All the living beings, that include plants, animals and birds, and, of course, humans, are supposed to reproduce and make a growth in their population. This feature among the living beings makes them different from non-living things.
In this blog, you will get to know how various organs of the woman reproductive system work in synthesis to complete the reproduction process.
You should not be confusing the female reproductive system with the female reproductive cycle. The female reproductive cycle can easily be linked with the menstrual cycle. In fact, the female reproductive cycle can be described as the method of creating an ovum and preparing the uterus to receive and obtain a fertilized ovum for beginning a pregnancy.
If an ovum gets produced, but fertilization does not take place, the reproductive cycle retunes itself and menstruation occurs beginning another reproductive cycle. The reproductive cycle normally completes on an average in 28 days. But it may be as long as of 36 days or as short as of 24 days among some women.
The female reproductive system consists of:
These organs in the female body are actively involved in generating and transporting the gametes and production of hormones. Apart from these, the female reproductive system facilitates the ova fertilization with sperm and helps in sustaining the growth of progenies during your pregnancy and, thereafter, in the formative years of the newborns.
Oocyte cells (immature female gametes) gradually develop during the early life of a female and attain maturity once you have achieved puberty and become ovum. Every month during the menstrual cycle or the periods and, at the time of ovulation, an ovum (a mature egg cell) is released from the ovaries. Knowing ovulation and your most fertile days are important in case you are looking forward to attain pregnancy. The ovum, thus, released from the ovary begins its journey to reach the uterus via the Fallopian Tubes where it may get fertilized by a sperm.
The Fallopian Tubes are two muscular tubes extending from the right and left superior corners of your uterus to the edging of your ovaries. At the ending of each of the two Fallopian tubes, there is a cone-shaped formation, known as the infundibulum. The infundibulum is roofed with small protruding finger-like shapes, called fimbriae.
Nearly when ovulation is about to happen, the female sex hormones stimulate the fimbriae, making it to swell up with blood and strike the ovary in a temperate but extensive motion. As the ovum gets released from your ovary in the peritoneal cavity, the cilia present in the fimbriae sweep it in the Fallopian tube. The interior of each Fallopian tube is covered with cilia that work with the smooth tubal muscle to transport the ovum into the uterus.
The uterus is a muscular and hollow organ within, of the size of a pear. It is located superior and posterior to the urinary bladder. With its superior end, the uterus is connected to your Fallopian Tubes. On the inferior end, it is connected to your vagina through the cervix. The uterus is also called womb for the developing fetus is surrounded and supported by it. The inside lining of your uterus is called endometrium, which lends support to the growing embryo during its early period of development during pregnancy. At the time of delivery, the instinctive muscles of your uterus contract vehemently and shove the fetus all the way through the birth canal.
The vagina is a muscular tube having an ample amount of elasticity. It connects the cervix of the uterus to the exterior of your body. Posterior to your urinary bladder, it is located in the inferior region of your uterus, just below the cervix.
The primary function of the vagina is to act as the receptacle of the penis during copulation. It also transports sperm ejaculated from the penis to the uterus as well as the Fallopian Tubes. Besides performing the above functions, the vagina acts as the birth canal for the delivery of babies. Having ample elasticity, at the time of childbirth, it stretches itself to an extent that makes it easy for the fetus to come out of the body. When menstruation takes place, the vagina allows the menstrual flow to make an exit out of it and the body.
The vulva is the exterior organ of the female reproductive organs to be found in the pubic area of the female body. The external ending of the urethral cavity and the vagina, including its pubic mound, labia minora, labia majora, besides clitoris are surrounded by the vulva.
The pubic mound, also known as mons pubis, is a raised bed of body fat, known as adipose tissue, in between the covering skin and the pubic bone, which serves as a cushion to the vulva. The lower part of the mons pubis gets divided into right and left halves, known as labia majora.
Both the pubic mound and the labia majora are protected by pubic hair. Within the labia majora is located smaller and hairless folded skin, known as the labia minora, surrounding the openings of your vagina and urethra. On the upper end of your labia minora, there is a gathering of erectile tissue, called Clitoris. The Clitoris has many nerves ending that helps in sensing and deriving sexual pleasure.
Breasts and Mammary Glands
The two breasts of the female body are special organs that have mammary glands, body fat (adipose tissue) and milk ducts. They are located in the thorax region of your body, one in the right and the other on the left side. An extremely pigmented nipple is located in the center of each of your breasts. Whenever your nipples get stimulated, they release milk. They say that on hearing a baby crying, even if the baby is not her own, the nipples may get stimulated and leak. Surrounding the nipples, there is a densely thick and pigmented skin, called the areola. The areola prevents the elemental tissues from tearing during your breastfeeding.
The mammary glands in the female breasts are an exceptional sort of sweat glands, also known as sudoriferous glands. These glands help in producing milk for feeding her infants. Each of the two breasts contains 15-20 mammary gland clusters. They get activated during pregnancy and remain lively until your offspring has grown and does not need milk. The milk ducts pass the milk to the nipple, where it makes an exit out of the body for feeding the infants.