Labeled Diagram of the Female Reproductive System And Its Functioning

Fact about human uterus
The female reproductive system is located in the pelvic cavity of the body and comprises ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and the uterus. Buzzle provides a labeled female reproductive system diagram along with a brief account of its major components.
Did You Know?
In females, oocytes are formed during the stage of fetal development itself, as against the formation of male gametes which occurs after puberty.
The female reproductive system is responsible for storage, nourishment, and maturation of female gametes called oocytes. It is also responsible for the secretion of hormones required for several reproductive processes and development of secondary sexual characteristics. The third and most vital function is to protect and nurture the embryo.

The female reproductive organs include: (i) the ovaries where the oocytes develop and hormones are synthesized; (ii) the Fallopian tubes which serve as ducts to carry the gametes; (iii) and the uterus that serves as the site for embryo development. These organs are enclosed in a sheet of peritoneum called the broad ligament. Other structures associated with the reproductive system are the accessory glands, like mammary glands and the organs that form the external genitalia.
Given below is a labeled diagram of the female reproductive system followed by a description of the internal organs.
Female reproductive system
These are two small, almond-shaped or oval structures present on the two sides of the uterus. They are the site for maturation and synthesis (if required) of the ova and also serve as an endocrine gland by secreting hormones necessary for various metabolic and reproductive processes of the female body.
Each ovary is situated in a specialized depression called ovarian fossa present in the lateral wall of the pelvis. They are stabilized by a set of ligaments called ovarian ligament and suspensory ligament of the ovary. In addition, the ovaries are covered by mesovarium―a part of the broad ligament that encloses all the reproductive organs. The ovaries are connected to the Fallopian tube through structures called fimbriae.

The tissues inside the ovary are organized into an outer or peripheral region called the ovarian cortex and an inner region called the ovarian or vascular medulla. Inside the cortex, cellular clusters called follicles are present, each of which encloses an oocyte. The most interesting feature of these immature oocyte-containing follicles is that they are produced during fetal development and remain dormant till reproductive age is attained. The dormant follicles that are present at birth are called primordial follicles. At birth, the ovaries contain two million such follicles, most of which degenerate through a process called atresia, and only about 400 of them mature to release viable eggs.

The oocyte develops as the primordial follicles mature and transforms into primary, secondary, and preovulatory follicle or Graafian follicle. This final stage consists of release of oocyte from the ovary―a process called ovulation. The rupture and empty follicle then gets reorganized and is now known as corpus luteum. It secretes estrogen and progesterone for a period of 14 days and transforms into a mass of white tissue called corpus albicans in the absence of fertilization. The secretion of estrogen and progesterone stops leading to menstruation. In the event of fertilization, the hormone secretion by corpus luteum persists for 2-3 months after fertilization.
Fallopian Tubes
Also known as uterine tubes or oviduct, these are hollow, muscular structures with one end attached to the upper corners of the uterus, and the other end extends over the ovaries. They are the means for transport of the egg from the ovary, serve as the site for fertilization, as well as transport the fertilized egg or zygote.
The part of the broad ligament that covers the Fallopian tubes is called mesosalpinx. Each Fallopian tube is divided into three regions, viz. infundibulum, ampulla, and isthmus.
Infundibulum is a funnel-shaped structure located near the ovaries and has finger-like projections called fimbriae, which extend towards the ovary but are not directly connected to it.

❖ The isthmus is the opposite end of the tube and is connected to the uterus.

❖ The ampulla is the larger, middle region of the tube where the process of fertilization takes place.
The fimbriae sweep the egg released from the ovary into the infundibulum. The egg travels into the ampulla and then to the uterus due to the ciliary action of cells lining the tube.
Also known as the womb, the uterus is located between the bladder and rectum in the pelvic cavity. It is connected to the vagina and Fallopian tubes. It functions to receive the sperm and transport it to the Fallopian tube. It is the place for development of the embryo and fetus.
This pear-shaped muscular organ is broadly divided into three regions: the fundus, body, and cervix.
❖ The fundus is the topmost part located above the point of attachment with the Fallopian tubes.

❖ The body is the central part of the uterus and contains a cavity called uterine cavity, which serves as the home of the fetus.

❖ The cervix is the narrow, lower region of the uterus that is connected to the vagina. The uterus is supported and enclosed within the largest part of the broad ligament called mesometrium.
The uterine wall comprises three layers, namely, endometrium, myometrium, and perimetrium.

❖ The endometrium is the innermost layer and lines the uterine cavity. This mucosal layer is built and shed periodically in the absence of fertilization. On the other hand, the endometrium is retained when fertilization occurs, and the glandular and vascular tissues present in it serve to fulfill the physiological needs of the growing fetus.

❖ The next layer or myometrium is a thick layer comprising smooth muscle fibers and is responsible for uterine contractions.

❖ A loose connective tissue called perimetrium is present as the outermost covering of the uterus.

It is the myometrium of the uterine wall that confers elasticity to the uterus, thus, enabling it to increase in size and easily accommodate the growing fetus. The structural arrangement of the elastic tissues in the myometrium enable a stable increase in size without exerting pressure on the fetus. During the final stages of pregnancy, the uterus grows all the way up to reach the thoracic diaphragm!
Often known as the birth canal, this tubular organ is connected to the uterus. It serves to provide a passageway for secretion of fluids from the reproductive organs, entry of male gametes, and delivery of the fetus.

The wall of this fibromuscular canal is made up of three layers that comprise stratified squamous epithelium as the innermost layer, smooth muscle fibers in the middle layer, and an outermost connective tissue layer called adventitia.
Accessory Organs and Glands
The accessory organs that support the reproductive function include the external genitalia and associated glands as well as the mammary glands. The external genitalia that are collectively known as vulva include the clitoris, labia, and the lower one-third region of the vagina.
The mammary glands comprise lobes of alveolar glands that are responsible for the production of milk in response to the hormone called prolactin. It is a set of cuboidal epithelial cells, present in the inner lining of these glands that synthesize milk and secrete into the lumen of the gland. From here, it is carried through ducts called lactiferous ducts and released only in response to hormonal cues.