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Female Reproductive System

👤by MedicineNet.com 0 comments 🕔Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Female reproductive system definition

The female reproductive system contains both organs inside the body and external structures on the body. Its function is to enable reproduction of the species, so it is involved in sexual maturation as well as the actual process of pregnancy and birth.

Internal reproductive organs

The uterus, or womb, is a hollow organ located centrally in the pelvis. It houses the developing fetus during pregnancy. The lower portion of the uterus is called the cervix and opens into the vagina, or birth canal. An opening in the cervix allows for the passage of sperm into the uterus and the exit of menstrual blood from the uterine lining. This same opening dilates during labor to allow passage of the baby through the birth canal. Arising from the upper portion of the uterus on each side are the Fallopian tubes. These are channels that allow eggs from the ovaries to enter the uterus. The process of fertilization of an egg by a sperm cell typically happens in the Fallopian tubes, and the fertilized egg moves into the uterus where it is implanted. Beside the uterus on each side and near the opening of the Fallopian tubes are the small, oval ovaries, the female sex organs. They produce hormones and contain eggs. At birth, a female has 1 to 2 million eggs already present in the ovaries, but only about 300 of them will mature during a woman's lifetime.

Picture of the female reproductive system

Reviewed by Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD on 8/6/2013

Female Reproductive System Index

Medical Author:

Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medical Editor:

Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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