We have already studied male reproductive system, and now in this lesson will mainly focus on female reproductive system. Male reproductive system and female reproductive system are quite different from each other. They differ because there’s some different purposes. Male reproductive system mainly aims to produce male gametes and transfer it to female body. While female reproductive system mainly aims to produce female gametes and is also responsible for carrying the baby throughout the development. The main organs present in female reproductive system are a pair of ovaries, a pair of fallopian tubes or oviduct, a uterus, a cervix and a vagina. When a girl is born, her ovaries contain thousands of immature eggs, as she grows and reaches puberty, some of these eggs begin to mature. On maturation, eggs are released from the ovaries. Every time one egg is released from each ovary. So, alternate ovaries release the egg every month. That is, one ovary releases the egg one month, and in second month second releases the egg. Now, this released egg enters the fallopian tube, or the oviduct and from oviduct it reaches the womb or the uterus. Uterus is a bag which opens into vagina through a cervix. During intercourse, male deposits the sperms in the female body through the vaginal passage. These sperms then float and reach to the fallopian tube or the oviduct. And there if it meets an ova it fuses with it. This fusion of an ova or an egg with the sperm is known as fertilization. So, we can see that fallopian tube acts as a site of fertilization. This fertilization results in the formation of a zygote. The zygote then reaches the uterus where it gets implanted in the lining of the uterus thickens, and is richly supplied with blood to nourish the growing embryo. This growing embryo receives its nourishment or its nutrition from the mother’s body through a placenta. Placenta is a disk-like tissue present in the uterus. It has many villi and these villi increase the surface area so that glucose etc., can pass from the mother’s body to the fetus or the embryo. Hence, this way mother provides sufficient nutrients and oxygen to the baby. Now, the baby also produces some waste materials. So, these waste materials are removed by passing these to the mother’s blood through placenta. The development of the child inside the mother’s body takes approximately nine months, and once the development is completed the walls of the uterus undergo rhythmic contractions, which help the child to take birth. So, ultimately we can say that uterus acts as the site for development of fertilized egg. Now, what happens to the unfertilized egg? Uterus prepares every month by thickening its lining to receive the fertilized egg. Now, if it does not receive any egg, that is if the egg is not fertilized, then this lining is disrupted, and it is released from the body in the form of blood and mucus through vagina. This process is known as menstruation. It occurs every month, and it lasts from two to eight days. So, we saw how the egg is fertilized and the child is born. We also saw what happens to the unfertilized egg. Now, let’s discuss about reproductive health of male and females. As the sexual act can lead to pregnancy in the female body, so it is very important that the females should be ready for it, else it would affect her health severely. There are many ways to avoid pregnancy. So, various contraceptive ways are, first to use mechanical barriers. For example, condoms can be used. Condoms are the coverings for the penis and similarly some coverage for vagina can also be used as well. Secondly, pregnancy can be avoided by changing the hormonal balance of our body. By doing this the eggs will not be released and so fertilization will not happen. But as this can be done by taking pills, so it has some side effects. Next method to avoid pregnancy can be with the use of loop or Copper T. These can be placed in uterus to avoid pregnancy, but again a side effect of this is it causes irritation in the uterus. Next, vast difference in males can be blocked. By doing so, sperm transfer can be blocked and thus there will be no fertilization. We can also block fallopian tube in females. Moreover, these blocks can also be created by surgeries. These surgeries are considered safe for long run, but these surgeries itself can cause some infections. Surgeries can also be misused by some people who do not want girl child and so we can see how reproductive health can be maintained in males and females.