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Anatomy and function of the uterus.
Hello everyone! It’s Matt from Kenhub, and in this tutorial, we will do a quick overview of the anatomy of the uterus. The uterus or womb which you see highlighted in green on this image of the female pelvis is a hollow, hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ in the female pelvis that measures approximately 8 cm in length. It lies dorsocranially on the bladder. It is surrounded by circumjacent connective tissue called the parametrium which is part of the visceral peritoneum.
The peritoneum covers the uterus almost completely except the ventral part of the cervix and it forms 2 recesses: ventrally, the vesicouterine pouch and, dorsally, the rectouterine pouch or Pouch of Douglas. On either side of the uterus, the peritoneum folds over itself and forms a double layer called the broad ligament. The uterus is divided into the cervix, isthmus and corpus. The cervix lies adjacent to the isthmus subperitoneally, meaning it is not covered by the peritoneum and it connects the uterine cavity to the lumen of the vagina. It is approximately 2.5 cm long. The cervical canal has 2 orifices – the internal orifice which is the opening into the uterus and the external orifice opening into the vagina that is covered with vaginal epithelium.
The isthmus is about a 1 cm long narrow passage connecting the cervix and the body of the uterus. The corpus or body lies intraperitoneally and has a triangle-shaped lumen through its connection to the isthmus and both fallopian tubes. In most women, the corpus is bent forward against the cervix at the isthmus known as the antiflexion, and the long axis of the uterus is inclined towards the vagina known as antiversion. The shape and size can vary depending on age, number of pregnancies, and hormonal status. The base of the uterus is called the fundus.
The uterus is supplied by the uterine artery, a branch of the internal iliac artery and the uterine branch is of the ovarian artery which is a branch of the abdominal aorta. The venous drainage of the uterus is carried out by the uterine venous plexus shown here in green into the internal iliac vein. The sympathetic supply of the uterus is derived from the inferior hypogastric plexus. Parasympathetic supplies derived from S2 to S4 sacral nerves. All vessels and nerves run through the lateral ligaments, a broad duplication of the peritoneum connecting the lateral wall of the uterus with the pelvic wall.
The uterus plays an important role in human reproduction. It is the organ where the implantation and nourishment of the fertilized ovum takes place. Through muscle contraction, it helps push the baby out at the time of delivery.
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