The Uterus : Myometrium & Endometrium

The Uterus is uniquely feminine, and because only women have a uterus, only women can have babies. The uterus can be diagnosed for fertility problems using advanced medical technologies.

For most women, the uterus is simply the site of a lot of female problems. Not only does it cause many menstrual miseries; it also used to be believed in the past that a "wandering uterus" caused hysteria.

However, the uterus is a remarkable organ, which deserves a lot more respect. The uterine lining - the endometrium, is a remarkable tissue which grows and regenerates every month ! Basic scientists are learning a lot more about the marvels of cell proliferation and how it is regulated by studying the endometrium.

More importantly, the uterus is what really makes a woman a woman. By giving a man female hormones, we can feminise him ; we can give him artificial breasts; and by surgery, we can create an artificial vagina; but the uterus is unique to women, which is why only women can have babies !

The uterus has 2 basic parts. One is the muscle, also called the myometrium. This is the wall of the uterus; and is where fibroids grow.

The more important part is the endometrium. This is the inner lining of the uterus. It is this lining which is shed during the menstrual period; and it is in this lining that the embryo implants.

For most women, the uterus is rarely a cause of infertility, because it is remarkably resilient. However, in some women, it does affect fertility, and this can be a very frustrating problem.

The uterus can be studied by means of:

  1. vaginal ultrasound scanning, to check for the uterine lining thickness and texture and
  2. a HSG ( hysterosalpingogram, an X-ray of the uterus and tubes, which is done on Day 5-7 of the cycle.

The gold standard to evaluate the uterine cavity is a hysteroscopy.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.