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The female reproductive system

What parts make up the female reproductive system?

A woman's reproductive system includes:

Female Reproductive System

 

  • Ovaries. The ovaries are located either side of the uterus. Right from when a baby girl is born the ovaries contain hundreds of ova egg cells that last from the first periods until menopause.
  • Fallopian tubes. These are also known as egg tubes or oviducts and carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. The tubes are lined with tiny hairs called cilia that help move eggs along the tubes each month. In rare cases, an egg can become fertilised while it is in the fallopian tube. This is called an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Uterus (womb). The uterus is a pear-shaped flexible container where a fertilised egg will develop into a foetus, and eventually into a baby. If the egg is not fertilised, the womb lining is shed each month during the period.
  • The cervix is a band of muscle at the bottom of the uterus that holds it closed during pregnancy until labour begins. At other times the cervix has an opening to allow the man's sperm to enter and blood from monthly periods to leave.
  • The vagina is a tube of muscle leading from the cervix to the outside genital area. A man's penis enters the vagina during sex - and a baby is usually born through it - called vaginal birth.
  • The vulva  is made up of the labia majora - folds of skin that form 'lips' to protect the vagina - and the smaller inner lips called labia minora. Hair grows naturally on the labia majora from puberty.
  • The clitoris is a small sensitive organ at the front of the vulva that hardens during sex and is usually involved in a woman's orgasm (climax).
  • Bartholin's glands are located next to the vaginal opening and produce a mucus secretion.
  • There is an area of tissue in front of the pubic bone above the vulva called mons pubis.
  • Theurethra is not part of the reproductive system but instead takes urine from the bladder and out of the body.
  • The area between the vagina and the anus (back passage) is called the perineum.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on December 05, 2016

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