What is a vagina

Female reproductive organs

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Female reproductive organs are all organs related to reproduction, from the ovaries inside the small pelvis to the large labia visible from the outside. They are divided into internal and external female genital organs. Read everything important about the female sexual organs: structure, function, diseases!

What are the female reproductive organs?

Female reproductive organs are organs of reproduction. They are divided into external and internal genital organs.

External female genital organs

The external female sexual organs are collectively referred to as the pubic (vulva). It includes:

  • the mons pubis (mons pubis)
  • the large and small labia (labia majora and labia minora)
  • the clitoris
  • the vaginal vestibule with the atrial glands (Bartholin's glands)
  • the vaginal entrance (introitus vaginae)

The entire region of the external female sexual organs is called the regio perinealis and is compared to the pelvic organs.

Internal female genital organs

The internal female sexual organs are the ovaries (ovaries) and fallopian tubes (tuba uterina), the uterus (uterus) and the vagina (vagina).

What is the function of the female genital organs?

Internal and external female sexual organs play important roles in reproduction, pleasure and hormone regulation:

Oogenesis, the formation of female sex cells (egg cells), takes place in the ovaries. This is also where the female sex hormones are formed: estrogen and progesterone.

In each menstrual cycle, one egg cell usually matures in one of the two ovaries and is released on the surface of the ovary (ovulation). The fallopian tube catches the germ cell and transports it towards the uterus. In this way, the egg cell can be fertilized by an invaded sperm.

Whether fertilized or not - the egg cell nests in the uterine mucous membrane that has built up under the influence of hormones. If fertilization has not taken place, the thickened mucous membrane is expelled after a few days together with the egg cell during the menstrual period.

However, once a fertilized egg has established itself, the uterus serves as an incubation chamber for the growing baby and takes care of the child. During childbirth, the uterus is the expulsion organ, which the child transports to the outside through muscle contractions through the birth canal (cervix, vagina).

The vagina is a highly stretchable tube made of muscle and connective tissue. It picks up the penis during intercourse and acts as a birth canal during delivery.

The large and small labia cover the entrance to the vagina and the exit of the urethra. They protect against the ingress of foreign bodies and germs.

A secretion is secreted from glands on the inside of the labia minora and around the urethra as well as in the vaginal entrance when sexual irritation occurs. It is used to moisten the vagina and contains glucose, which the sperm need as an energy source on their way to the egg cell.

The clitoris (clitoris) is formed by the labia minora. With its numerous nerve endings, it is the woman's sexual arousal center. Your stimulation triggers an orgasm.

Where are the female genital organs located?

The internal female reproductive organs ovaries (ovaries), fallopian tubes (tuba uterina), uterus (uterus) and vagina are located in the small pelvis above the urogenital diaphragm (the front part of the pelvic floor) between the urinary bladder and the rectum.

The vagina forms a back, side and front vaginal vault that borders the bladder and urethra in front. The peritoneum at the top and the rectum at the bottom form the boundary.

The pubic or vulva is the visible, outer area of ​​the female sexual organs. The Venus or pubic mound lies in front of and above the symphysis (pubic symphysis). The labia majora lie as plump folds of skin between the thighs, enclose the pubic cleft and extend to the perineum.

The clitoris is located between the front end of the labia minora. From the back and underside of the clitoris, folds of skin move to the labia minora, which lie within the labia majora and surround the vestibule.

What problems can the female genital organs cause?

Cancer of the vulva (vulvar carcinoma) usually affects the labia majora, sometimes the labia minora, and rarely the clitoris. Mostly it is squamous cell carcinoma of the upper layers of the skin. The risk factors include certain infections in the genital area, for example with herpes viruses, the syphilis pathogens or human papilloma viruses (HPV). The most common and often the only symptom of vulvar cancer is severe itching in the external genital area. Other symptoms include burning, pain, bloody discharge, or small raised areas or spots.

Internal female reproductive organs can be affected by various infections. Examples are vaginal thrush (Candida), HPV infection, bacterial vaginosis, chlamydial infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Cancer of the internal female genital organs are, for example, ovarian and fallopian tube cancer, uterine and cervical cancer and vaginal cancer. Common health problems include fallopian tube inflammation, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis.

Symptoms that can be caused by all diseases in the area of ​​the female genital organs are, for example, increased discharge, burning and itching in the vaginal area. Painful, prolonged or absent menstrual periods, intermenstrual bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse and / or abdominal pain can also indicate a disease of the female genital organs.

Female genital organs can also have malformations, for example the vagina can be missing.

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