Vagina

Overview The vagina is a stretchable muscular cavity lined with mucous membranes in the female reproductive system that extends from the uterus (womb) to the vaginal opening. The cervix of the uterus forms the interior end of the vagina, while the vulva–or the external parts of the female genitalia–and labia (singular: labium) form the exterior…

Anatomy Diagrams

These diagrams are to be used for the purpose of education. Within a classroom setting, teachers can either use the simplified depictions of the reproductive system as a viewable diagram to teach anatomy, or as an interactive learning tool. Each diagram includes a simplified drawing of the general organs, one with labeled boxes, and one…

How to Increase the Chances of Pregnancy

Some couples are able to get pregnant effortlessly, while others experience varying degrees of difficulty. Many couples who are trying to conceive are anxious to do so. Although having intercourse within the “fertile window” is one of the best known ways to increase the probability of fertilization, there are several other ways that couples can…

The Pap Smear

A Pap smear, also known as a Papanicolaou test or Pap test, is a procedure that checks for abnormal cells on the cervix.1 It is named after George Papanicolaou, M.D., who is credited for developing the Pap smear.2 The Pap smear drastically transformed how early cervical cancer can be detected in females.2 The cervix is…

Surgical Abortions

Surgical abortion—also commonly known as suction or vacuum aspiration—is a method that uses a vacuum aspiration machine to cleanse out the uterus, including the fetus. Surgical abortion is the most common method of first trimester abortions performed. Another option for abortion during the first trimester is a medically-induced abortion. Any abortion after the first trimester…

Cervical Cap

What is a Cervical Cap? A cervical cap, also known as a FemCap or cervical cover, is a small silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina in order to prevent pregnancy. Suction allows the cap to be seated over the cervix, blocking sperm from entering the uterus and preventing fertilization. In order to be…

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

The IUD is a highly effective, long lasting form of birth control.  The two different types, the hormonal IUD and the copper IUD, function in different ways, resulting in differing advantages and disadvantages.  The IUD must be inserted by a trained health care professional, and it does not prevent against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). What Is…

A Guide to the Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing®)

The vaginal ring, most commonly known as the NuvaRing®, is a soft, flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina once a month for three weeks to prevent pregnancy. How Does the Vaginal Ring Work? The vaginal ring is a form of birth control that steadily releases both estrogen and progestin hormones, similar to the…

Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which a female’s uterus is removed. In the United States, hysterectomies are very common, with 1 in 3 women undergoing the procedure by age 60.1 It is the second most common surgical procedure in reproductive-aged women.1 Hysterectomy rates vary in other countries, but the United States contains the…