The uterus receives a fertilized egg and protects the fetus (baby) while it grows and develops. The uterus contracts to push the baby out of the body during birth.
Every month, except when a woman is pregnant or has reached menopause, the lining of the uterus grows and thickens in preparation for pregnancy. If the woman doesn’t get pregnant, the lining is shed through the cervix into the vagina and out of the body. This is called menstruation. This process continues until menopause.
American Cancer Society. Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer. 2015: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003097-pdf.pdf.
American Society of Clinical Oncology. Uterine Cancer. 2014: http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/uterine-cancer/view-all.
Martini FH, Timmons MJ, Tallitsch RB. Human Anatomy. 7th ed. San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings; 2012.