THINGS ABOUT THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM: The female reproductive system consists of external and internal organs that aids the reproduction of a new offspring. It is under developed at birth and gradually it develops to maturity at puberty so as to be able to produce gametes and to carry a fetus. The internal organs consists of Fallopian tube, uterus and ovaries.
The uterus (womb) houses the embryo which then develops into the fetus. It is consisting of strong muscles which expands and contracts to accommodate the growing fetus and also help in pushing the baby out during labor. It also produces uterine and vaginal secretions which aids in the transit of sperm to the Fallopian Tube. The ovaries produce the ova (Egg cells). The Fallopian tubes are the two tubes leading from the ovaries into the uterus. On development of an ovum, the ovary wall and follicle rupture, allows the escape of the ovum, it enters into the Fallopian tube and moves towards the uterus.
The external organs, also called Genitals consists of vulva and vaginal opening. The vulva consists of labia majora, mons pubis, labia minora, vaginal opening, clitoris, pudendal cleft and bartholin’s gland. The vagina is a fibromuscular canal which leads from the outer part of the body to the cervix of the uterus (womb). It gives accomodation to the male penis during sexual intercourse. Semen contains spermatozoa and is ejaculated from the male into the vagina, thereby enabling the fertilization of the egg cell (ovum).
The female reproductive organ enables a woman to do the following:
- Have sexual intercourse
- Produce egg
- protects and nourishes the egg until it is fully developed.
- Give birth
Problems of The Female Reproductive System
- Problem associated with the vulva and vagina
Vulvovaginitis is the inflammation of the vulva and vagina caused by the irritation of substances such as soaps or bubble baths, poor hygiene practice such as wiping from back to front after a bowel movement and also an overgrowth of candida (a fungus normally present in the vagina).
Symptoms are: redness and itching in the vaginal and vulva areas and yellow vaginal discharge.
Non-menstrual vaginal bleeding is caused as a result of the presence of a vaginal foreign body, such as toilet paper. Also caused by straddle injury (such as when falling onto a beam or bicycle frame) or vaginal trauma from sexual abuse. It is also as a result of the urethral prolapse (a condition in which the mucous membranes of the urethra protrude into the vagina and form a tiny, donut-shaped mass of tissue that bleeds easily).
- Problem associated with the Fallopian tube and ovaries
Ovarian tumor is not a very common problem but when it occurs, it results in abdominal pain.To get rid of the tumor might require surgery.
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg, doesn’t travel to the uterus, instead grows rapidly in the Fallopian tube. This could result in severe abnominal pains.
Ovarian cysts are non-cancerous sacs containing fluids or semi-solid material. They might be harmless but could be an issue if it develops. This may also result in abdominal pains. There is a great chance of cysts leaving independently but if this is not the case, visit your doctor.
Endometriosis results when tissues found inside the uterus begins to growing outside it. It could result in abdominal pains, painful periods and pelvic pain in general.
- Problem associated with menstruation
Menorrhagia is a problem which is as a result of very heavy periods with excess bleeding.
Amenorrhea is described as when a girl is yet to start her period by age 16 or 3 years after starting puberty, has not developed signs of puberty by age 14, or has had normal her normal menstruation periods but has stopped for some other reasons other than pregnancy.
Menorrhagia is a problem associated with very heavy periods with excessive bleeding.
Oligomenorrhea is a case of frequently missed menstrual periods even though she has been menstruating for a while and isn’t pregnant.
Infections of The Female Reproductive System
- Sexually Transmitted Infections
These are infections that can be transmitted from one person to another throigh sexual intercourse. They include: pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), human papillomavirus (HPV, or genital warts), human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and genital herpes (HSV).
- Toxic Shock Syndrome
This is not a very common disease but it is really deadly. It is as a result of toxins released into the body when exposed to a type of bacterial infection that is more likely to develop if a tampon is left in too long.
Symptoms are: diarrhea, high fever, vomiting, and shock.
- Yeast Infection
Yeast infections are due to an overgrowth of fungus in the vagina known as candida. It is also due to an imbalance of the pH in the vagina, which is usually acidic.
Symptoms: itching, burning, painful sexual intercourse, irritation, painful urination,and a white cottage-cheese-like discharge from the vagina.