Uterus during pregnancy

Uterus during pregnancy

The uterus can be thought of as a baby incubator. During pregnancy the uterus grows and changes shape to accommodate for the growing fetus. The uterus will begin to grow upwards, shifting out of the woman’s pelvis. It can expand up to twenty times its normal size during pregnancy. This changing of the uterus may cause the woman to feel some cramping and pain.
During the 40 weeks of pregnancy, the lining of the uterus will thicken, and its blood vessels will enlarge to nourish the fetus. The uterus will work with the placenta to provide the baby with necessary nutrients.
Once a woman hits week 24 of her pregnancy, the myometrium muscles begin stretching and form the thicker upper segment of the uterus. The thinner layer of muscle below it is left behind. This thin muscle then takes on the role of separating the cervix from the upper segment and absorbs the cervix as it dilates during labour.
The uterus is held in place by ligaments, which stretch as the uterus grows, acting like an anchor, particularly when the uterus leans slightly towards the woman’s right side, as it will often do during the later months of pregnancy.
When the baby is ready to be born, the uterus will contract to push out the baby and the placenta. The uterus will then shrink back down and will prepare itself to begin the cycle again.

image source: - http://www.bicornuateuterus.org/