Reproductive Body Parts

Ovaries, fallopians, the womb, cervix, fornix and vagina. Also those random random menstrual cycles.

This explains about reproductive body parts and what happens during the menstrual cycle. For more about fertility go to this page

Ovaries

BISH reproductive bitsWhere eggs are stored and released. 1 or 2 eggs are released in each menstrual cycle (this is ovulation).

Womb

Fertilized eggs attach here and grow during pregnancy. Before eggs are released a sticky lining is created so that a fertilized egg (embryo) can stick to the womb, starting pregnancy.

Fallopian tubes

Where sperm meet eggs during fertilization.

Vagina and fornix

BISH reproductive bits SIDE ONThe vagina is very stretchy and widens and lengthens when sexually aroused. It’s up to 6 inches long. It’s surrounded by lots of muscle so after stretching it goes back to normal size. The fornix are deep inside the vagina surrounding the cervix. During birth they stretch massively. This part of the vagina also stretches lots during sex, so long as the vagina is aroused.

Cervix

This is the neck of the womb. There is a very small gap here allowing sperm to swim into the womb. During pregnancy the cervix part to allow the baby through. It’s also where smear tests are taken to look for cervical cancer.

Menstrual cycle

BISH reproductive bits 28 day menstrual cycleAn egg (or two) is released from the ovary once in a menstrual cycle: this is known as ovulation and happens around halfway through the cycle (it is not at the same time as a period).The egg dies around 24 hours after being released. After that it is not possible to get pregnant until the next egg is released in the next cycle. Unfertilised eggs, womb lining and a little bit of blood then come out, a few days later, during a period. The first day of a period is the first day of a new cycle, as this graphic shows.

Although there are times of the cycle when people can’t get pregnant, it is very very difficult to work out when this is. Cycle length can change from cycle to cycle totally randomly. Because you don’t know the length of your current cycle until the beginning of the next one, it’s not possible to know for sure when the ‘safe’ period was. Make sense?

© Justin Hancock 2015

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