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Some people think of the uterus as a useless vital organ when it doesn’t nurture a fetus. A study performed on rats suggests otherwise.

A study that counters the concept that a uterus in a non-pregnant state is extraneous was published online in Endocrinology. It may have implications for about 20 million American woman who had their uterus removed.

The female rats were divided into four groups. One had their ovaries removed. The next group had their uterus removed. The third one had both organs removed and the last one remained intact. The rats were then tested with water mazes. The group of female rats that did not have their uterus were the worst at recalling the location of the platforms. These rats also experienced fluctuations in their hormones, even if they still had their ovaries.

For the longest time, scientists have known that hormones from the ovaries can affect the brain. It’s surprising to find out that the uterus can also have an effect on memory.

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