One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The mucous membrane lining the uterus, which thickens during the menstrual cycle in preparation for possible implantation of an embryo.
- ‘The lining of the uterus, the endometrium, is shed each month as part of your period.’
- ‘Just like the normal endometrium, endometrial cells need the hormone oestrogen to survive and grow.’
- ‘So the uterus prepares itself for an embryo, with an endometrium about 5 mm thick and well supplied with blood.’
- ‘It is vital to get your periods at regular intervals, otherwise it can result in a thickened endometrium.’
- ‘A third is that successful implantation of the embryo requires the endometrium to be in a particular form that is present only at the beginning of the cycle.’
Late 19th century: modern Latin, from endo- ‘within’ + Greek mētra ‘womb’.
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