8 amazing facts about your uterus

You probably won’t give your uterus much thought…until you are TTC or find out that you are pregnant.

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Your lady parts keep you on your toes every month, especially when you Aunt Flo pays a visit. But did you know that the female reproductive system is so, so much more than meets the eye?

The uterus is a part of your reproductive organs that includes the vagina, ovaries and fallopian tubes. This little pear-shaped organ is essential to creating and sustaining life. Here are eight fascinating facts about your uterus you may not have known about…

1. Some women have more than one uterus…

In a condition known as uterus didelphys, some women have two uteruses. About one in 2,000 women are known to have this condition, but some women who don’t even know they have it. It happens when the foetus was developing in the mother’s womb: In normal development, her uterus starts out as two small tubes, but join to create a larger hollow organ. In uterus didelphys, the two tubes each develop into a separate structure.

In 2012, a woman from Buffalo, New York, gave birth to twin boys, one from each uterus. As the babies had grown from separately fertilised eggs, they were fraternal twins. They were likely conceived at the same time, though there’s a chance one may be a couple of days older than the other.

Everything, from the common cold, to a sore throat to body aches was blamed on the “wandering womb”.

2. … And some have none

It’s also possible that some women ― 1 in 4,500 –―are born without a uterus. These women will likely find out about their condition when they fail to get their period at puberty. They are usually perfectly healthy, except that they can’t menstruate or get pregnant.

3. In the past, it was thought to be the cause of all women’s health problems

The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used to believe that any affliction that befell women then was due to their uterus “wandering” around their body, causing all kinds of emotional and physical illnesses.

Everything, from the common cold, to a sore throat to body aches was blamed on the “wandering womb”. The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, believed that this was the reason why women were so different from men.

4. It was also known as the counterpart to the male scrotum

Another bizarre belief that people held, right up to the early 18th century, was that women’s reproductive parts mirrored the reproductive parts of men ― that they were essentially the same thing.

Some 2,000 years ago, the Greek physician Galen of Pergamon believed that the vagina is the equivalent of an inverted penis, the ovaries are the woman’s “testes”, and the labia is her “foreskin”. And her uterus? The scrotum.