Fibroids

 

  Basic Anatomy of the Women Reproductive Organs
 
 

The uterus is the female reproductive organ that holds the fetus during pregnancy.
When you’re not pregnant, your uterus is about the size and shape of an upside-down pear.
Non-pregnant uterine size varies with age and number of pregnancies, but is approximately 3,5 inches long and weighs about one 6th of a pound.

 

The uterus composed of two distinct anatomic regions;

1.      the corpus.

2.      the cervix

 

The corpus is further divided into

§         the lower uterine segment

§         the fundus.

 

The cervix is a narrow cylindrical passage which connects at its lower end with the vagina.
At its upper end, the cervix widens to form the lower uterine segment (isthmus); the lower uterine segment in turn widens into the uterine fundus.
 

The corpus is the body of the uterus which grows during pregnancy to carry a fetus.

Extending from the top of the uterus on either side are the fallopian tubes (oviducts); these tubes are continuous with the uterine cavity and allow the passage of an egg (ova) from the ovaries to the uterus where the egg may implant if fertilized

 

The thick wall of the uterus is formed of three layers:

1.      endometrium

2.      myometrium

3.      serosa

 

The uterine mucosa (endometrium) is the innermost layer that lines the cavity of the uterus (inner walls), nourishes the fetus during pregnancy.
Throughout the menstrual cycle, the endometrium grows progressively thicker with a rich blood supply to prepare the uterus for potential implantation of an embryo.
In a woman who is not pregnant, a portion of this layer is shed each month during menstruation.

 

The walls of the uterus (myometrium)is the middle and thickest layer of the uterus and is composed of involuntary (smooth) muscle.  
The myometrium contracts during menstruation to help expel the sloughed endometrial lining and during childbirth to
allows a woman to give birth.

 

The outermost layer, or serosa, is a thin fibrous layer contiguous with extrauterine connective tissue structures such as ligaments that give mechanical support to the uterus within the pelvic cavity.

Next: What Causes Fibroids?

 

 

   

 

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