Every once in awhile, a little refresher course about the parts found in the female reproductive system is a good thing. This wonderful system enables women to produce eggs, have sexual intercourse, protect and develop the fertilized egg, and then of course, give birth.
Unlike males, the female reproductive system is located entirely in the pelvis. It includes parts both inside and outside the body.
The internal female reproductive organs are the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
The vagina is a canal that joins the cervix to the outside of the body.
The uterus (or womb) is a hollow, pear-shaped organ that becomes home to a developing fetus. It is divided into two parts: the cervix, the lower part that opens into the vagina, and the main body of the uterus, called the corpus. The corpus easily expands for a developing baby. A channel through the cervix allows sperm to enter and menstrual blood to exit.
The ovaries, small, oval-shaped glands, are located on either side of the uterus. They produce eggs and hormones.
The fallopian tubes are narrow tubes attached to the upper part of the uterus and serve as tunnels for eggs to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Conception normally occurs in the fallopian tubes.
The external female reproductive parts have two functions, allow sperm to enter and protect the internal genital organs from infectious organisms. The main external structures include the vulva, labia majora, labia minora, Bartholin's glands and clitoris.
The vulva covers the opening to the vagina and other reproductive organs inside the body.
The labia majora enfold and protect the other external reproductive organs. Literally translated as "large lips," they are relatively large and fleshy. The labia majora contain sweat and oil-secreting glands.
The labia minora is literally translated as "small lips." They can be very small or up to two inches wide. They lie just inside the labia majora, and surround the openings to the vagina and urethra.
Bartholin's glands are found next to the vaginal opening and produce a mucus secretion.
The two labia minora meet at the clitoris.