You probably don’t think about your uterus all that much, right? I mean, you know that it’s in there hanging out with your fallopian tubes, your ovaries and your cervix, but otherwise it’s nothing more than that thing you’ve seen in diagrams of the female reproductive system. Fair enough, the uterus isn’t the most interesting thing in the world, but it’s a little more fascinating than you originally thought. Yeah, seriously.
Whether you’re into medical oddities or old school ways men blamed women’s organs for everything, you’ll find something to WTF at with these five surprising facts about the uterus.
1) Doctors From Back In The Day Thought That A Woman’s Uterus Wanders Around Her Body.
Women have been a mystery, stumping men for millenia. No, seriously, millenia. Both the Ancient Egyptians and the Ancient Greeks believed that women had “wandering wombs.” Yes, exactly what it sounds like: Women’s uteruses wander through the body, causing all sorts of emotional and physical calamity. Sore throat? Wandering womb. Anxiety? Wandering womb. Shortness of breath? Wandering womb. Too much free thought? Wandering womb. You might think the last bit is a bit of a joke but the wandering womb belief was upheld by actual medical professionals through the 19th century. Thats important because it was during those last few centuries that western doctors began to diagnose women with hysteria–a bogus condition that included everything from women who suffered from sexual frustration to women with depression to women who believed in more rights–with wandering womb. WTF? Of course, modern medicine has led us to know with certainty that the uterus doesn’t go anywhere. It stays put.
2) Some people are born without a womb.
Yes, some female-bodied people are born without a uterus. Yeah, this happens to one in 4,500 girls. Through puberty they go through breast growth and get pubic hair just like every other female-bodied person. People born without a womb can still have ovaries, meaning they can still ovulate. So how do they know that something funky is going on? This is usually due to amenorrhea, the absence of a period during one’s reproductive age. So here’s how it goes: Someone goes, hmmm, it’s weird that I’m 17 and haven’t had my period yet. They go to the doctor and then doctor discovers, hmmm, this person doesn’t have a uterus!
People without a uterus can be perfectly healthy, they just can’t get pregnant or menstruate. But in October of this year there was a huge medical first: A Swedish woman who was born without a womb whom received a womb transplant gave birth to a healthy baby. Sup, science?
3) The uterus is roughly the size and shape of a small pear.
I think we all imagine our organs be a lot bigger than they really are. But nah, they’re all squished up in there all together and they’re actually quite small. For example, your uterus that’s causing you to take all those pain pills? Yeah, it’s about the size and shape of a small pear. Seriously, three inches of matter contracting is all it takes for you to want to curl up in the fetal position and cry. But it’s super stretchy which is why it’s able to accommodate, oh, you know, a small human being.
4) Some people are born with more than one uterus.
So while some folks don’t have a uterus at all, some get a two for one special. Yup, some female-bodied folks are born with two uteruses! If you’re wondering how it happens, here’s the quick and dirty: A female fetus develops two tubes that normally fuse together to create the uterus. But sometimes the fetus’ body is like “nope” and has a bit of an independent streak, leading to those tubes developing independently to create two separate structures. This is called a double uterus. This can result in two uteruses with a single cervical opening or two individual cervical openings. It could even lead to two separate vaginas. Yeah, dos vaginas.
This is super rare, however, and isn’t even really a big deal. Some people who have two uteruses don’t even know it. Surgery is only needed if having two uteruses results in multiple miscarriages, pelvic pain or other complications. Otherwise, ain’t nothin’ wrong with an extra uterus.
5) The uterus is essential to sexy times.
Yes, we know by now that the clit is important when it comes to sexual stimulation, but did you know that you have the uterus to thank for that? Seriously, when female-bodied folks are aroused, the clitoris fills with blood…blood supplied from the uterus. The uterus also helps supply blood to some other sex regions like the pelvis, labia and vagina, so it’s pretty essential when it comes to sexual response. Not to sound gross but it really does help get those juices flowing.
And now, the hilarious Cheyenne with a video on these facts!
Know any other weird uterus facts? What freaks you out the most about it? Tell us in the comments!