The uterus is a female reproductive organ located between the bladder and the rectum, in the pelvic area.

The uterus has three layers: the inner lining (endometrium); the middle muscular layer (myometrium); and the outer layer (perimetrium). The uterus is connected to the fallopian tubes, the cervix, and (via the cervix) the vagina.

The main purpose of the uterus is to nourish a fetus prior to birth. In menstruating females, the ovaries release eggs that travel via the fallopian tubes to the uterus. If fertilized, the eggs will bind themselves to the wall of the uterus and the fetus will develop. The uterus nourishes and protects the fetus until birth.

The myometrium layer assists with labor in pushing the baby out of the uterus via the cervix and vagina. The serosa layer allows the uterus to move in the pelvic and abdominal areas as required, without damaging other organs or allowing the uterus to be damaged in turn.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Uterus

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