The female reproductive system is made up of the internal and external sex organs that function in human reproduction. The female reproductive system is immature at birth and develops to maturity at puberty to be able to produce gametes, the internal sex organs are the uterus and Fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. The uterus or womb accommodates the embryo develops into the fetus. The uterus also produces vaginal and uterine secretions which help the transit of sperm to the Fallopian tubes, the external sex organs are also known as the genitals and these are the organs of the vulva including the labia, clitoris and vaginal opening. The vagina is connected to the uterus at the cervix, at certain intervals, the ovaries release an ovum, which passes through the Fallopian tube into the uterus. If, in transit, it meets with sperm, a single sperm can enter and merge with the egg. The corresponding equivalent among males is the reproductive system. Fertilization usually occurs in the Fallopian tubes and marks the beginning of embryogenesis, the zygote will then divide over enough generations of cells to form a blastocyst, which implants itself in the wall of the uterus. This begins the period of gestation and the embryo will continue to develop until full-term, when the fetus has developed enough to survive outside the uterus, the cervix dilates and contractions of the uterus propel the newborn through the birth canal. The female internal reproductive organs are the vagina, uterus, Fallopian tubes, the vagina is a fibromuscular canal leading from the outside of the body to the cervix of the uterus or womb. It is also referred to as the canal in the context of pregnancy. The vagina accommodates the male penis during sexual intercourse, semen containing spermatazoa is ejaculated from the male at orgasm, into the vagina potentially enabling fertilization of the egg cell to take place. The cervix is the neck of the uterus, the lower and it is cylindrical or conical in shape and protrudes through the upper anterior vaginal wall. Approximately half its length is visible, the remainder lies above the vagina beyond view, the vagina has a thick layer outside and it is the opening where the fetus emerges during delivery. The uterus or womb is the female reproductive organ. The uterus provides mechanical protection, nutritional support, and waste removal for the developing embryo, in addition, contractions in the muscular wall of the uterus are important in pushing out the fetus at the time of birth. The uterus contains three suspensory ligaments that help stabilize the position of the uterus and limits its range of movement, the uterosacral ligaments keep the body from moving inferiorly and anteriorly. The round ligaments restrict posterior movement of the uterus, the cardinal ligaments also prevent the inferior movement of the uterus
A pictorial illustration of the female reproductive system.
SagittalMRI showing the location of the vagina, cervix and uterus
Illustration depicting female reproductive system (sagittal view)