During puberty in girls, a lot of body changes are happening — particularly in your reproductive organs. That’s why it’s so important to know how your body works. Here’s a list of all the major female reproductive organs and what they do.
The vagina, also called the birth canal, is inside the body. It is the entrance to the reproductive system.A lot happens in the vagina. You can see the opening of it below your urethra (the place you urinate from), but what you can't see is that the vagina goes up and into your body. It is a narrow "tunnel" about 3 to 5 inches (7 to 13 cm) long. The walls of the vagina are usually touching. It's a bit like a balloon that hasn't been blown up (this is called a "potential space" — an area that seems closed, but that can open up into a larger space). The vagina usually opens easily for a tampon.During pregnancy, the vagina changes to accommodate a baby passing through it. The vagina is where sperm from a man's penis is released into a woman's body during sexual intercourse. It's also where your menstrual flow leaves your body during your menstrual cycle. (Note how the vagina slants from the small of your back towards your waist. This fact is important for inserting a tampon.)
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, sometimes called the neck of the uterus. It's located at the top of the vagina. The cervix is about as wide as a 10 pence piece, but the opening in the centre is only as large as a pencil point. Menstrual flow passes through the opening, then into the vagina and then outside the body.
The uterus is also commonly called the womb. It is a pear-shaped organ about the size of your fist that can grow and stretch large enough for the complete development of an embryo and foetus. There are three openings to the uterus. At the bottom, the cervix opens into the vagina. At the top, two tubes are attached on either side — these are called the fallopian tubes.
The inner lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. This is the part of the uterus that gets full with blood each month, and is released from your body during your menstrual cycle if you're not pregnant.
- Fallopian Tubes
These soft tubes go from the uterus to the ovaries (see below). The fallopian tubes are where eggs get fertilised; "fertilisation" is the word for when an egg comes into contact with sperm and can therefore develop into an embryo, then a foetus and later, a baby. The fallopian tubes are the passageway where a fertilised egg travels to the uterus.
The fallopian tubes lead to the ovaries, which are oval-shaped organs that hold eggs, or ova. Measuring about an inch and a half (3.5 cm) wide and an inch long (2.5 cm) each, the two ovaries are located on either side of the uterus.The ovaries hold all of a woman's eggs. Girls are born with all the eggs they'll ever have — about 250,000 in each ovary. Once a girl goes through puberty, her body releases a mature egg each month.
Did you find any of these facts surprising?