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5.4: Sexual Anatomy

  • Page ID
    11713
  • To understand our own bodies and also understand enough about sexuality to teach our children, we must understand the basics of female and male anatomy. Figure 3 shows an artist’s depiction of a cross section of female reproductive and sexual anatomy. The clitoris is extremely sensitive and is protected by the clitoral hood (not shown here). It sits above the vagina. In females, urine exits the body at the external urethral orifice (also called meatus). The vaginal orifice simply means the opening to the vagina itself. The labia are in two places, closer to the vaginal orifice (labia minora) and further away from the vaginal orifice (labia majora).

    The urinary bladder sits behind the pubic bone and during urination travels an inch or two out of the body via the external urethral orifice. In the back and top of the vagina sits the cervix. The cervix is simply the window into the uterus. It is round, muscular and thick and has a small opening in it. The cervix is the bottom portion of the uterus (the uterus is where a fetus or baby would grow and develop during pregnancy).

    Woman's Reproductive Organs.PNG

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\). Diagram of a Woman’s reproductive Organs

    The uterus leans forward toward the pubic bone. Inside the uterus on the left and the right sides are two small openings where the fallopian tube connects the ovaries to the uterus. There are two ovaries that have thousands of eggs in them at birth. A woman may release as many as 450 eggs during her reproductive years. After an egg is released from the ovary (ovulation), the fallopian tube carries the egg from the ovary down to the uterus. When pregnancy occurs it is often because sperm met the egg in the fallopian tube and fertilized it. Later, if the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and implants into the uterus, then conception has taken place.

    The vagina is approximately three inches long and is made of tissues that are epithelial and mucosal. This means that when blood flow increases to the pelvis the vagina produces a lubricant in the form of moisture. The vagina is not hollow in the sense that a tube is round and hollow. The vagina is relatively flat and has potential space rather than constantly open space. The vagina has a band of pelvic floor muscles that surround it. One set of muscles is called the puboccocceygeus muscle (PC muscle) which is located approximately 1 inch inside the vagina and which also plays a role in sexual pleasure for both partners.