REPRODUCTIVE ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
Section I. THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
The organs of the reproductive systems are concerned with the general process
of reproduction, and each is adapted for specialized tasks. These organs are unique in
that their functions are not necessary for the survival of each individual. Instead, their
functions are vital to the continuation of the human species. In providing maternity
gynecologic health care to women, you will find that it is vital to your career as a
practical nurse and to the patient that you will require a greater depth and breadth of
knowledge of the female anatomy and physiology than usual. The female reproductive
system consists of internal organs and external organs. The internal organs are located
in the pelvic cavity and are supported by the pelvic floor. The external organs are
located from the lower margin of the pubis to the perineum. The appearance of the
external genitals varies greatly from woman to woman, since age, heredity, race, and
the number of children a woman has borne determine the size, shape, and color. See
figure 1-1 for the female reproductive organs.
Figure 1-1. The female reproductive organs (sagittal section).