It is located in the pelvic region.
It includes Ovaries, Accessory ducts & External genitalia.
a. Paired ovaries
- Primary sex organs which produce ova (female gamete) & steroid ovarian hormones (estrogen & progesterone).
- Each ovary is 2-4 cm in length.
- They are located on both side of the lower abdomen and connected to the pelvic wall and uterus by ligaments.
- Each ovary is covered by a thin epithelium which encloses the ovarian stroma.
- The stroma has outer cortex and inner medulla.
- Ovarian cortex contains groups of cells (Ovarian follicles). Each follicle carries a centrally placed ovum.
b. Accessory ducts (Duct system)
Include 2 oviducts (Fallopian tubes), a uterus & vagina.
Ø Oviducts: Each oviduct (10-12 cm long) has 3 parts:
· Infundibulum: Funnel-shaped opening provided with many finger-like fimbriae. It helps to collect the ovum.
· Ampulla: Wider part.
· Isthmus: Narrow part. It joins the uterus.
The ciliated epithelium lined the lumen of the oviduct drives the ovum towards the uterus.
Ø Uterus (womb): It is inverted pear shaped. It is supported by ligaments attached to the pelvic wall.
Uterus has 3 parts: Upper fundus, middle body and terminal cervix. Cervix opens to vagina.
Cervical canal and vagina forms birth canal.
The uterine wall has 3 layers:
· Perimetrium: External thin membrane.
· Myometrium: Middle thick layer of smooth muscle.
· Endometrium: Inner glandular and vascular layer.
Ø Vagina: It opens to the exterior between urethra & anus.
c. External genitalia (vulva or pudendum)
- Consist of Mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, hymen & clitoris.
- Mons pubis: A cushion of fatty tissue covered by pubic hair.
- Labia majora: Large, fleshy, fatty and hairy outer folds. Surrounds vaginal opening.
- Labia minora: Small, thin and hairless inner folds.
- Hymen (Maiden head): A membrane which partially cover the vaginal opening. It is often torn during the first coitus. It may also be broken by a sudden fall or jolt, insertion of a vaginal tampon; active participation in some sports items etc. In some women, hymen persists after coitus. So the hymen is not a reliable indicator of virginity or sexual experience.
- Clitoris: A highly sensitive organ lying just in front of the urethral opening.
- A pair of mammary glands contains glandular tissue & fat.
- Glandular tissue of each breast has 15-20 mammary lobes containing clusters of cells (mammary alveoli).
- Cells of alveoli secrete milk. It is stored in lumen of alveoli.
- The alveoli open into mammary tubules.
- The tubules of each lobe join to form a mammary duct.
- Several mammary ducts join to form a wider mammary ampulla which is connected to lactiferous duct through which milk is sucked out.