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What is a Gravid Uterus?

By Eric Stolze
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A gravid uterus is a uterus during pregnancy. A woman with an unborn fetus developing inside her uterus goes through many changes as she carries her unborn child. A fetus usually receives nutritional support from its mother as it grows inside the womb.

The average human pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks. After four weeks of pregnancy, a baby’s brain, spinal cord, and heart typically begin to form and its legs and arms usually start to grow. All of a child’s major organs, including the sex organs, have begun to grow after eight weeks of pregnancy in most cases. Nerves and muscles of a fetus usually start to work together after 12 weeks.

An unborn baby’s skin typically begins to form after 16 weeks of fetal development. A woman may notice fluttering inside her uterus at 20 weeks of pregnancy as a baby becomes more active. The bone marrow of a developing infant usually begins to develop blood cells after 24 weeks, and at 32 weeks, most expectant mothers notice that a child’s jabbing and kicking become stronger. Most babies are at a full term of development after 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Expectant mothers usually experience many physical effects as a baby grows inside a gravid uterus. Pain in the abdomen, back and groin typically occur throughout a woman’s pregnancy as her womb grows larger. Resting, lying down, and applying heat to sore areas may provide some relief from this pain. In addition to uterus growth, most women experience increased breast growth as the body prepares for breastfeeding. Constipation, dizziness, and fatigue may also occur during pregnancy.

Other changes are often noticeable inside a woman’s body as she goes through pregnancy, including indigestion or heartburn as the growing uterus presses against the stomach. Hemorrhoids, abdominal itching, and leg cramps are also possible, and morning sickness can occur during the first trimester of pregnancy and may cause vomiting and nausea. Increased urinary frequency and urinary incontinence may develop as a baby grows and causes the uterus to press against the mother’s urinary tract. Periodic visits to a medical professional provide most pregnant women with an opportunity to discuss body changes and effective means of treating discomfort.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By sweetPeas — On May 23, 2011

My daughter's friend experienced a condition called placental abruption during her last pregnancy. The placenta provides the baby with nourishment from the mother. If the placenta becomes detached from the uterus, the baby can't get enough oxygen or nutrients.

This is a very serious complication for both the mother and the baby. My daughter's friend was very scared when she found out.

She started to have heavy bleeding. She was close to full term, so the doctors performed a C-section right away. The mother had to have a transfusion because of the heavy bleeding.

The baby and mother were OK, but it was very scary.

By lovealot — On May 22, 2011

Pregnancy can be a thrilling experience for a woman. Just imagining what's happening in the first 12 weeks is truly amazing. When you have an ultra-sound, you see this little creature on its way to becoming a real human being!

The first little flutters of movement inside your uterus lets you know there's an active being inside. It gets a little annoying when you feel a lot of scraping and kicking, especially at night.

As the due date approaches, you are tired, have heartburn, backache, and false labor pains. You can hardly wait to have this baby.

After the birth, you are ecstatic! The pregnancy and birth were well worth the pain and struggle.

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