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Female Reproductive System

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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
Picture of the female reproductive system

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/6/2013

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/female_reproductive_system/article.htm

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