Uterus

The uterus (from Latin uterus, plural uteri) or womb (/wm/) is the organ in the reproductive system of most female mammals, including humans, that accommodates the embryonic and fetal development of one or more embryos until birth. The uterus is a hormone-responsive sex organ that contains glands in its lining that secrete uterine milk for embryonic nourishment.

Uterus
Diagram of human uterus and surrounding structures
Details
PrecursorParamesonephric duct
SystemReproductive system
ArteryOvarian artery and uterine artery
VeinUterine veins
LymphBody and cervix to internal iliac lymph nodes, fundus to para-aortic lymph nodes, lumbar and superficial inguinal lymph nodes.
Identifiers
Latinuterus
Greekὑστέρα (hystéra)
MeSHD014599
TA98A09.1.03.001
TA23500
FMA17558
Anatomical terminology

In the human, the lower end of the uterus is a narrow part known as the isthmus that connects to the cervix, leading to the vagina. The upper end, the body of the uterus, is connected to the fallopian tubes, at the uterine horns, and the rounded part above the openings to the fallopian tubes is the fundus. The connection of the uterine cavity with a fallopian tube is called the uterotubal junction. The fertilized egg is carried to the uterus along the fallopian tube. It will have divided on its journey to form a blastocyst that will implant itself into the lining of the uterus – the endometrium, where it will receive nutrients and develop into the embryo proper and later fetus for the duration of the pregnancy.

In the human embryo, the uterus develops from the paramesonephric ducts which fuse into the single organ known as a simplex uterus. The uterus has different forms in many other animals and in some it exists as two separate uteri known as a duplex uterus.

In medicine, and related professions the term uterus is consistently used, while the Germanic-derived term womb is commonly used in everyday contexts. Events occurring within the uterus are described with the term in utero.


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Uterus, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.