uterus, in most female mammals, hollow muscular organ in which the fetus develops and from which it is delivered at the end of pregnancy. The human uterus is pear-shaped and about 3 in. (7.6 cm) long (it expands greatly during pregnancy); it normally lies in the pelvis, where it is supported by a ligament on either side extending to the pelvic wall. The body of the uterus tapers down to a necklike structure (cervix) that leads into the vagina. On either side of the uterus is an oviduct (called fallopian tube, or uterine tube, in humans) from 3 to 5 in. (7.6–12.7 cm) long, one end opening into the uterus and the other, wide-mouthed, ends in close proximity to an ovary. These oviducts serve as passageways for the ova to reach the uterus. Fertilization occurs in the oviduct; the fertilized ovum then continues into the uterus, where it becomes implanted in the lining of that organ, also known as the endometrium. If fertilization does not occur, the ovum and the lining of the uterine wall pass out of the body through the vagina (see menstruation). Endometrial tissues then build up again in the uterus in anticipation of the next release of an ovum.
Diseases that can affect the uterus include various sexually transmitted diseases, pelvic inflammatory disease, and endometriosis, as well as benign or malignant tumors. Benign tumors may be removed without damage to the uterus, although in cases where the tissue is found to be cancerous, the entire uterus and cervix may have to be removed in a procedure known as hysterectomy. Prolapse of the uterus occurs when weakened supporting structures allow the uterus to tilt and slip downward into the vagina. See also reproductive system.
"uterus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/uterus
"uterus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/uterus
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.