FEMALE ANATOMY OF THE
REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM

Visual Aid, Glossary of Definitions, and Explanations

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Front View

Illustration provided by: Rolin Graphics

Cross-Section View

Illustration provided by: DeEtte M. DeVille, MD

(Above Graphics) Special Thanks to: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/7163.html

(Above Diagram) Special Thanks to: http://www.sexinfo101.com/kb_fdiagram.shtml

Definitions and Information:

The function of the external female reproductive structures (the genital) is twofold: To enable sperm to enter the body and to protect the internal genital organs from infectious organisms.

The external structures of the female reproductive system include:

Labia majora: The labia majora enclose and protect the other external reproductive organs. Literally translated as "large lips," the labia majora are relatively large and fleshy, and are comparable to the scrotum in males. The labia majora contain sweat and oil-secreting glands. After puberty, the labia majora are covered with hair.

Labia minora: Literally translated as "small lips," the labia minora can be very small or up to 2 inches wide. They lie just inside the labia majora, and surround the openings to the vagina (the canal that joins the lower part of the uterus to the outside of the body) and urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body).

Bartholin's glands: These glands are located next to the vaginal opening and produce a fluid (mucus) secretion.

Clitoris: The two labia minora meet at the clitoris, a small, sensitive protrusion that is comparable to the penis in males. The clitoris is covered by a fold of skin, called the prepuce, which is similar to the foreskin at the end of the penis. Like the penis, the clitoris is very sensitive to stimulation and can become erect.

The internal reproductive organs include:

Vagina: The vagina is a canal that joins the cervix (the lower part of uterus) to the outside of the body. It also is known as the birth canal.


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Uterus (womb): The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped organ that is the home to a developing fetus. The uterus is divided into two parts: the cervix, which is the lower part that opens into the vagina, and the main body of the uterus, called the corpus. The corpus can easily expand to hold a developing baby. A channel through the cervix allows sperm to enter and menstrual blood to exit.

Ovaries: The ovaries are small, oval-shaped glands that are located on either side of the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs and hormones.

Fallopian tubes: These are narrow tubes that are attached to the upper part of the uterus and serve as tunnels for the ova (egg cells) to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg then moves to the uterus, where it implants to the uterine wall.

Special thanks to WebMD Health Article - Cleveland Clinic.


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