Uterus Surgery

What is Uterus?

The uterus is a hollow muscular organ located in the female pelvis between the bladder and rectum. The ovaries produce the eggs that travel through the fallopian tubes. Once the egg has left the ovary it can be fertilized and implant itself in the lining of the uterus. The main function of the uterus is to nourish the developing fetus prior to birth.

Congenital uterine conditions

The word congenital refers to something that a person is born with. According to March of Dimes, about 1 in 300 women are born with a congenital uterine condition. In some cases, congenital uterine conditions cause pregnancy complications. Some examples of congenital uterine conditions are:
• Septate uterus. A band of muscle divides the uterus into two separate sections.
• Bicornuate uterus. The uterus has two smaller cavities instead of one large one.
• Didelphic uterus. The uterus has two smaller cavities, each with its own cervix.
• Unicornuate uterus. Only half of the uterus forms.

Endometriosis happens when the endometrium, which usually lines the uterus, grows on the outside of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or pelvic lining. It can cause severe pain, especially during menstruation or intercourse.
Uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths on the walls of the uterus. They can range in size from very small (the size of a seed) to quite large (the size of an orange). While fibroids don’t always cause symptoms, some women experience bleeding and pain. In addition, larger ones can also lead to fertility issues in some cases.
Uterine prolapse
A prolapse happens when an organ’s support system is stretched or damaged. Uterine prolapse happens when part of the uterus slips down into the vagina. In severe cases, part of the uterus can stick out of the vaginal opening. Many things can cause this, including childbirth, surgery, menopause, or extreme physical activities.
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection within the female reproductive organs. It’s sometimes caused by the same bacteria that cause gonorrhea and chlamydia, though other bacteria can also cause it. The main symptoms of PID are lower abdominal pain, as well as pain during intercourse and urination. Other possible symptoms include unusual vaginal discharge, fatigue, and irregular bleeding. If left untreated, PID can cause infertility and an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
While uterine cancer can start anywhere in the uterus, it’s most common in the endometrium. Several things can increase a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer, including obesity and taking estrogen without progesterone. Cancer can also affect the cells of the cervix, causing cervical cancer. Doctors aren’t sure about the exact causes and risk factors for cervical cancer, but smoking and having sexually transmitted infections both seem to be a factor, in addition to having a weak immune system.

Symptoms of a uterine problem

The symptoms of many uterine conditions share some main symptoms, including:
• very heavy periods
• bleeding between periods
• unusual or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
• pelvic or lower-back pain
• pain during menstruation or intercourse
• pain during urination or bowel movements

Contact your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. Using your medical history and physical exam, they can help to narrow down what might be causing them.

Tips for a healthy uterus

The uterus is an important organ with many moving parts. Follow these tips to keep it healthy:

Get routine Pap smears
Pap smears can detect precancerous changes in your cervix in addition to other uterine conditions. The American Cancer Society recommends:
• all women aged 21 through 29 have a Pap smear done every three years
• women who are 30 or older get a Pap smear, along with a human papilloma virus (HPV) test, every five years until the age of 65, even if they’ve been vaccinated against HPV
• women over 65 stop having Pap smears if they’ve had regular ones for the previous 10 years, unless they have a higher risk of uterine cancer
Get vaccinated against HPV
The HPV vaccine protects against nine strains. It’s available to females between the ages of 9 and 26. According to the FDA, the vaccine can prevent up to 90 percent of cervical, vaginal, and anal cancers.
Use a condom
Using a condom during intercourse helps to prevent the spread of STIs, which can increase a woman’s risk of developing PID or cervical cancer.
Avoid smoking
Smoking is linked to certain types of cervical cancer. If you currently smoke, try these tips for quitting.
Eat well
The following types of food are known to help keep your cervix healthy and to boost your immune system:
• foods rich in folic acid, such as asparagus, broccoli, and other green vegetables
• foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges and grapefruits
• foods rich in beta carotene, such as carrots, squash, and cantaloupe
• foods rich in vitamin E, such as whole-grain breads and cereals