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How many parts are in the female reproductive system?

The female reproductive system has organs, internal and external structures, and glands working together during a women’s lifetime. There are 18 components and associated glands (two vestibular, numerous paraurethral and 15 to 20 mammary).

Ovaries

An ovary is an internal organ of the female reproductive system. There are two ovaries, one located on each side of the uterus. These organs are about the size of an almond, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Female sex cells get produced inside ovaries.

Fallopian Tubes

Fallopian tubes are another internal part of the reproductive system. Each ovary has a tube on either side of the uterus. An oocyte (young, not fully developed female cell) travels through a fallopian tube, taking about seven days to do so according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The tube is lined with cilia and made of smooth muscle to help the oocyte move through.

Uterus

The uterus (womb) is an internal organ. Before pregnancy, the uterus (a muscular organ) is about the size of a pear, but it expands with pregnancy and remains larger until menopause. Uterine walls are lined with endometrium (cells) that exit the vagina with menstruation.

Vagina

The vagina is another internal organ. It is a 10 cm tube necessary for menstrual flow, intercourse and childbirth. It ends at the cervix, which is really the lower end of the uterus.

External Structures

Externally, the mons pubis (fatty pad), labia minora and majora (fleshy skin flaps), clitoris (excitable protrusion), prepuce and prenulum of clitoris, hymen (sheath), vaginal orifice (opening), urethra (tube), orifice of urethra, perineal body (fibromuscular mass) and anus are all parts (12 total) of the external reproductive system. The vulva is a general term for some of the external structures of the female reproductive system including the labia minora and majora, the orifice of urethra, hymen and associated glands.

Glands

Additionally, the paraurethral glands (located on the urethra) and vestibular glands (Bartholin or Skene glands) make up the external female reproductive system. These glands are collections of cells that excrete substances.

Source:

U.S. National Institutes of Health: SEER Training Modules

The Anatomy Coloring Book; Wynn Kapit and Lawrence M. Elson; 1977

Dr. John D. Perry: Paraurethral, or “Skene’s Glands” in Scientific Literature

The Cleveland Clinic: The Female Reproductive System

More Information:

Health Square.com: The Reproductive System

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