Bock, Walter J. Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:October 2020
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The hollow, muscular womb, being an enlarged portion of the mammalian oviduct (uterine tube) in females. The uterus is one of the crucial organs of the female reproductive system in mammals (see illustration). Located internally in the pelvic region, the uterus provides nourishment and protection for a fertilized egg until the fetus is born. An adult human uterus, before pregnancy, measures approximately 8 × 5 × 3 cm (3 × 2 × 1 in.) in size and has the shape of an inverted, flattened pear. The paired fallopian tubes enter the uterus at its upper corners; the lower, narrowed portion, which is called the cervix, projects into the vagina. Normally, the uterus is tilted slightly forward and lies behind the urinary bladder. See also: Fallopian tube; Mammalia; Pregnancy; Reproductive system
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