Thought the reproductive system function is chiefly that of reproduction or procreation of future generations, there are also a whole lot of other functions of the female body that are governed by the reproductive system.
The primary reproductive system function
The three main internal organs that constitute the female reproductive system are the ovaries, the fallopian tubes and the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs or the oocytes each month, which travel down the fallopian tubes, which provide the place for the female egg and the male sperm to meet.
Meanwhile the uterus provides the entry for the male sperm via the vagina and the cervix. The sperm travels up and into the uterus and on to the fallopian tubes where, if it encounters an egg, fertilization of the egg by the sperm will proceed to take place.
The environment of the fallopian tubes and the other parts of the female reproductive tract are hospitable to the sperm and it can live there for several days.
It is important to know this about the reproductive system function – actual conception can occur even if sexual intercourse takes place days before ovulation.
The egg however can survive for just about 24 hours after it is released and so there is smaller widow for fertilization of the egg after ovulation rather than before.
If the egg is fertilized by a sperm in the fallopian tubes (and the chances of this happening are only about 25%, even when there are no problems with fertility or timing of intercourse) the union of the egg and sperm then starts to divide and grow into the embryo.
The process of implantation will now occur and the embryo then travels down the fallopian tubes and implants into the wall of the uterus. If this doesn’t happen, and the embryo implants in the fallopian tubes, an ectopic pregnancy is said to occur, which is potentially life threatening. Once implantation occurs the embryo establishes contact with the mother’s blood stream to obtain nourishment and pregnancy is said to have occurred; a woman will now stop having her monthly period.
The secondary reproductive system function
The ovaries are in charge of producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone which govern not only a woman’s reproductive abilities and her monthly cycles, but also impact a number of other bodily functions.
Progesterone has an impact not only on the reproductive system functioning but also on the nervous system of a woman. It impacts gall bladder activity, regulates immune response, and even affects oral health.
It is estrogen that brings about the appearance of secondary female sex characteristics at the time of puberty – the appearance of breasts, the widening of the hips and so on. It can accelerate or decelerate the metabolism. It impacts muscle mass and fat stores of the body. It also controls vaginal lubrication and impacts bone density, and maintenance of skin.
Since the estrogen has so many other than reproductive system functions it is easy to see why menopause (when the ovaries reduce production of female hormones) can bring about such significant changes for a woman.