The uterus (Latin word for womb) is a major female hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ of most mammals, including humans. It is within the uterus that the fetus develops during gestation. The term ''uterus'' is used consistently within the medical and related professions; the Germanic term, ''womb'' is more common in everyday usage. The plural of uterus is uteruses or uteri.
One end, the cervix, opens into the vagina; the other is connected on both sides to the Fallopian tubes.
The uterus provides structural integrity and support to the bladder, bowel, pelvic bones and organs. The uterus helps separate and keep the bladder in its natural position above the pubic bone and the bowel in its natural configuration behind the uterus. The uterus is continuous with the cervix, which is continuous with the vagina, much in the way that the head is continuous with the neck, which is continuous with the shoulders. It is attached to bundles of nerves, and networks of arteries and veins, and broad bands of ligaments such as round ligaments, cardinal ligaments, broad ligaments, and uterosacral ligaments uterus is essential in sexual response by directing blood flow to the pelvis and to the external genitalia, including the ovaries, vagina, labia, and clitoris. The uterus is needed for uterine orgasm to occur.
The reproductive function of the uterus is to accept a fertilized ovum which passes through the utero-tubal junction from the fallopian tube. It then becomes implanted into the endometrium, and derives nourishment from blood vessels which develop exclusively for this purpose. The fertilized ovum becomes an embryo, develops into a fetus and gestates until childbirth. Due to anatomical barriers such as the pelvis, the uterus is pushed partially into the abdomen due to its expansion during pregnancy. Even during pregnancy the mass of a human uterus amounts to only about a kilogram (2.2 pounds).