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ANATOMY OF THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM

OVARIES:
There is a pair of ovaries inside the female reproductive organ. The shape of it is like an
almond. There are few parts inside an ovary. These are the ovarian follicles, follicle
cells, Graafian or vesicular follicles and corpus luteum. The Ovarian follicles
are the tiny saclike structure of the ovary. Each follicle consists of immature egg, called
the oocyte. The follicle cell is the one that surrounds the oocyte. It is composed of
one or more layers of different cells. As we can see in the picture, the follicle is growing
bigger and the layers of follicles becoming many. When the egg within the follicle begins
to mature, the follicle enlarges and develops a fluid-filled central region, called an
antrum and at the same time, the Graafian follicle is also mature. This is an antrum
within the follicle. When the developing egg is ejected from the ovary, the event is
called ovulation. After ovulation, the ruptured follicle is transformed into Corpus
Luteum meaning yellow body.
In average women, ovulation occurs every 28 days. The ovaries will eventually change
when we age. The ovaries are secured by these 3 ligaments, the suspensory
ligaments, the ovarian ligaments and the broad ligaments.
DUCT SYSTEM:
The Uterine or fallopian tubes, uterus and vagina form the duct system of the
female reproductive tract. The Uterine or fallopian tubes are the one which receives
the ovulated oocyte and provide a site when fertilization can occur. Each of the tubes is
about 4 inches long. At the distal end of the uterine tube, there is a funnel-shaped
infundibulum, which has fingerlike projections called the Fimbriae. This Fimbriae
create fluid currents to carry the expelled oocyte into the uterine tube to the uterus.
The Uterus or the womb is located in the pelvis between the urinary bladder and the
rectum. It receives, retains and nourishes a fertilized egg. The uterus is anchored
anteriorly and posteriorly by the Uterosacral ligaments. The body is the major
portion of the uterus. The superior part of the uterus is the Fundus and the narrow
outlet which protrudes into the vagina below is the cervix. There is an innermost,
middle and outermost layer of the wall of the uterus. These are the Endometrium,
myometrium and perimetrium, respectively. As we have known from our previous
lessons in this subject, endo means the mucosa or innermost, myo means muscle,
so the myometrium is the part which contracts and the peri means the outermost or
visceral part.
The vagina. The vagina is a thin walled tube 3-4 inches long. It is like the uterus that
lies between the bladder and rectum but vagina extends from the cervix to the body
exterior. It is often called birth canal. The vagina provides the passageway for the
delivery of the infant and menstrual flow. This also is the female organ of copulation
because it receives the penis during the sexual intercourse. The hymen is a thin fold of
mucosa which partially close the distal end of the vagina especially when you are a
virgin. It is very vascular and tends to bleed when it is ruptured during the first time. But
I tell you that its durability varies. Some womens hymen are torn during sports activity,
tampon insertion or pelvic examination.
EXTERNAL GENITALIA AND FEMALE PERINEUM:
The external genitalia is also called the Vulva which includes the mons pubis, labia,
clitoris, urethral and vaginal orifices, and greater vestibular glands. The mons pubis is
a fatty, rounded area overlying the pubic symphisis. This is where the pubic hair covers.
The labia majora are two elongated hair-covered skin folds and the labia minora are
the two delicate, hair-free folds. The vestibule contains the external openings of the
urethra, which is a strictly a passageway for urine only. The greater vestibular
glands is a pair of mucus-producing glands. Their secretion lubricates the distal end of
the vagina during intercourse.
Your favorite part, the clitoris is a small, protruding structure that corresponds to the
male penis. It is composed of sensitive erectile tissue that becomes swollen with blood

during sexual excitement. This is the most sensitive part of the female genitalia. Lastly,
the Perineum is the diamond shaped region between the anterior end of the labial
folds, the anus posteriorly and the ischial tuberosities. This is the Perineum.