Your uterus is an often misunderstood organ despite its role in your every day life. In an adult, a normal uterus is about the size of your fist. During every month after puberty, the lining of uterus grows in anticipation of accepting a pregnancy. If a pregnancy doesn’t occur, the uterine lining is shed in the form of your menstrual cycle.
My doctor told me my uterus is tilted. Should I be worried?
The uterus is composed of two parts – the body and the cervix. The body, which holds the baby during pregnancy, sits in the pelvis, between the bladder in the front and the rectum in the back. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that extends into the vagina and opens to allow the baby to pass during childbirth. If the angle of the body of the uterus points upward toward the bladder, the uterus is considered anteverted. If the body points back, it is retroverted. These uterine “tilts” are simply anatomic variants. They are not related to your ability to get pregnant, carry a baby, or how your menstrual cycles feels.
My friend told me she has a wall in her uterus. Does this mean she won’t be able to have a baby?
A uterus is shaped like an upside down sack, with the opening at the bottom. However, about 6% of women will have a uterus that did not form normally. In some cases, the uterus may have a wall, or septum, down the middle that divides the sack into two parts. In others, two separate uteri form that each have their own cervix. Most women do not know they have these abnormalities unless they are affected by infertility or recurrent miscarriage. These problems can be diagnosed with an MRI or special Xray of the uterus and often can be corrected surgically.
Sometimes, my period is red and other times it is brown. Does that mean I am close to menopause?
The color of the menstrual blood – whether it is bright red, dark red, or brown – does not have any significance. In addition, the pattern of flow –whether you start with spotting and increase over time or start heavy and all comes out at once – does not tell us anything about your hormones, your ability to get pregnant, or how close you are to menopause. Everyone’s pattern is different and can change as you age.
If I have my uterus removed, will I go through menopause?
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when estrogen levels fall as the ovaries cease producing eggs. The uterus is a muscular sack that is designed to house a developing fetus. It does not contain or produce hormones. After a uterus is removed (called a hysterectomy), the menstrual cycles will stop simply because there is no uterine lining to be shed. The production of the female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone will continue as long as the ovaries are present.