Terrence Higgins Trust uses cookies to improve your experience of our websites. For more information or to change the use of cookies, please click here.

Accept and Close

Female sexual organs

Female sexual organs in pants

Understanding female sexual organs

female sex organs

Cervix - The lower, narrow portion of the uterus, also known as the ‘neck of the womb’.

Clitoris – This is part of the external genitalia that sits within the folds of the clitoral hood at the top of the labia minora. Internally it has two legs (or crura) which go around either side of the vagina. When stimulated the clitoris produces sexual pleasure.

Fallopian tubes – These two tubes carry eggs from the ovaries (where they're produced) to the uterus. Once in the fallopian tubes, the egg (or ovum) can be fertilised by male sperm - this process is called conception.

Fimbriae - A fringe of tissue that moves the egg from the ovary into the fallopian tube.

Labia – There are two sets of these lip-like structures which sit on each side of the vaginal opening. The labia majora are the outer lips which have hair on them, the labia minora are inside them. When a female is sexually aroused the labia swell slightly.

Ovary - One of two egg producing organs that are linked to the uterus by the fallopian tubes. Once a month the ovaries release an egg (or ovum). The egg travels down one of the fallopian tubes. If you have had sex without a condom, the egg may be fertilised by a sperm, meaning you could become pregnant. At this time the hormone progesterone thickens your womb lining in preparation for pregnancy. If a pregnancy occurs, the fertilised egg implants into the womb lining. (Your body will absorb the egg if it isn’t fertilised.) If there is no pregnancy, the lining of the womb comes away and you have your period (where you bleed from your vagina).

Urethra - The tube that carries urine from the bladder out of your body.

Uterus - The uterus is also known as the womb. This is where a foetus develops during pregnancy.

Vagina - A canal shaped space of around 8cm long that links the vaginal opening to the cervix. This is where the erect penis moves in and out when having vaginal intercourse. The vagina is also the ‘birth canal’ through which a baby is born during labour.

The sexual organs visible outside a woman (the vaginal opening, clitoris, labia minora and labia majora) are often grouped together and called the vulva.

Sex and you ››

‹‹ Male sexual organs

 

Rate:

Empty Star Empty Star Empty Star Empty Star Empty Star (No votes cast) Please log in or register to vote. What's this?

Save:

Please log in or register to add this article to My favourites. What's this? Adding an article to My favourites will allow you to easily come back to it later or print it.


Your comments

You will need to be logged in before you can leave a comment.

Please log in using the form on the top right of the page or register.

The Information Standard: Certified member

This article was last reviewed on 1/12/2015 by Anna Peters

Date due for the next review: 1/12/2018

Content Author: Allison Macbeth

Current Owner: Health Promotion

More information:

Female reproductive system  Teen Health.

Innies & Outies: The Vagina, Clitoris, Uterus and More. Scarleteen. 2011

On the rag: a guide to menstruation. Scarleteen. 2011 

Encyclopedia Britannica. Fimbria of the fallopian tube  

Reproduction - The female reproductive system. BBC. 2012 

Is my vagina normal? NHS Choices. 2015

Sexual arousal in women. NHS Choices. 2014

Your guide to the female reproductive system. Web MD

Vagina after childbirth. NHS Choices. 2015

Fallopian Tube. Encyclopaedia Britannica

Hysterectomy. NHS Choices. 2015

The female reproductive system. Patient info

Casues of cystitis. NHS Choices. 2015

The female reproductive system. BBC Bitesize. 2014

Self exam: vulva and vagina. Our bodies ourselves. 2014


 

Can't pass it on

People on effective treatment can't pass on HIV

If everyone knew this, we could bring an end to stigma and stop HIV transmissions.

sex facts

Sex Facts

Your questions answered anonymously and confidentially.

condoms

Condoms

The easiest and most effective precaution to take against most STIs is using a condom.