The uterus is the female organ which serves as the baby's home during a pregnancy. It begins as a muscular organ about the size of an orange and slowly grows during pregnancy to be large enough to accommodate a full term baby.
The lowest part of the uterus is the door by which the baby eventually exits. This is know as the cervix. There are also two openings at the top of the uterus that lead to the right and left Fallopian tubes. After a sperm fertilizes an egg, an embryo is formed which travels from the tubes into the uterus.
Every month, there is growth of an inner lining of the uterus. This is known as the endometrial lining. If a healthy embryo enters the uterus from the fallopian tubes, then the lining remains in place for the duration of the pregnancy and serves to nourish the baby. If no healthy embryos shows up that month, then the lining is shed as a menstrual period.
One of the most common ways in which uterine abnormalities contribute to infertility occurs when there are fibroid tumors inside the uterus. The fibroid can act the same way that an IUD contraceptive device works in preventing successful implantation. Fibroids that are inside the cavity of the uterus should be removed in infertile patients before proceeding with other types of treatment.
Gratitude extended to Dr. Davide Brunelli for his unique digitally-rendered images of the uterus.