UTERUS
Appearance of urticaria
This skin condition is characterized byitchyweals
with a white or yellow centre and an outer area of
inflammation.
a n o t h e r d i s o r d e r , s u c h a s
v a s c u lit is ,
s y s -
t e m
i c
lu p u s e ry th e m a to s u s ,
o r
c a n c e r.
TREATMENT
I t c h i n g c a n b e r e l i e v e d b y t h e a p p l i c a -
t i o n
o f
c a la m in e lo t io n
o r
b y
t a k i n g
a n tih is t a m in e d ru g s .
S e v e r e c a s e s o f u r t i -
c a r i a
m a y
r e q u i r e
c o rt ic o s t e ro id d ru g s .
I d e n t i f y i n g a n d a v o i d i n g t r i g g e r f a c t o r s
c a n
h e l p
p r e v e n t
f u t u r e
r e a c t i o n s .
A
t e n d e n c y t o u r t i c a r i a o f t e n d i s a p p e a r s i n
t i m e w i t h o u t t r e a t m e n t .
u rtic a ria , n e o n a ta l
A v e r y c o m
m
o n , h a r m l e s s s k i n c o n d i -
t i o n , a l s o c a l l e d e r y t h e m a n e o n a t o r u m
o r t o x i c e r y t h e m a , t h a t a f f e c t s n e w b o r n
i n f a n t s . T h e c a u s e i s u n k n o w n . N e o n a -
t a l u r t i c a r i a p r o d u c e s a b l o t c h y r a s h , i n
w h i c h r a i s e d w h i t e o r y e l l o w l u m p s a r e
s u r r o u n d e d b y i l l - d e f i n e d r e d a r e a s o f
i n f l a m m a t i o n . T h e
r a s h m a i n l y a f f e c t s
t h e f a c e , c h e s t , a r m s , a n d t h i g h s . I t u s u -
a l l y c l e a r s u p w i t h o u t t r e a t m e n t .
u te rin e m u s c le re la x a n ts
D r u g s t h a t a r e u s e d t o d e l a y p r e m a t u r e
d e l i v e r y
o f a
fe tu s .
B e t a 2 - a d r e n o c e p t o r
s t i m u l a n t s , s u c h a s
s a lb u t a m o l,
m a y b e
u s e d
i n
a t - r i s k
p r e g n a n c i e s
o f 2 4 - 3 3
w e e k s ’
g e s t a t i o n ; t h e s e d r u g s r e l a x t h e
m u s c l e s o f t h e
u te ru s
a n d m a y p o s t p o n e
l a b o u r f o r
d a y s o r w e e k s . D e l a y i n g
o f
p r e m a t u r e l a b o u r f o r u p t o 4 8 h o u r s a l -
l o w s t i m e f o r
c o rt ic o s t e ro id d ru g s
t o b e
g i v e n t o t h e m o t h e r , t o h e l p t h e f e t u s ’s
l u n g s t o m a t u r e .
u te ro v a g in a l p ro la p s e
S e e
u t e ru s , p r o la p s e o f
.
u te ru s
T h e
h o l l o w ,
m u s c u l a r
o r g a n
o f
t h e
f e m a l e
r e p r o d u c t i v e
s y s t e m
i n
w h i c h
t h e f e r t i l i z e d
o v u m
( e g g )
n o r m a l l y b e -
c o m e s e m b e d d e d a n d i n w h i c h t h e u n -
b o r n b a b y ( s e e
e m b ry o ; f e t u s )
d e v e l o p s .
T h e u t e r u s , w h i c h i s c o m
m o n l y k n o w n
a s
t h e
w o m b ,
i s
s i t u a t e d
w i t h i n
t h e
p e l v i c c a v i t y , b e h i n d t h e
b la d d e r
a n d i n
f r o n t o f t h e i n t e s t i n e s .
STRUCTURE
I n a n o n p r e g n a n t w o m a n , t h e u t e r u s i s
7 . 5 - 1 0 c m
l o n g
a n d w e i g h s
6 0 - 9 0 g .
T h e l o w e r p a r t o f t h e u t e r u s o p e n s i n t o
t h e
v a g in a
a t t h e
c e rv ix ;
t h e u p p e r p a r t
o p e n s i n t o t h e
fa llo p ia n t u b e s
.
T h e i n s i d e o f t h e u t e r u s i s l i n e d w i t h
e n d o m e triu m .
D u r i n g
t h e
m e n s t r u a l
c y c l e ,
t h e
e n d o m e t r i u m
t h i c k e n s
t o
p r e p a r e f o r t h e p o s s i b l e i m p l a n t a t i o n o f
a f e r t i l i z e d e g g . I f c o n c e p t i o n a n d f e r t i l -
i z a t i o n
d o
n o t
o c c u r ,
h o r m o n e
l e v e l s
f a l l ,
c a u s i n g
t h e
e n d o m e t r i u m
t o
b e
e x p e l l e d f r o m t h e u t e r u s ( s e e
m e n s t ru a -
t io n ).
A f t e r t h e
m e n o p a u s e
( w h e n
e g g
p r o d u c t i o n
a n d
m e n s t r u a t i o n
c e a s e ) ,
t h e
e n d o m e t r i u m
a t r o p h i e s
( b e c o m
e s
t h i n n e r )
a n d
m u s c l e
a n d
c o n n e c t i v e
t i s s u e a r e r e d u c e d .
T h e
u t e r u s
e x p a n d s
i n
s i z e
d u r i n g
p r e g n a n c y t o a c c o m m o d a t e t h e g r o w -
i n g
b a b y
A t
f u l l
t e r m ,
t h e
p o w e r f u l
u t e r i n e m u s c l e s e x p e l t h e b a b y v i a t h e
b i r t h c a n a l ( s e e
c h ild b ir t h ) .
DISORDERS
C o n d i t i o n s t h a t a f f e c t t h e u t e r u s i n c l u d e
c o n g e n it a l
d i s o r d e r s
s u c h
a s
m
a l f o r -
m a t i o n o r a b s e n c e o f t h e u t e r u s ,
d u p le x
u te ru s ,
o r
se p ta te u te ru s;
t u m o u r s , i n c l u d -
i n g
p o ly p s , f ib r o id s ,
a n d
c a n c e r
o f t h e
e n d o m e t r i u m
( s e e
u te ru s , c a n c e r o f );
i n f e c t i o n s , c a u s i n g i n f l a m m a t i o n o f t h e
ANATOMY OF THE UTERUS
The nonpregnant uterus lies deep in
the pelvis immediately behind and
above the urinary bladder and in front
of the rectum. It is usually tilted
forwards at an angle to the vagina, and
is curved downwards slightly. When
the bladder is full, the uterus is pushed
up and back.
Fallopian
tube
Location of the uterus
Iliac bone
Ovary
The uterus
This thick-walled organ consists mainly of
muscle. The fallopian tubes enter on both
sides ofthe uterus just below its uppermost
point. The small uterine cavity is lined with a
mucous membrane called the endometrium,
Uterus
Bladder
Cervix
Vagina
Rectum
Urethra
Anus
which undergoes changes during the different
phases ofthe menstrual cycle. The vaginal
surface ofthe cervixis lined with a flatter
mucous membrane, which is identical to that
ofthe vagina.
U
777
previous page 776 BMA A Z Family Medical Encyclopedia   2004 read online next page 778 BMA A Z Family Medical Encyclopedia   2004 read online Home Toggle text on/off