Womb - Tilted or Prolapsed Womb
Uterus or womb? Which is the right term for the part of the woman's body that grows and carries future generations of humans? The short answer is both, but womb can be used to mean other things besides the pear-shaped organ babies grow in.
Womb definition says that it's "a place where something is generated," "an encompassing, protective hollow or space." It's also described as "the non-technical name for uterus." But the word can also be used to describe a place where something started. A location can be described as the "womb of modern civilization."
The gynecologist definition of uterus is the "hollow muscular organ lying within the pelvic cavity of female mammals. It houses the developing fetus and by contractions aids in its expulsion at parturition." Or in more simple terms: "A hollow muscular organ located in the pelvic cavity of female mammals in which the fertilized egg implants and develops."
The womb is like any other organ in the body in that it can have illnesses or conditions that can affect a woman's ability to conceive and carry a child to term or negatively impact her health. Some of the conditions might be considered to be a type of birth defect, like the tilted womb, because this is something a baby girl is born with and doesn't suddenly happen when she reaches puberty. If a tilted womb is considered a birth defect, it would be a minor one that, in most cases, doesn't affect a woman's ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term. A titled womb is simply one that is tipped slightly back towards the spine instead of towards the bladder. As many as one in three women have a tipped uterus. It can cause some discomfort in sexual intercourse but does not affect fertility or the developing fetus.
A woman can experience fibroids which are non-cancerous growths in the uterus that can cause abdominal pain, painful intercourse, heavy periods or bleeding between menstruations. Some women have endometriosis where the lining of the uterus grows outside the womb. Women with endometriosis have a difficult time getting pregnant since there is no lining inside the uterus to grow and nourish a fertilized egg. Endometriosis can also cause a lot of pain. Adenomyosis is a similar problem where the tissue grows on the outer walls of the uterus.
A double uterus is a rare and often undiagnosed condition that can cause premature birth or miscarriage. It happens when something doesn't go as it should in the development of a female fetus and the two small tubes that the womb starts out as don't join completely to create a single, large hollow organ.
Womb cancer, called endometrial cancer in the medical world, happens when the normal process of cells getting old, dying and being replaced with new cells doesn't go as it should. Tissue masses form from extra cells when the old ones don't die as they should or the body creates new cells when it doesn't need them. These tissue masses are called tumors and tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors don't spread and don't usually grow back when removed. Malignant womb tumors can cause death or damage if they invade the tissues of the nearby organs like the vagina or spread to other parts of the body.
A prolapsed womb is when the uterus collapses into the vaginal cavity because the ligaments, muscles and tissues in the pelvic region have been weakened. Difficult labor and childbirth can cause this and so can low estrogen levels. There are four degrees of severity with the worst being when the entire uterus falls outside the vagina. For severe cases a complete hysterectomy may be necessary which means that a woman will no longer be able to have children because her uterus is removed. Surgery might fix a minor prolapsed womb.
Perhaps some day science will be able to create an artificial womb to allow for growth of a full-term baby outside a woman's body. This could be the solution for the thousands of women who want to have a baby but have, through no choice of their own, become part of the womb club of females with uterine problems.