What is the female reproductive system?
The female reproductive system is made up of organs which are on the inside and outside of the body. These organs each play a role in reproduction (having children).
Female reproductive system organs:
The vulva is the fleshy part found on the outside of the body and is made up of the labia (which are folds of skin that look like lips), the clitoris* as well as the opening to the urethra as well as the vagina. Learn what your vulva looks like by taking a mirror and having a look! There is no shame in doing this!
The urethra is a tube that carries urine (pee) from the bladder to outside of the body.
The vagina is the opening between a female’s legs. The vagina is the passage that menstrual blood (period) comes out of and where a baby is pushed through. The vagina is also where a penis can be inserted. Other body parts such as the mouth (oral sex), fingers or both can also be inserted into the vagina for pleasure. Sex toys can also enter the vagina during sex.
A thin layer of skin called a hymen can sometimes cover the opening of the vagina. Not all females are born with a hymen and some hymens tear even before a person has sex for the first time. Not having a hymen doesn’t mean you have had sex.
The cervix is a ring of muscle at the top of the vaginal passage, sort of like a ‘doorway’ into the uterus. The cervix has a small opening which means that a tampon can’t get lost inside the body. The cervix stretches when a baby is born so it can pass through.
Also called the womb. The uterus is where a baby grows during pregnancy and its strong muscles help push a baby out during labour. The lining of the uterus also sheds if you are not pregnant and forms part of what comes out as your period.
These are two tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. The ovum (egg) travels down the fallopian tube where it can be fertilized (by the sperm).
These organs produce eggs and are where the female hormones (chemical messengers) oestrogen and progesterone are made. If an egg is fertilised by a sperm, you can get pregnant.
Part of the clitoris is seen as a bump at the top of the vulva, but this organ is much bigger inside the body. It can be the size of a pea or as big as a thumb. This organ does not play a role in reproduction (having children) but it forms part of the female reproductive system. The clitoris exists just for pleasure. If you want to have an orgasm, the clitoris is the easiest way to get there.
To understand the female reproductive system better and how it works, go to this article on menstruation.
Want to find out more about the male reproductive system? Click here.