Uterus, uterine tubes and ovaries
After completing this study unit you will be able to:
- Identify the structures that make up the uterus, uterine tubes and ovaries
- Understand the anatomical relations of the uterus, uterine tubes and ovaries
- Discover the function of the uterus, uterine tubes and ovaries
The vagina, uterus, uterine tubes and ovaries represent the internal organs of the female reproductive system (female internal genitalia).
The uterus, commonly known as the womb, is a pear-shaped muscular organ situated in the pelvis anterior to the rectum and posterior to the urinary bladder. It is about 8 cm long and is divided into 4 parts: the cervix, isthmus, corpus, and fundus. The uterus has many functions, such as providing vaginal and uterine secretions, hosting the fetus during pregnancy, and allowing sperm to pass to the uterine tubes in order to fertilize an egg (ovum). During childbirth, the uterus contracts to move the fetus through the pelvis/birth canal.
The ovaries are paired disc-shaped endocrine glands, responsible for the production of eggs (ova) and the secretion of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. An ovum is released every 3 to 4 weeks into the uterine tube, which is a paired, 10 cm long muscular tube. The uterine tube extends laterally from each side of the uterus, serving as a passageway between the ovaries and the uterus.
Watch the following video to learn more about the structures located in the superior portion of the female reproductive system and how they work together to achieve its goal - the miracle of life.
Take a quiz
Now that you’ve watched the video about the uterus, ovaries and their associated structures, go ahead and test your knowledge with the following quiz:
Found some weak spots in your knowledge about the uterus and ovaries? Choose the topics you want to be tested on with our customizable quiz below:
Learn the internal organs of the female reproductive system with the following PDF worksheets.
Take a closer look at each of the structures in this region with our gallery of images:
|Definition||Pear-shaped muscular organ, 8 cm long|
|Parts||Cervix, isthmus, corpus, and fundus|
Endometrium (innermost mucous membrane layer)
Myometrium (smooth muscle layer)
Perimetrium (serosa or outer serosal layer)
|Ligaments||Uterosacral ligament, broad ligament of uterus (mesometrium, mesosalpinx, mesovarium)|
|Relations||Vagina (inferior), urinary bladder (anterior), rectum (posterior), uterine tubes (left and right), ovaries (left and right)|
|Function||Provide vaginal and uterine secretions, host the fetus during pregnancy, allow sperm to pass through the uterine tubes in order to fertilize an egg, provide mechanical protection, nutritional support to the fetus, and remove waste from inside the uterus.|
|Definition||10 cm long muscular tubes extending bilaterally from the uterus.|
|Parts||Infundibulum, ampulla, isthmus and intramural part.|
|Ligaments||Broad ligament (specifically the mesosalpinx)|
|Relations||Ovaries, uterus, appendix (right), sigmoid colon (left), common iliac vessels|
|Function||Passageway between the ovaries and the uterus|
|Definition||Bilateral disc-shaped organs and endocrine glands|
|Ligaments||Suspensory ligament of ovary, proper ovarian ligament, broad ligament|
|Relations||Uterine tubes, uterus, appendix (right), sigmoid colon (left)|
|Function||Production of eggs, secretion of estrogen and progesterone|
Continue your learning:
Now that you have a broader understanding about the anatomy and physiology of the uterus, uterine tubes and ovaries, continue your learning with other nearby structures.