The Female Reproduction System

Family Life 421
Ms. MacLean
 By
the end of this unit, you will be able
discuss and describe the organs of the male
and female reproductive system;
identify the different parts of the male and
female reproductive system on a diagram;
discuss certain male and female health
concerns related to the reproductive
Female Reproduction System
 The
female reproductive system’s primary
function is for reproduction.
 An
egg cell (ovum) is produced which, when
united with a sperm cell, will eventually
form a baby.
 Although
the female has external and
internal reproductive organs, the organs of
the system are primarily internal.
 The
external organs are called the vulva.
 The
vulva consists of the:
Mons pubis
Labia majora (Outer lips)
Labia minora (Inner lips)
Vaginal opening
 The
clitoris is a knob of tissue, located in
front of the vaginal opening.
 The
clitoris has no reproductive function,
but is important in producing sexual arousal.
 The
mons pubis is a rounded, fatty pad of
tissue, covered with pubic hair.
 The
mons pubis is located on top of the
pubic bone.
 The
labia majora (outer lips) is the outer
fold of tissue on either side of the vaginal
 The
labia minora (inner lips) is the inner
folds of skin which are inside the labia
majora. The labia minora form a hood over
the clitoris.
 The
functions of the labia are:
To protect against germs entering the body
For sexual arousal
 The
vaginal opening is visible with the labia
are parted.
Vaginal Opening
 The
internal organs are the:
Fallopian tubes
 The
vagina is a tubelike passageway, about 4
to 5 inches long.
 It
is also called the birth canal; it stretches
to allow for the birth of a baby.
 The
vagina leads to the cervix (the neck of
the uterus).
 The
cervical opening is very small, but during
child birth it opens (dilate) for the baby.
 The
hymen is a thin membrane, located just
inside the vaginal opening.
 The
hymen has no particular function and is
not present in all females.
 There
are many myths related to the hymen,
but many are not true.
 Some
women may feel discomfort with the
breaking of their hymen.
 The
uterus is a strong, elastic muscle, about
the size of a fist.
 The
primary function of the uterus is to hold
and nourish a fetus (developing baby).
 On
each side of the uterus are the Fallopian
 Fertilization
of the ovum (the joining of a
sperm cell and egg cell) occurs in the
Fallopian tubes.
 The
ovaries are the female sex glands on
both sides of the uterus.
 The
function of the ovaries are:
Production of female sex hormones (estrogen and
House the egg cell (ovum)
 Ovulation
is the process of an ovary
releasing a mature egg cell (ovum) into that
ovary’s Fallopian tube.
ovum can live for about two days in the
Fallopian tube.
 If
sperm are present, one sperm will enter
the ovum. This is call fertilization.
Pregnancy begins at this point.
 If
the ovum is fertilized, it moves into the
uterus and attaches to the lining.
 The
ovum will develop into a baby while in
the uterus.
 If
the ovum is not fertilized, it dies and
passes into the uterus.
 The
uterine lining is not needed because
there is no pregnancy, so the uterine muscles
begin to contract and the lining of the uterus
is shed.
 This
lining passes through the vagina and out
of the body during a process called
 Menstruation
(also called a period) usually
takes 4 to 7 days, but can be shorter or
longer. Each female’s menstrual period is
 During
menstruation, the female loses
between 2 and 3 tablespoons of blood in
additional to the uterine lining (tissue).
 Almost
all females being menstruating
between the ages of 10 and 15.
 Hormones
control the menstrual cycle so
each female’s cycle is unique to her.
Menstruation Cycle
 Because
the uterus contracts to break down
the lining, the female may experience
 Light
exercise, a warm bath, or a heating
pad will relax the muscles to assist with the
 Severe
cramps require medical attention.
 Bathing
of the vaginal area is important, but
becomes even more important during
 Sanitary
napkins or tampons must be used to
catch the menstrual flow, and must be
changed every 3 to 4 hours.
 Tampons
left in for more than 4 hours
increases the risk of infection.
 Women
have certain reproductive health
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Breast Cancer
 Premenstrual
Syndrome (PMS) refers to a
variety of symptoms females experience
during menstruation, including:
Nervous tension
Weight gain
Mood swings
 The
causes of PMS are not fully understood,
but may be related to hormones or
nutritional deficiency.
 Most
doctors recommend diet and life-style
sufferers must try to reduce stress, and
reduce their intake of sugar, salt, caffeine,
nicotine, and alcohol.
How to Relieve PMS Symptoms
 Women
can become sterile through:
A blockage in one of both of the Fallopian tubes
The inability to ovulate
Endometriosis, a condition in which uterine
tissue grows outside the uterus, in the pelvic
 Breast
cancer is the second leading cause of
death of women after lung cancer (US).
 Breast
cancer is not preventable, but it is
treatable and curable.
 Females
with a family history of breast
cancer are twice as likely to develop this
 Women
should complete monthly self-breast
 Symptoms
of breast cancer (in women and
men) are:
Change in breast or nipple appearance
Lump or swelling in the breast
Lump under the armpit

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