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What Is the Function of the Uterus?

The primary function of the uterus is to provide a safe and nourishing environment for a fetus.
The uterus directs blood flow to the sexual organs.
Fertilization takes place in the uterus.
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  • Written By: Jennifer Leigh
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2014
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The main function of the uterus is to nourish and provide a safe place for a fetus before it is born. The uterus is located in the pelvic cavity in females between the rectum and the bladder, and it is composed of two parts: the cervix and the corpus. Nearby organs are supported by the uterus because of its placement. The uterus is the place where a sperm is implanted into an egg, which is then implanted into the uterine wall. Another function of this organ is to direct blood flow to the sexual organs during arousal and intercourse.

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus and is made out of muscle tissue. Functions of the cervix include providing support for the body of the uterus, known as the corpus or fundus, and allowing the flow of menstruation to occur. Additionally, sperm enters the uterus through the cervix, because the cervix opens into the vaginal canal. In the corpus of the uterus, the fetus is housed, and the fallopian tubes are connected. Organs such as the bladder and bowels rely on the placement of the uterus to keep their structures in place within the body.

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Approximately one time per month, the ovaries release ova, or eggs, which are carried from the fallopian tubes into the uterus. If sperm is present in the cervix, an egg might be fertilized, after which it implants itself into the uterine wall and becomes an embryo. The embryo creates a protective sac around it, which is known as a placenta, and the egg develops into a fetus. The placenta is connected to the uterine wall, so the fetus is able to get nutrients and nourishment from the mother. One function of the uterus is to allow the fetus to grow within it for approximately nine months until the birth occurs.

The uterus also directs blood flow into the genitals during times of sexual arousal. It does this naturally, because it is a hormone-driven female organ. When ovulation occurs, the uterus directs blood flow more often to the genitals and sexual organs, which increases the chance of fertilization. During arousal, blood flow is directed into the ovaries, vagina, labia and clitoris. This particular function can also help uterine orgasm occur in some women.

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Uterus problems include being tipped one way or the other, Endometriosis, an overgrowth of the uterus' lining; and fibroids. Fibroids or myomas are non-cancerous tumor like growths inside the uterus that may cause heavy menstrual bleeding, back pain, prolonged periods and more.

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