Female Reproducation System

By: Ashley Schenkoski

Function

It produces the female egg cells necessary for reproduction, called the ova or oocytes (a cell in an ovary that may undergo meiotic division to form an ovum). The system is designed to transport the ova to the site of fertilization. The system is designed to transport the ova to the site of fertilization. Conception the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the Fallopian tubes. The next step for the fertilized egg is to implant into the walls of the uterus, beginning the initial stages of pregnancy. If fertilization and/or implantation does not take place, the system is designed to menstruate (the monthly shedding of the uterine lining). In addition, the female reproductive system produces female sex hormones that maintain the reproductive cycle.

Major organs


  1. Labia majora: The labia majora enclose and protect the other external reproductive organs. Literally translated as "large lips," the labia majora are relatively large and fleshy, and are comparable to the scrotum in males. The labia majora contain sweat and oil-secreting glands. After puberty, the labia majora are covered with hair.

  2. Labia minora: Literally translated as "small lips," the labia minora can be very small or up to 2 inches wide. They lie just inside the labia majora, and surround the openings 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).

  3. Bartholin's glands: These glands are located beside the vaginal opening and produce a fluid (mucus) secretion.

  4. Clitoris: The two labia minora meet at the clitoris, a small, sensitive protrusion that is comparable to the penis in males. The clitoris is covered by a fold of skin, called the prepuce, which is similar to the foreskin at the end of the penis. Like the penis, the clitoris is very sensitive to stimulation and can become erect.

The internal reproductive organs in the female include:

  • Vagina: The vagina is a canal that joins the cervix (the lower part of uterus) to the outside of the body. It also is known as the birth canal.

  • Uterus (womb): The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped organ that is the home to a developing fetus. The uterus is divided into two parts: the cervix, which is the lower part that opens into the vagina, and the main body of the uterus, called the corpus. The corpus can easily expand to hold a developing baby. A channel through the cervix allows sperm to enter and menstrual blood to exit.

  • Ovaries: The ovaries are small, oval-shaped glands that are located on either side of the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs and hormones.

  • Fallopian tubes: These are narrow tubes that are attached to the upper part of the uterus and serve as tunnels for the ova (egg cells) to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg then moves to the uterus, where it implants into the lining of the uterine wall.
  • Gonads: The ovary, where eggs are produced.
  • Mammary gland : Mammary glands are the organs that, in the female mammal, produce milk for the sustenance of the young.

Homeostatic Imbalances

Premenstrual Syndrome

Causes: The exact cause of PMS is unknown, but it seems to be related to the fluctuating levels of hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, that occur in preparation for menstruation.

Symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Weight gain
  • Aggression
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Headaches/backaches
  • Food cravings/overeating
  • Fatigue
  • Tearfulness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings and/or depression

Treatment: PMS treatment is based on relieving symptoms. Treatment begins with a thorough assessment of your symptoms and their impact on your daily life.


Endometrosis

Causes: Although the exact cause of endometriosis is not certain, several possible explanations include:

  • Retrograde menstruation. This is the most likely explanation for endometriosis. In retrograde menstruation, menstrual blood containing endometrial cells flows back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of out of the body. These displaced endometrial cells stick to the pelvic walls and surfaces of pelvic organs, where they grow and continue to thicken and bleed over the course of each menstrual cycle.
  • Embryonic cell growth. The cells lining the abdominal and pelvic cavities come from embryonic cells. When one or more small areas of the abdominal lining turn into endometrial tissue, endometriosis can develop.
  • Surgical scar implantation. After a surgery, such as a hysterectomy or C-section, endometrial cells may attach to a surgical incision.
  • Endometrial cells transport. The blood vessels or tissue fluid (lymphatic) system may transport endometrial cells to other parts of the body.
  • Immune system disorder. It's possible that a problem with the immune system may make the body unable to recognize and destroy endometrial tissue that's growing outside the uterus

Symptoms:

  • Painful periods . Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into your period and may include lower back and abdominal pain.
  • Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination. You're most likely to experience these symptoms during your period.
  • Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy periods or bleeding between periods .
  • Infertility. Endometriosis is first diagnosed in some women who are seeking treatment for infertility.
  • Other symptoms. You may also experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.

Treatments: Pain medication or Hormone therapy


Candidiasis

Causes: The Candida genus of yeast is a naturally occurring microorganism in the vaginal area. It’s growth is kept in check by the the lactobacillus bacteria. However, these bactera can’t work effectively if there is an imbalance in your system. This leads to an overgrowth of yeast, which causes the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections to be present.

Symptoms:

  • itching
  • burning
  • large or small amounts of vaginal discharge, often whitish gray and thick (although there are times the discharge can be watery)
  • pain during sex
  • soreness
  • rash

Treatments : prescription medication

News Article

This article is about all the ways a female body changes throughout the the years. It also tells you about the affects it has.




http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004016.htm