(2) Wall structure. The inner lining of the uterus is called the endometrium.
Made up of epithelium, it is well supplied with blood vessels and glands. The muscular
wall of the uterus is called the myometrium. In the body of the uterus, the muscular
tissue is in a double spiral arrangement. In the cervix, it is in a circular arrangement.
(3) Age differences. The uterus of an infant female is undeveloped. During
puberty, the uterus develops. The uterus of an adult is fully developed. The uterus of
an old woman is reduced in size and nonfunctional.
c. Vagina. The vagina is a tubular canal connecting the cervix of the uterus with
the outside. It serves as a birth canal and as an organ of copulation. It is capable of
stretching during childbirth. The lower opening of the vagina may be partially closed by
a thin membrane known as the hymen.
d. External Genitalia. Other terms for the external genitals of the human
female are vulva and pudendum. Included are the:
(1) Mons pubis. The mons pubis is a mound of fat tissue covered with skin
and hair in front of the symphysis pubis (the joint of the pubic bones).
(2) Labia majora. Extending back from the mons pubis and encircling the
vestibule (discussed below) are two folds known as the labia majora. Their construction
is similar to the mons pubis, including fatty tissue and skin. The outer surfaces are
covered with hair. The inner surfaces are moist and smooth. The corresponding
structure in the male is the scrotum.
LABIA = lips
(3) Labia minora. The labia minora are two folds of skin lying within the labia
majora and also enclosing the vestibule. In front, each labium minus (minus = singular
of minora) divides into two folds. The fold above the clitoris (discussed below) is called
the prepuce of the clitoris. The fold below is the frenulum.
(4) Clitoris. The clitoris is a small projection of sensitive erectile tissue which
corresponds to the male penis. However, the female urethra does not pass through the
(5) Vestibule. The cleft between the labia minora and behind the clitoris is
called the vestibule. It includes the urethral opening in front and the vaginal opening
slightly to the rear.
e. Pregnancy and Delivery. When an embryo forms an attachment to the
endometrium, a pregnancy exists. The attachment eventually forms a placenta, an
organ joining mother and offspring for such purposes as nutrition of the offspring. The
fetal membranes surround the developing individual (fetus) and are filled with amniotic