What Does the Uterus Do?

uterus Credit: Chev Wilkinson/Cultura/Getty Images

The primary function of the uterus is to nurture a fertilized ovum, according to News Medical. During gestation, the ovum grows into a fetus and finally a baby when it is developed enough for childbirth. The uterus also provides structural support for the bladder, bowel and pelvic bones.

When the ovum is fertilized, it is planted in the endometrium, News Medical describes. The endometrium is an inner mucous membrane of the mammalian uterus. When the ovum has been implanted in the endometrium, blood vessels grow around the ovum it to provide it with nutrition. Over the course of nine months, the ovum grows into a fetus. At the end of nine months, the fetus is ready for birth.

The blood vessels and nerves of the uterus direct blood to the ovaries, labia, vagina, external genitalia and pelvis, reports News Medical. When hormones are released during intercourse, the uterus directs blood flow to the vagina. This blood flow is necessary for sexual response and for achieving orgasm. During intercourse, the uterus contracts to help sperm reach the fallopian tubes. Uterine contractions also are necessary during childbirth. The contractions cause the cervix to dilate, allowing the baby to move downward, resulting in delivery.