Tuesday, July 1, 2008

female reproductive system

Now before we move on to the sperm meeting the egg, let us first examine the organs that create and contain the egg. This is the female reproductive system.

Unlike the male, the human female has a reproductive system located entirely in the pelvis. The external part of the female reproductive organs, between the legs is called the vulva. Located between the legs, the vulva covers the opening to the vagina and other reproductive organs located inside the body.
The fleshy area located just above the top of the vaginal opening is called the mons pubis. Two pairs of skin flaps called the labia surround the vaginal opening. The clitoris, a small sensory organ, is located toward the front of the vulva where the folds of the labia join. Between the labia are openings to the urethra which iscthe canal that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Once girls become sexually mature, the outer labia and the mons pubis are covered by pubic hair.
A female's internal reproductive organs are the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
The vagina is a muscular, hollow tube that extends from the vaginal opening to the uterus. It can become wider or narrower to let the vagina to accommodate something as slim as a tampon and as wide as a baby. The vagina's muscular walls are lined with mucous membranes, which keep it protected and moist. The vagina has several functions: for sexual intercourse, as the pathway that a baby takes out of a woman's body during childbirth, and as the route for the menstrual blood (the period) to leave the body from the uterus.
A thin sheet of tissue with one or more holes in it, called the hymen, partially covers the opening of the vagina. Most women find their hymens have stretched or torn after their first sexual experience.
The vagina connects with the uterus, or womb, at the cervix. The cervix has strong, thick walls. The opening of the cervix is very small, but it can expand to allow a baby to pass.
The uterus is shaped like an upside-down pear, with a thick lining and muscular walls . These muscles are able to expand and contract to accommodate a growing fetus and then help push the baby out during labor.
At the upper corners of the uterus are the ovaries. The ovaries are two oval-shaped organs that lie to the upper right and left of the uterus. They produce, store, and release eggs into the fallopian tubes in the process called ovulation. The ovaries also produce female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
There are two fallopian tubes, each attached to a side of the uterus, which connect the uterus to the ovaries. When an egg pops out of an ovary, it enters the fallopian tube. Once the egg is in the fallopian tube, tiny hairs in the tube's lining help push it down the narrow passageway toward the uterus.
I would like to thank http://upload.wikimedia.org/ for the picture and http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/changing_body/female_repro.html for their info.

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