Female Reproductive System

Guide for IVF

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Within the male and female framework, numerous bodily functions are alike. The leading variance between the male and female structure is in the reproductive system.

The female reproductive system is designed to create and maintain female sex hormones. The system specifically fulfills its capabilities to produce eggs (oocytes) essential for reproduction.

The system is intended to transport the eggs to a position for fertilization. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, typically transpires in the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg settles into the walls of the uterus, resultant in the preliminary stage of pregnancy.

If fertilization does not occur, the female system is premeditated for menstruation (a monthly cycle inducing shedding of the uterine lining). In addition, the female reproductive system produces female sex hormones that maintain the reproductive cycle.

When a woman enters the stage of menopause the female reproductive system progressively stops creating the female hormones essential for the reproductive cycle to begin.

At birth, a woman has approximately 1 million eggs; and by the time of puberty, this number is cut to 300,000. Only 300 to 400 eggs will reach ovulation during a woman's reproductive lifetime.

The Female Anatomy — External vs. Internal

The function of the external female reproductive framework enables sperm to enter the body and further safeguard the genital organs from infectious organisms.

The main external structures of the female reproductive system:

Labia majora

The labia majora or large lips shields the external female reproductive organs. The labia majora are comparable to male scrotum. The labia majora contains sweat and oil-secreting glands.

Labia minora

The labia minora or small lips are located just inside the labia majora. They surround the opening to the vagina (the canal that joins the lower part of the uterus to the outside of the body) and urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body).

Bartholin's Glands

Positioned near the vaginal opening and produce a fluid (mucus) secretion.


The labia minora intersects at the clitoris, a small, sensitive projection. The clitoris is concealed by a fold of skin, called the prepuce. The clitoris is extremely delicate to stimulation and is capable of becoming erect.

The main internal structures of the female reproductive system:


The canal (birth canal) joining the cervix (lower section of uterus) to the outside of the body.


The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped structure that is considered the womb for a developing fetus. The uterus is made up of two sections including the cervix and the corpus. A passage through the cervix allows sperm to pass through and the menstrual cycle to take place.


The ovaries comprise of small, oval-shaped glands on either side of the uterus. The ovaries are responsible for creating eggs and hormones.

Fallopian tubes: Narrow tubes attached to the upper section of the uterus serving as tunnels for the eggs to travel.

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