Female Reproductive System

The female reproductive system consists of the following organs: a pair of ovaries, a pair of fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina and external genitalia.


There is a pair of ovaries, which lie in the lower part of the abdominal cavity, one on each side of the body. Ovaries produce ova and also secrete female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. The process of formation of egg in the ovary is known as oogenesis.

If a section of the ovary is cut, eggs at various stages of maturing can be seen. Each egg begins as a primary follicle. Follicular cells then cover the egg and a cavity called antrum is formed. This is the mature egg called Graffian follicle. The egg then gets released (ovulation) from the ovary leaving the empty follicle called corpus luteum.

Fallopian tubes (oviducts)

There are two oviducts (or Fallopian tubes) in female reproductive system. Each oviduct is about 10-15 cm long. The proximal funnel-shaped end of each oviduct lies near the ovary and is called infundibulum. Its margin bears finger-like projections called fimbrae. Each infundibulum continues as a thin and coiled tube called oviduct or Fallopian tube. Both Fallopian tubes open into the uterus.


The uterus is a pear-shaped, muscular, thick-walled organ. It is about 7 cm long, 5 cm broad, and 2.5 cm thick. The wall of the uterus comprises of three coats - the innermost endometrium, middle myometrium, and outermost perimetrium. 

The endometrium layer is richly supplied with blood vessels. There is a sphincter muscle that closes the lower end of the uterus where it joins the vagina.


Vagina is the organ where the penis is inserted during coitus (sexual act) for the discharge of semen. It is a muscular tube about 7-10 cm in length. It serves as the birth canal during child birth and also acts as a duct for the passage of uterine secretions and menstrual flow.

The vagina opens to the outside by an opening. The opening of vagina is normally obstructed in a virgin female by a perforated membrane, the hymen. In a human female, the urethra and the genital duct have separate openings.