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A woman's reproductive system makes it possible for her to get pregnant and give birth. It includes two ovaries, two fallopian tubes, the uterus, the cervix, and the vagina.
Most women can become pregnant starting at puberty. This is when their menstrual cycles begin. They can get pregnant until menopause, when their cycles stop.
A pregnancy starts with fertilization. It happens when a woman's egg joins with a man's sperm. All the eggs for a woman's lifetime are stored in her ovaries.
About once a month, an egg is released. This is called ovulation. It usually happens in the middle of the menstrual cycle between periods. The day of ovulation and the 5 days before it are when a woman is most fertile. This means she's most likely to get pregnant if she has sex during this time.
The egg then enters the fallopian tube. It leads to the uterus. If the egg isn't fertilized or doesn't implant, the woman's body sheds the egg and the lining of the uterus. This shedding causes the bleeding in a woman's menstrual period.
Most women have problems with their reproductive system from time to time. These problems can be related to menstrual cycles, sex, infection, birth control methods, aging, medicines, or changes after pregnancy. Problems may include:
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Current as of: November 8, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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