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There are eight uterus ligaments that hold the uterus in position within the abdomen. The different kinds include two broad ligaments on either side, two round ligaments, a posterior and an anterior ligament and two uterosacral ligaments. These ligaments hold the uterus in place, even when the organ alters its position within the pelvic area. This happens as changes to the bladder and rectum push on the muscular organ and during pregnancy when the uterus enlarges.
Inside the abdomen, there is a membrane called the peritoneum which lies below the skin and muscle and encloses the organs. The broad uterus ligaments, also called lateral ligaments, of the uterus are made out of the pelvic section of this membrane, and they connect the organ to the walls of the pelvis. They are situated below the ovarian tubes and alongside the uterus, and the ovaries are positioned behind the ligament structure. Each broad ligament also divides the pelvic cavity into one area where the bladder is and a section behind the uterus that contains parts of the rectum.
In front of each broad ligament of the uterus is a round ligament. The round ligaments are made of muscle fibers and pass in front of the uterine tubes and between parts of the broad ligaments. They go from the uterus through the inguinal ring toward parts of the vagina, and they contain major blood vessels. An anterior ligament extends from the front of the uterus to the bladder and is composed of a fold in the peritoneum. This is also true of the posterior ligament, which internally links the back of the vagina to the front of the rectum.
The posterior ligament lies at the bottom of a pouch that is formed by the uterus. This pouch is also bounded by the cervix, vagina, rectum and folds in the peritoneum that form additional ligaments that connect the uterus to the base of the spine. Together, all of these uterus ligaments have a significant influence on the anatomy of the uterus at different stages of life. From birth to adulthood, the organ changes position, which also happens during menstruation and pregnancy.
Uterus ligaments also contain major arteries, nerves and lymphatic tissue, especially the broad and round ligaments. Within these ligaments, the major vessels that lead to the uterus and vagina are supported. The different uterus ligaments hold the uterus and related reproductive organs in place, as well as various other abdominal organs.