(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 inclosing the vestibule. In front, each labium minus (minus = singular
or 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 that
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
call 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 the
(1) During the first 8 weeks, the developing organism is known as an
embryo. During this time, the major systems and parts of the body develop.
(2) During the remainder of the pregnancy, the developing organism is
known as the fetus. During this time, growth and refinement of the body parts occur.
(3) Parturition is the actual delivery of the fetus into a free-living state. The
delivery of the fetus is followed by a second delivery--that of the placenta and fetal
f. Menstruation and Menopause. About 2 weeks after an ovum is released,
if it is not fertilized, menstruation occurs. Menstruation involves the loss of all but the
basal layer of the endometrium. This process includes bleeding. It first occurs at
puberty and lasts until menopause (45-55 years of age). After menopause, pregnancy
is no longer possible.