Most of us acknowledge that sexual identity and orientations exist on a spectrum. Still, when we talk about sex assigned at birth and the anatomical bits and pieces that accessorize your birthday suit, it’s important to discuss the role that our organs play.
Women’s reproductive anatomy, for example, does so much more than provide womb service for baby-making; it affects bone density, mood, cholesterol, and even heart health.
So, let’s go around the table and meet some of the Uterus & Friends gang that make up a woman’s reproductive anatomy.
Women’s Reproductive Anatomy Wins At Life
The ovaries are powerful little organs about the size of an almond that fully embody the phrase “small but mighty.” Most women are born with two ovaries that are in charge of producing hormones and releasing eggs, aka ovulation.
Once a person reaches puberty, these eggs begin to mature and plop outta you once a month in a process called ovulation, sort of like a hen laying an egg.
But ovaries don’t just work to regulate the menstrual cycle. They also influence your:
- Sex drive
- Brain, liver, heart, and bone health
- Breastmilk production
Though you might not see the hard work your ovaries are doing internally, they’re hustling overtime to keep the rest of your body in check. Take a break, eat some chocolate, and lay back on your Ovary Plush, you ova achiever!
Uteruses Before Duderuses
If you think you rented your very first apartment in your twenties, think again. Your mother leased her damp, cozy studio to you years before that, where you likely lived for about 9 months, or maybe less if you were born prematurely and ended your lease early. Thank your first landlord, your mom, by gifting her a Uterus Plush pillow.
After you ovulate, the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium (or the wallpaper if you want to continue with the apartment analogy), starts to get thick in preparation for a wee baby to move in. If there’s no fertilization, however, the lining will shed and you’ll get your visit from Aunt Flo.
If you do get pregnant and expect a new tenant, the embryo will grow into a fetus over time and get nourished by its very first wombmate, the placenta! Honor her with your very own Placenta Lapel Pin!
At Your Cervix!
If you take the elevator down from the uterus, you reach the cervix. This spongy little opening widens to ten centimeters during labor to give infants a safe sendoff when they’re exiting the birth canal.
What you probably don’t know is that the cervix is the uterus’ loyal sidekick! It produces mucus to ward off pesky sperm when the body isn’t fertile, or when there’s already a fetus that’s set up shop. It also fights off bacteria from entering the uterus in order to keep the vagina healthy. You won’t have to worry about that kind of bacteria with a Cervix Plush, though. But don’t forget to wash it every now and then.
The Holesome Duo: Vagina + Vulva
Ding! The next floor down houses your vagina and vulva. Lots of people tend to use the term “vagina” when referring to the whole shebang, but it’s technically the muscular tube that connects your uterus to the vaginal opening and the gorgeous exterior genitalia we call the vulva. Of course, this opening has both enter and exit strategies, allowing for fluids such as menstrual blood to leave, and semen or a penis to enter. Or hands, or toys, or anything else if you’re feeling adventurous.
The vulva, however, is the showstopper that comes in a variety of different shapes, colors, and sizes. All of them beautiful, obvi!
But the vulva doesn’t just include the sisters: Labia Majora and Labia Minora–it comprises the urethra, and the clitoral hood and glans. It’s a pretty impressive package if you ask us! So shout hip hip, hooray for the vajayjay but donning your Sparkly Vagina + Vulva Lapel Pin and bringing vajazzling back in style.
Cliterally The Best
Last but not least, there’s the organ that many of us consider the main event, and it’s cliterally the best. Full of thousands of nerve endings, the clitoris sits atop the entrance of the vagina, or thereabouts, and has two tails of sponge-like tissue that extend down either side of the vagina. The part of the clitoris you can see is just the tip of the iceberg — 5 more inches of clitoris are up inside your body! Take that, average penis size!
And of course, thanks to these thousands of little nerve endings, the clitoris is the main organ we have to thank for the female orgasm. Now if only they could find it…
If you do happen to have an expert sexual sleuth in your life, congratulate them with a Vadge of Honor t-shirt they can wear to commemorate the joyous occasion!