A reproductive system is a group of organs that are responsible for the reproduction of offspring. In humans, the reproductive systems of males and females are different. The diagram shows the female reproductive system from a front and side view:
The female reproductive system is made up of several organs that are responsible for the production and transport of eggs, as well as the nurturing and support of a developing fetus. These organs include:
The female reproductive system contains two ovaries, which are responsible for producing and releasing eggs. Each ovary contains many undeveloped eggs, also known as ova. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, one mature egg is typically released from one of the ovaries.
Eggs are present in a woman’s body from birth and are responsible for reproductive function.
The oviducts, also known as the fallopian tubes, connect the ovaries to the uterus. They transport mature eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.
During ovulation, a mature egg is released from the ovary and travels through a fallopian tube, where it may be fertilised by sperm if sexual intercourse has occurred.
The uterus, also known as the womb, is a pear-shaped organ that is located in the pelvis, between the bladder and the rectum. The uterus serves as the home for a developing fetus during pregnancy. It is lined with a special tissue that provides nutrients and oxygen to the growing baby.
The muscles of the uterus contract during labour to help push the baby out of the body.
The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that extends into the vagina. It is a ring of muscle that separates the uterus from the vagina. The cervix has an opening that allows for the passage of sperm into the uterus during sexual intercourse. It also allows the passage of menstrual blood out of the uterus during menstruation.
The cervix also plays a crucial role during childbirth, as it dilates (opens) to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal.
The vagina is a muscular, elastic tube that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. It serves as the birth canal during childbirth. The vagina is also where a man’s penis enters the woman’s body during sexual intercourse.