This article provides a comprehensive understanding of the uterine changes during the menstrual cycle. Read the article to learn about uterine changes. The article includes


The uterine changes during the menstrual cycle, which is also called the womb, is an organ shaped like a pear situated in the pelvis of a female. Its primary function is to house a developing fetus during pregnancy. Its primary function is to house a developing fetus during pregnancy. The uterus is made up of three layers the endometrium, the myometrium, and the perimetrium.

Uterine changes during the menstrual cycle in female reproductive system

In this section let’s discuss uterine changes during the menstrual cycle.                        

Uterine Changes During the Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle involves a series of hormonal changes. That affects both the ovaries and the uterus. Here are some of the key ways in which the uterus changes during the menstrual cycle:


1. Hormonal Changes and their Effects on the Uterus

  • The period or menstrual cycle phases are regulated by a complex interplay of hormones, including estrogen and progesterone.
  • During the first half of the menstrual cycle (the follicular phase), estrogen levels rise. Which causes the endometrium to thicken and become more vascularized.
  • Later in the menstrual cycle, progesterone levels rise. Which causes the endometrium to become more glandular and secretory in preparation for a potential pregnancy.

2. Menstrual Bleeding and its Relationship to Uterine Changes

  • Menstrual bleeding occurs when the endometrium is shed in response to a drop in progesterone levels (if pregnancy has not occurred).
  • During this process, the uterus undergoes a process of contraction and relaxation. Which helps to expel the endometrial tissue(Endometrial tissue is the innermost layer of the uterus, which is shed during menstruation).
  • After the bleeding stops, the endometrium begins to regenerate under the influence of estrogen, starting the process anew for the next menstrual cycle.

Now let’s discuss another change which is uterine change during pregnancy.

Uterine Changes During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the uterus undergoes significant changes to adjust the growing fetus. These changes are essential for supporting the developing embryo and preparing the body for childbirth. Here are the two main phases of uterine changes during pregnancy:

human embryonic development

1. Implantation and Early Pregnancy Changes

Shortly after fertilization, the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and implants itself in the lining of the uterus. This process is known as implantation and marks the beginning of pregnancy and care of the pregnant mother.

In early pregnancy, hormonal signals from the developing embryo cause the uterus to undergo multiple changes. These changes include:

  • Thickening of the Endometrium: The endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus, thickens actively to create a nurturing space for the growing fetus.
  • Softening and Stretching of the Cervix: The cervix (see in fig 1.0), the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina, softens and stretches to allow for the passage of the growing fetus during childbirth.
  • Increased Blood Flow: Blood flow to the uterus increases to provide oxygen and nutrients to the developing embryo.

2. Growth and Expansion of the Uterus Throughout Pregnancy

As the pregnancy progresses, the uterus continues to grow and expand to accommodate the growing fetus. This growth is due to the expansion of uterine cells and the stretching of the uterine muscles.

  • Uterine Size and Shape: The uterus increases in size from the size of a small pear to a large watermelon by the end of the third trimester. The shape of the uterus also changes from a pear shape to a more rounded shape.
  • Braxton Hicks Contractions: As the uterus grows, it may experience contractions called Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions are normal and are not a sign of labor.
  • Pressure on Surrounding Organs: As the uterus expands, it can press against nearby organs like the bladder and intestines. Which leads to discomfort and an increased need to urinate.

In this section we will discuss uterine changes during menopause:

Uterine Changes During Menopause

Menopause usually happens around the age of 50, and it causes a significant decrease in the production of puberty hormones by the ovaries. The ovaries stop releasing eggs, and the menstrual cycle comes to a halt. These hormone changes impact the uterus and bring about various transformations.

estrogen hormone level with age

Hormonal changes and their effects on the uterus

The hormonal changes that occur during menopause can have significant effects on the uterus. Specifically, the levels of estrogen in the body decrease, leading to a range of changes in the uterus. For example:

  • The endometrium, or lining of the uterus, becomes thinner and less vascular, meaning it has fewer blood vessels. This is known as endometrial atrophy.
  • The uterus itself may become smaller and less firm, a condition known as uterine atrophy.
  • The cervical canal(see fig 1.0), or the opening of the uterus into the vagina, may narrow or close.

These changes can lead to a range of symptoms, including vaginal dryness, discomfort during sex, and an increased risk of urinary tract infections.

Atrophy and other changes that occur with age

In addition to the hormonal changes that occur during menopause, the uterus undergoes a number of changes with age that can also affect its function. These include:

  • A decrease in the number of muscle fibers in the uterus can lead to decreased uterine contractility and a reduced ability to expel menstrual blood.
  • An increase in the amount of fibrous tissue in the uterus can lead to an increased risk of uterine fibroids.

Fibrous tissue is a type of connective tissue composed of strong and tough collagen fibers that provide structural support to the body.

  • A decrease in the number of blood vessels in the uterus can lead to a reduced ability to nourish the endometrium.

In this section, we will discuss common uterine conditions and their effects on uterine changes.

Common Uterine Conditions and Their Effects on Uterine Changes

Uterine conditions such as fibroids, adenomyosis, and endometriosis can lead to significant changes in the uterus. Let’s discuss it:


1. Fibroids

  • Definition: Fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in the uterus. They can vary in size and number and are often asymptomatic.
  • Effects on uterine changes: Fibroids can cause significant changes in the uterus, including enlargement and distortion. This can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and infertility.
  • Treatment: Treatment options for fibroids include medication to relieve symptoms, surgery to remove the fibroids, and uterine artery embolization, a minimally invasive procedure that blocks the blood supply to the fibroids.

2. Endometriosis

  • Definition: Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of it. It can affect the ovaries, fallopian tubes(see Fig 1.0), and other pelvic organs.
  • Effects on uterine changes: Endometriosis can cause scarring and adhesions in the uterus, leading to painful periods, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility.

Adhesions are tough, fibrous bands that can form between tissues or organs inside the body, often causing pain or other complications.

  • Treatment: Treatment options for endometriosis include medication to relieve symptoms, surgery to remove the endometriosis tissue, and hormonal therapy to suppress the growth of the tissue.

3. Adenomyosis

  • Definition: Adenomyosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. It can cause the uterus to become enlarged and painful.
  • Effects on uterine changes: Adenomyosis can cause significant changes in the uterus, including enlargement, thickening, and increased vascularity. This can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding, painful periods, and infertility.
  • Treatment: Treatment options for adenomyosis include medication to relieve symptoms, surgery to remove the affected tissue and hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus.

Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing a woman’s uterus and sometimes the cervix and other reproductive organs.

4. Polyps

  • Definition: Polyps are growths that develop on the lining of the uterus. They can vary in size and number and are often asymptomatic.
  • Effects on uterine changes: Polyps can cause changes in the uterus, including enlargement and disfigurement. This can lead to abnormal vaginal bleeding, including heavy periods or bleeding between periods.
  • Treatment: Treatment options for polyps include hysteroscopy, a procedure to remove the polyps, and medication to relieve symptoms.

Now let’s discuss the diagnosis and treatment of uterine changes.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Uterine Changes

Diagnostic Tests for Uterine Changes

To diagnose uterine changes, doctors may use a variety of diagnostic tests, including:

  1. Ultrasound: A non-invasive imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the uterus.
  2. Hysteroscopy: A procedure that uses a small camera to examine the inside of the uterus.
  3. MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the uterus.
  4. Biopsy: A sample of tissue from the uterus is removed and examined under a microscope to detect any abnormalities.

Medications for Uterine Changes

Depending on the specific uterine condition, doctors may prescribe medications to treat uterine changes. Some common medications include:

  1. Hormonal Therapy: This treatment uses hormones, such as birth control pills, to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce the size of uterine fibroids.
  2. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These medications can help reduce pain and inflammation caused by conditions such as endometriosis.
  3. Progestin Therapy: Progestin is a synthetic hormone that can be used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding.

Surgical Options for Uterine Changes

If medications do not effectively treat uterine changes, surgery may be required. Some surgical options include:

  1. Hysterectomy: This surgical procedure removes the uterus and may be recommended for severe cases of fibroids or other conditions.
  2. Myomectomy: A surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids while leaving the uterus intact.
  3. Endometrial Ablation: This procedure uses heat or another energy source to destroy the lining of the uterus and can be used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding.


Regular gynecological checkups play a crucial role in detecting uterine changes during the menstrual cycle. These changes can occur at different stages of a woman’s life. From puberty to menopause, and can significantly impact reproductive health.
It’s vital for women to stay aware of their bodies and seek medical attention if they notice any abnormal uterine changes, such as –> heavy bleeding, pain, or unusual discharge. Identifying and treating uterine conditions early can help prevent complications and safeguard reproductive health.

In addition, it is important to prioritize regular gynecological checkups, as these can help detect uterine changes before they become problematic. These checkups may involve a physical exam, pelvic exam, and imaging tests such as ultrasounds or MRIs.

Understanding the different changes that happen in a woman’s uterus throughout her life. It empowers her to take charge of her reproductive health and make well-informed decisions about her care. It allows women to actively control their reproductive health journey and make choices based on knowledge.

Further Reading

IntakeLearn provides high-quality study material for students and has a massive course structure on Pregnancy and Maternal Health Care. Thanks for reading this article. You can also read more informative articles: Physical Examination of a pregnant woman and how to take care of a pregnant woman.

For additional information visit other sources:

  1. Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uterus
  2. NIOH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557575/


  1. Images used in this article are Designed by Freepik: www.freepik.com
  2. BruceBlaus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  3. Vega asensio, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

1 Comment

Akshay Sharma · May 26, 2023 at 11:04 pm

Thank you for sharing such great information on uterine changes during menstrual cycle. It’s really helpful for me. I’m always looking for quality content and finally I found this in your article.

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