The female reproductive system consists of external and internal parts and, together with hormones, constitutes the essence of being a woman.
The woman’s body has the ability to conceive a new human being from the union of the ovum and the sperm, and the one responsible for this ‘miracle’ is the female reproductive system.
Two tiny sex cells or gametes, the ovule and the sperm, fuse inside the female reproductive system to give life to a new being.
The continuity of human life depends on the proper functioning of these exclusively female organs.
Which are the parts of the female reproductive system?
Unlike men, the woman’s reproductive system is entirely within the pelvis.
Some organs are more visible, while others are hidden.
The vulva, the mount of Venus and the lips – for their shape similar to the lips of the mouth – are the female reproductive organs that are in sight.
The external part of the female reproductive organ is vulva, which means covering.
The vulva covers the entrance of the vagina and the remaining internal reproductive organs.
Mount of Venus and lips
Above the vaginal opening is a fleshy area called Mount of Venus.
Then, there are the two pairs of skin folds we know as lips.
In what the girl becomes a woman, the mount of Venus and the lips are covered with pubic hair.
Between the lips are two openings: that of the urethra – the duct that carries urine from the bladder to the outside – and the one that gives access to the vagina.
Between the lips is the clitoris, a highly sensitive part of the apparatus.
In fact, it is the only part of the human body whose function is to give pleasure to women.
The opening of the vagina is partially covered by a thin sheet of tissue, provided with one or more holes, called a hymen.
Also, the hymen varies from one woman to another: in some it is stretched, in others it is torn during sexual penetration.
Inside the pelvis, the female reproductive system includes: the vagina, the uterus, the fallopian tubes and the ovaries.
The vagina is a hollow and muscular tube that extends from the vaginal opening to the uterus.
In the adult woman the vagina can have a length of 8 to 12 centimeters.
Also, the muscles of the vagina can dilate and contract.
This is for sexual intercourse, to expel menstruation and for labor.
In addition, the walls of the vagina are covered with mucous membranes that protect and keep it moist.
The vagina connects to the uterus or womb through the cervix or cervix; the walls of the cervix are thick and strong, and its opening is very narrow.
The uterus looks like an inverted pear. Its muscular walls are so thick and robust that they are the strongest muscles in the female body.
In women who are not pregnant, the uterus is only 7.5 centimeters long and 5 centimeters wide.
In the uterus there is the nesting of the fertilized egg.
Therefore, when the ovule and sperm join, the zygote forms and gestation begins.
The uterus protects and nourishes the fertilized egg until it becomes a baby.
The fallopian tubes are in the upper corners of the uterus; one on each side, and connect the uterus with the ovaries.
They are approximately 10 centimeters long. The end of each tube is in a shape of a funnel; They wrap the ovary without adhering to it.
The ovaries are two organs in oval shape in the upper part of the uterus.
They are the gonads responsible for producing, storing and releasing the ovules.
In the adult woman each ovary measures between four and five centimeters.
They are also part of the endocrine system, since they produce female sex hormones: estrogen and progesterone.
How does the female reproductive system work?
When a woman is born, her ovaries contain hundreds of thousands of oocytes, which remain inactive until puberty arrives.
Between 10 and 14 years, the pituitary gland generates hormones that stimulate the ovaries to start producing female sex hormones.
In this way, the girl develops and transforms into a woman.
The ovaries of the adolescents begin to release eggs, which begins their menstrual cycle.
The egg passes into the fallopian tubes and, after two weeks, the first menstruation occurs.
The blood and tissues that covered the uterus, if the egg was fertilized, are expelled in the form of a menstrual flow.
This is the so-called period that lasts between three and five days.
The uterus is responsible for expelling this flow with weak or strong involuntary contractions, which can be bothersome for the woman.
After the first menstruation, the woman’s body takes about two years to develop a regular menstrual cycle.
On average, an adult woman’s menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, although it can range between 23 and 35 days.
What if fertilization occurs?
If an egg meets a sperm in the fallopian tubes, fertilization occurs.
A week later, the zygote transforms into a multicellular blastocyst the size of a pinhead.
The blastocyst nests inside the uterus, called the endometrium.
In fact, estrogens and progesterone cause the endometrium to thicken and stay irrigated with blood.
In this way, the blastocyst can nest well and absorb nutrients. This is implantation.
As the blastocyst cells receive nutrients, the embryonic stage begins.
The cells multiply thousands of times and move to new positions until they become an embryo, which will later be a baby.
Further info: What Is In-Vitro Fertilization and When to Opt for It?
How does pregnancy occur?
At eight weeks, the embryo is the size of a thumb, but all the organs are practically formed: the brain and nerves, the heart and blood, the stomach and intestines, the muscles and the skin.
The fetal stage starts from the ninth week until birth.
The development of the fetus continues, the cells continue to multiply, move and transform.
In fact, the fetus floats in the amniotic fluid that is in the amniotic sac: it receives oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood through the placenta, which connects to the fetus through the umbilical cord.
On average, the pregnancy lasts about 280 days (40 weeks).
When the baby is ready to be born, its head presses the cervix, which begins to relax and dilate.
Also, labor begins and the contractions are intense.
Therefore, after hours of dilation, the baby gets out.
After delivery the placenta also gets out.
The cycle of life begins again, of which the female reproductive system is a star protagonist.
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