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What Is the Uterine Cavity? - Size & Definition

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  • 0:00 What is the Uterine Cavity?
  • 0:31 Structure
  • 1:22 Function
  • 2:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John Williams
The uterus is a key structure in reproduction and fetal development. The uterine cavity, found in the uterus, is a major player in these processes. Let's discuss the structure and functions of the uterine cavity in the female reproductive system.

What Is the Uterine Cavity?

The phrase 'a bun in the oven' is often used to describe a baby that is developing in a mother's womb. Like cooked bread, it is important that a fetus remains in the uterus of a mother until it is fully developed, or 'done!' While the uterus itself has many functions in the process of fetal development, the space inside of the uterus, known as the uterine cavity, is one of the major structures necessary for the developing child.

Structure

The uterine cavity is formed by the lateral walls of the uterus, as well as the bottom wall of the fundus, or top portion of the uterus. These walls contain muscle tissue known as the myometrium and a layer of cells that line the outside edges known as the endometrium. The cavity itself has a T-shaped appearance in general, although the exactness of this shape will change during the course of the menstrual cycle. The width of the uterine cavity is usually between 27 and 32 mm in women prior to menopause, though this can vary from individual to individual. Since the uterus is the location for fertilized eggs to implant for pregnancy, the walls of the uterus will grow throughout the course of the cycle, and this will change the amount of space found in the uterine cavity.

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