Your Female Reproductive System Explained
Your Reproductive System
Given the secretiveness with which we frequently shroud our bodies, it's no wonder that most people aren't really sure how their bodies work. Sure, most of us attended Sex Ed classes when we were kids, but how much do you remember from those bygone days? About as much as you do of your high school math? While sex is more interesting than math--at least to most people--the perceived complexity with which our reproductive organs work can seem just as confusing as algebra. Take a minute to refresh your memory. Your body isn't as complicated as you think.
The Female Sex Organs
Female genitalia is usually grouped into two types of sex organs: internal and external. External organs include the sensitive and erotic sex organs: mons pubis, vagina, labia majora, labia minora and clitoris (also known collectively as the vulva). Internal organs include the uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries, which contain the female's sex cells: the ova, or eggs. Unlike the male, the female does not continue to produce sex cells throughout her life. Rather, each female is born with an individual quantity of unripened eggs already in place. Each month, an egg is released from one of the ovaries and moves into one of the Fallopian tubes, where it travels down towards the uterus. If fertilization occurs, the egg clings to the uterine wall and begins to develop into a fetus, which is nurtured by the rich lining of the uterus for nine months, until it is ready to move down the vaginal canal and into the world. If the egg is not fertilized, it passes out of the uterus through the cervix, along with a portion of the no-longer-necessary uterine membrane the uterus had prepared for fertilization--this is a woman's menstrual period. Most women are also born with a hymen, a thin membrane that lies on the inside of the vagina. Some blood may issue from the tearing of this membrane during first intercourse. Although different cultures may attach an importance to this as a sign of virginity, the hymen often is torn during the course of normal daily activities long before a woman may ever have intercourse.
Internal Female Genitalia: