Female health: Function of the uterus
The tasks of the uterus include the accommodating of the fertilised egg, the supply of oxygen and nutrients during the embryonic, fetal and prenatal development phase, and contracting in labour.
The word ‘uterus’ is often mistakenly used as an umbrella term for the entire female reproductive system. In fact, ‘uterus’ is the correct term for the uterine body or uterine cavity (the upper two-thirds of the uterus) and the cervix (the lower third). The inside is lined with a mucous membrane rich in glands, which is called endometrium.
The endometrium consists of the functional layer, which is built up cyclically and, in the absence of zygotes, is discarded in the form of menstruation. The basal layer continuously covers the uterus and is not removed during menstruation.
The uterus of a sexually mature woman is between seven and nine centimetres long and weighs between 80 and 120 grams. During pregnancy, the weight of the uterus increases by more than tenfold.
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