The female reproductive cycle is a cause of wonder for many. The structure of the reproductive system provides women with the chances of producing ova for being fertilized by the sperm. The ova also offer the space for the growth of the enlarging fetus. Other parts of the reproductive cycle including the breasts offer the mother the chances of nourishing and feeding the baby following birth.
The organs included in the feminine reproductive system occur internally as in the pelvis, as well as outside the principal body cavity or externally.
- Vagina: The canal joins the cervix to the outer part of the body. This part receives the penis for intercourse and acts as the passage for childbirth.
- Womb or Uterus: This is a pear shaped hollow organ that houses the developing fetus. It comprises the cervix and the corpus of the uterus which can expand to accommodate the growing baby. A channel in the cervix allows entry of the sperm and exit of menstrual blood.
- Ovaries: This part of a female reproductive cycle is small and oval shaped, found on both sides of the uterus. Ovaries produce eggs or ova and the primary feminine hormones that are released in the blood.
- Fallopian tubes: These uterine tubes are narrow and fixed to the upper regions of the woman’s uterus. They act as tunnels to facilitate the traveling of the ova to the uterus from the ovaries. This is where the egg is fertilized which then travels to the uterus for being implanted into its wall.
The external features of the reproductive system of women comprise parts of the female vagina including the clitoris, labia and other glands (collectively known as vulva) as well as the breasts.
Functions of female reproductive cycle
The primary function of the feminine reproductive cycle is to produce ova for fertilization and development of the fetus. This is facilitated through the presence of certain structures which allow the sperm to meet with the ova.
Hence, the reproductive cycle creates hormones which control a woman’s menstrual cycle. The hormones develop and release the ova for bringing about fertilization through the process of ovulation. They prevent ovulation in case of a pregnancy.
The activities during the female reproductive cycle are regulated by hormones released by the ovaries and the brain. The length of the menstrual or reproductive cycle of women is usually 24 to 35 days. In this time, the ova develop and mature with the uterine lining prepared for receiving the fertilized egg. In case the fertilized egg is not planted in the uterus, its lining is shed from the body through the process of menstruation.
The initial day of starting of the bleeding is generally known as the commencement of the woman’s reproductive cycle. The important event is ovulation when a mature egg or ovum is released from ovaries. This generally takes place on day 14 of the cycle of 28 days. The other part in the female reproductive cycle is influenced by the fertilization of the ovum.