Female Anatomy

Inside

  • The uterus, or womb, is a hollow, pear-shaped organ. It can expand up to 50 cm in length during pregnancy. The uterus grows a lining each month in preparation for pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy then the uterus sheds this lining (menstruation).
  • Two fallopian tubes, one on each side, stretch from the ovaries to the uterus. These tubes carry an egg from one of the ovaries each month.
  • The ovaries are glands which produce female sex hormones and egg cells (ova). Each ovary is only the size of an almond, but it contains 150,000 to 200,000 eggs. Every month, from puberty until you reach menopause, one of your ovaries will release one egg (sometimes more, but this is not common). The time when an egg is released is called ovulation.
  • The cervix connects the vagina to the uterus and produces mucus. In the days leading up to ovulation, this mucus becomes clear, elastic and slippery. During sex, this mucus helps sperm from the male reach the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Outside

  • The vulva is the outside part of a woman’s genitals. It includes pubic hair, the inner and outer vaginal lips (labia), the clitoris and the openings of the vagina and urethra.
  • The urethra is the tube which carries urine away from the bladder.
  • The outer labia are the large fleshy lips of the vulva.
  • The inner labia are the folds of skin that protect the entrance to the vagina and urethra. The inner labia may be covered by the outer labia. But it is also quite normal for them to extend outside. Every woman’s labia are different in shape and size.
  • The clitoris is just above the urethra. You can only see the tip of the clitoris which is about the size of a pea. It has many sensitive nerve endings. It also has a shaft which extends into the body. When you feel sexually excited, the clitoris fills with blood and swells. When the clitoris is stroked or rubbed, this pleasurable feeling can produce an even more pleasurable and exciting sensation called an orgasm.
  • The vagina is a stretchy tube made of expandable muscle. It is about 9 cm long and leads from the cervix to the outside of the body. When a female gets her period, menstrual fluid leaves the body through the vagina. The vagina is where a baby passes at birth. It is also where the penis enters the body during sex. When a female is sexually excited, it is quite normal for the vagina to become moist.

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