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…

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that affects the female reproductive system. It generally begins in one of the two ovaries on either sides of the uterus and can often remain undetected for most of the beginning stages. Ovarian cancer is usually identified once it has metastasized (spread) to other parts of the pelvic…

Mittelschmerz (Painful Ovulation)

Mittelschmerz, German for “middle pain”, is also known as painful ovulation. It is a medical condition characterized by lower abdominal pain during ovulation that occurs midway through the menstrual cycle, about two weeks prior to the menstrual period.¹ Ovulation is the process in which an ovary releases an egg, or ovum, to be fertilized by…

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is caused by an imbalance in a female’s androgen hormone levels. This hormonal imbalance can cause a number of issues, including difficulty achieving pregnancy by creating an irregular menstrual cycle.1 During ovulation, females with PCOS do not create all the necessary hormones for their eggs to fully mature. This causes some of 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…

Overview of the Female Reproductive System

The female reproductive system, also known as the female genital system, is made up of external and internal sex organs.  These sex organs and their complex functions work together to provide the female body sexual pleasure and reproductive abilities.  This article offers an overview of the female sex organs and their functions beginning with external…

The Ovaries and the Ovum

The ovaries are the female gonads, or sex glands. These glands carry out two important functions: ovulation, and the production and secretion of sex hormones. Ovulation is the process of releasing an ovum, or egg, to prepare a female for possible implantation and consequent impregnation. Sex hormones regulate the process which dictates ovulation, known as…

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg does not attach itself to the inner lining of the uterus where it normally would, and instead attaches to a different location. The embryo often attaches itself along the reproductive tract in the fallopian tubes, thus resulting in a tubal pregnancy. Fallopian tubes are far too narrow…