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expelling the child with but slight labor at the time of delivery.
The Uterus is located just behind and slightly above the bladder, and is
supported by eight ligaments which, in a healthy condition, hold it
firmly and easily in place. Displacements of the Uterus are due to the
weakening or relaxing of some or all of these ligaments, generally
caused by general weakness or else by excessive physical exercise or
labor. The principal DISPLACEMENTS OF THE UTERUS are as follows:
Prolapsus, or lowering of the womb in the vagina; Antroversion, or the
bending forward of the womb; Anteflexion, or the "doubling up" of the
womb FORWARD on itself; Retroversion, or the bending backward of the
womb; and Retroflexion, or the "doubling up" of the womb BACKWARD on
itself. Extreme degrees of the last four mentioned forms of displacement
often interfere with impregnation.
The internal surface of the Uterus is lined with mucous membrane
thickly studded with minute hairlike cells which manifest continuous
motion. This motion, in the lower part of the womb, is in the direction
of the fundus or upper part of the womb; in the upper part of the womb,
the motion is in the opposite direction; the purpose of these opposing
movements being to carry the male elements toward that portion of the
womb into which the Fallopian Tubes discharge the products of the
Ovaries, as we shall see presently.
The Uterus is supplied with follicles around its neck which secrete a
very firm, adhesive mucus substance, which serves as a gate or door
across the mouth of the womb during the period of pregnancy, and which
also serves to prevent the accidental displacement of the ovum or egg.
During and just after menstruation, the Uterus becomes enlarged and more
vascular. During pregnancy, it largely increases in weight. After
delivery, it resumes its normal size, but the cavity is larger than
before conception. In old age, it becomes atrophied and denser in
THE FALLOPIAN TUBES are the ducts of the Ovaries, and serve to convey
the ova, or eggs, from the Ovaries to the cavity in the Uterus. They are
two in number, one on each side, each tube being about four inches in
length. They extend from either side of the fundus of the womb, through
the broad ligaments which hold them and the Ovaries in position until
they communicate with the Ovaries. They are lined with a membrane
composed of the same kind of peculiar hair-like cells which are found in
the lining of the womb, the purpose in this case being to urge forward
the ova or eggs toward the Uterus.
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