Where is Your Uterus?

Where in the World Is Your Womb?

Your uterus is the star of the show during pregnancy. Most women have a general idea of where the uterus is, but the exact location can be difficult to pinpoint. When you're pregnant, your uterus goes through big changes, evidenced by that growing baby bump you're so excited to see.

Location of the Uterus

young woman who makes a heart shape by hands on her stomach.

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Your uterus's home is in your pelvic region. It sits right between your bladder and your rectum, so it's normally very low. The cervix connects the uterus and the vagina. Fallopian tubes connect to the upper portion of the uterus to create a pathway from the ovaries to the uterus. When you ovulate, the ovaries release an egg into the fallopian tubes, where it can be fertilized by sperm.

What Does the Uterus Do?

Your uterus keeps your baby safe and nourished until birth. The three layers of the uterus each help in different ways during pregnancy. After fertilization, the egg implants into the inner layer of the uterus called the endometrium. The middle layer is the muscular part of the uterus. Those muscles help you push while giving birth. The outer layer protects the uterus and other organs in the area when your uterus moves and grows during pregnancy.

How Does the Uterus Change During Pregnancy?

young woman who makes a heart shape by hands on her stomach.

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Pregnancy causes your uterus to grow significantly. As the baby grows, the uterus moves up out of the pelvic area. A uterus is normally about the size of an orange. It grows to the size of a grapefruit in the first trimester, a large papaya in the second trimester and a watermelon by the end of the third trimester.

In the second trimester, your uterus starts shifting other organs to accommodate its growing size. It also starts pressing on muscles and ligaments in the area. At the end of the pregnancy, your uterus usually goes from the bottom of the rib cage to the pubic bone.

Once you have your baby, your uterus slowly moves back into its normal location and shrinks back to orange size. The return to normal takes about six weeks.

Monitoring the Uterus

Your doctor measures from the top of your uterus to your pubic bone starting around 18 to 20 weeks. Called the fundal height, this measurement in centimeters should match your week of pregnancy. In week 28, the measurement should be about 28 centimeters. Doctors use this measurement to make sure your baby grows properly.

You can also expect your doctor to press on your tummy to feel your uterus. In early pregnancy, your uterus is still deep in the pelvic area, so you can't feel it from the outside. As your baby bump grows, you can begin feeling your uterus by pressing your belly.

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