Bringing a baby into this world is nothing short of a miracle. A woman’s body does many things and goes through many processes that make childbirth similar to an engineering feat. It starts by producing an egg that is ready to be fertilized by a sperm. It also provides the best suitable environment for the egg to grow and develop into a baby. Finally, it gives birth to bring the baby into this world. It truly is a wonder how a tiny egg evolves into an independent life in its own right.
Female internal anatomy
Prior to your pregnancy, your uterus weighs about 60g and looks similar to a pear in terms of size and shape. A fertilized egg travels from the ovaries that lie at the end of the Fallopian tubes, to reach the uterus.
The female reproductive system
Before you start trying to conceive, knowing how your reproductive system works is a good thing. It helps you get acquainted with often used terms such as cervix and ovulation, and you can discuss your pregnancy with your doctor with more confidence. So if you have baby on your mind, it is better to get an understanding of different terms as soon as you can!
Did you know that you were born with the full quota of eggs that you will produce in your lifetime, and these are stored in your ovaries even before you are born? The beginning of your menstruation signals your body’s ability to start reproducing. Your ovaries release one egg in every 28 days approximately, until you reach menopause. This is called ovulation and each of your two ovaries produce an egg on alternate months. The ovaries also produce oestrogen which thickens the lining of the womb and prepares it to implant the fertilized egg.
You have two Fallopian tubes (oviducts) one running from each ovary, and are attached to the uterus. When an egg is released from an ovary, Fallopian tubes act as a passageway for the eggs to travel to the uterus. This takes a couple of days, during which time the egg may be fertilized by a sperm.
The egg moves into the uterus (womb), which is like a bag with a thick muscular wall and, if it is fertilized, it implants in the endometrium.
This is the spongy lining on the inside of your uterus. During your menstrual cycle, it thickens and prepares to receive the fertilized egg. If a fertilized egg implants in the lining, it starts to develop to form a placenta. If the egg is not fertilized, this lining breaks down and causes your period.
This is the lower portion of the uterus that widens during childbirth to allow the baby’s passage. It is the tiny opening through which your menstrual blood passes during your periods. It dilates gradually in the early stages of labour. When the cervix is dilated 4 cms, you are said to be in established labour.
know your body
An understanding of your body’s external anatomy is very useful.
(large lips) are the folds of tissue enclosing the genital organs.
is he opening that carries urine from the bladder to the outside.
is the small protrusion between the labia minors.
is where your baby finally emerges from.
is the opening at the far end of the digestive tract through which faeces leave the body.