallopian tube. The lower narrow third is called the cervix (cervix uteri).

Between the corpus uteri and the cervix there is a narrow connecting piece (isthmus uteri), which is about half to full centimeters long. Although this area belongs anatomically to the cervix, it is lined in its interior with the same mucous membrane as the corpus uteri. However, the mucous membrane in the isthmus - unlike that in the uterine body - does not participate in the cyclical changes during the menstrual cycle.

The transition between the uterine isthmus and the cervix forms the internal cervix. The lowest part of the cervix projecting into the vagina is called vaginal vaginalis uteri. In its center, the cervix opens with the outer cervix.

The uterus is usually slightly bent forward (anteversion) and slightly bent forward towards the cervix (anteflexion). She lies on the bladder. Depending on the filling of the urinary bladder, the uterus shifts a bit.

Uterine size and weight

The size of the uterus is about seven to ten centimeters for an adult, non-pregnant woman. The uterus is one and a half to three inches thick and weighs about 50 to 60 grams. This weight can increase to about one kilogram in pregnancy.

Construction of the uterine wall

The wall structure in the uterus shows three layers: The outer layer is a covering with peritoneum, the connective tissue perimetrium. Inside, a thick layer of muscle cells, called myometrium, follows. On the inside is a mucous membrane. In the uterine cavity this endometrium is called. It differs in its structure from the mucous membrane in the cervix.

What is the function of the uterus?

The uterine function only becomes effective during pregnancy: The uterus provides the space in which the fertilized egg cell develops into a viable child.

Every month, the uterus prepares for this task: The endometrium thickens in the first half of the cycle under the influence of hormones (estrogens) to a thickness of about six millimeters. In another step, the hormone progesterone unfolds its effect: it prepares the endometrium for the implantation of a potentially fertilized egg. If no fertilization has taken place, the thickened mucous membrane is rejected and excreted via the menstrual period (blood from torn mucosal vessels). The strong muscle layer inside the uterus contracts to deliver the rejected tissue to the outside. These muscle contractions can be perceived differently as menstrual pain.

But if an egg is fertilized within a cycle, then this nestles in the uterine mucosa. This continues to grow to ensure the nutrition of the embryo. The uterus can adapt to the growth of the child and can reach an inner volume of up to five liters.

Where is the womb?

The uterus is located in the small pelvis of the woman between the urinary bladder and the rectum. The perimetrium extends from the upper end to the anterior surface of the uterus, which rests on the bladder and further down to the isthmus, where it continues on the bladder. In the posterior area of ​​the uterus, the perimetrium lies down to the cervix down the uterus.

The uterus is held in position by various connective tissue structures (straps). In addition, the pelvic floor muscles usually prevent a drop in the uterus.

What problems can the uterus cause?

In 10 to 20 percent of women, the uterus is tilted backwards (retroversion) and / or bent backwards (retroflexion). This may be innate, based on different filling conditions of the neighboring organs (such as bladder) or caused by inflammation or tumors.Some of the affected women suffer from complaints such as back pain, pain during intercourse, particularly severe, persistent menstrual pain (dysmenorrhoea), increased menstrual bleeding (hypermenorrhea) or even sterility.

In endometriosis, the lining of the uterus (endometrium) also grows outside the uterus, such as in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, peritoneum or, although rarely, in regions outside the genital area, such as the groin, in the rectum, in lymph nodes, in the lungs or even in the brain. These endometrial foci also participate in the cycle, so they are cyclically built up and broken down (including a small bleeding that is absorbed by the disgusting tissue). Common symptoms of endometriosis include abdominal pain, cyclical back pain, pain during sex, menstrual disorders and infertility.

There are several malformations that affect the uterus. For example, the uterus bicornis unicollis has two uterine bodies with a common cervix (cervix). If there are two uterine bodies, each with its own cervix, it is called uterus bicornis bicollis. Women with a uterus didelphus have two equal uteri, two cervices and usually two vagina. If there is no uterus at birth, medics speak of uterine aplasia.

The uterus can lower (ie enter deeper into the pelvis), usually together with the vagina. Due to the tight connective tissue connections, the adjacent organs, the urinary bladder and / or the rectum, are also taken along. This lowering (descensus) of the pelvic organs is a progressive process. Finally, the uterus can partially or completely escape from the vagina (prolapse). Risk factors for pelvic organ descensus include weakness or injury to the pelvic floor (such as birth injuries), obesity, chronic cough, and chronic constipation.

A cervical cancer is referred to as cervical carcinoma. Risk factors include early first intercourse, frequently changing sexual partners and poor genital hygiene. These factors increase the risk of infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV). These germs are involved in the development of cervical cancer.

More often than in the cervix, a malignant tumor develops in the area of ​​the uterine corpus; then there is uterine cancer (carcino-carcinoma). Risk factors include, for example, older age, obesity, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Even women who have never given birth to a child are more susceptible to uterine cancer.

Uterine polyps are caused by estrogen-induced hyperplasia (enlargement / increased growth) of the endometrial tissue. Uterine fibroids are benign muscle tumors in or on the uterus whose growth is determined by estrogen. Both polyps and fibroids can and do not cause discomfort.


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