Why it is important

Our bodies are incredible machines that have the ability to tell us when something is wrong. But in order to recognize the warnings signs we must understand how our bodies feel when everything is functioning normally. When you get a headache your body is sending you a signal that it is off kilter. In order to treat this headache you can take various forms of over the counter pain relievers, try alternative medicinal efforts such as meditation/relaxation or simply ignore it. If you pay attention to the headache and notice a pattern, it may help you prevent something more serious. It may even help you recognize when you are under stress, and how that stress is adversely affecting your health.

Your fertility is a key function of this machine. It is critical to understand your fertility to help preserve it and to help ensure your good health. Understanding your fertility may help to prevent infertility. It will also help you understand what is happening as you are trying to conceive naturally, by helping you optimize your fertile periods. Most importantly, understanding fertility for both men and women will help them feel in control when they are faced with infertility.

The Female Reproductive System

The female reproductive system includes the following organs and glands:

Ovaries

  • Produce female hormones: estrogen and progesterone
  • Produce one ripened egg (called ovum) each menstrual cycle
  • Each month one of the ovaries produces an egg, which develops in a small fluid-filled sac called the follicle. When the egg is mature it is released from the ovary and passes through one of the fallopian tubes.

Fallopian Tubes

  • Two trumpet shaped, flexible tubes connected to the uterus, they are designed with flared projections (fimbriae) to catch the egg and move it into the tube.
  • Egg and sperm meet in the fallopian tubes and it is here that the egg becomes fertilized and the resulting embryo is transferred to the uterus by cilia (small hairlike structures)

Uterus

  • Thick, muscular organ that is designed to support a growing fetus

Endometrium

  • Mucous membrane that lines the uterus and plays a key role in implantation of the embryo.
  • The endometrium responds to the hormone progesterone, produced by the body and must be thick and spongy to receive the embryo. If there is not implantation the lining is shed with a menstrual period.

Cervix

  • A ring of tissue at the top of the vagina designed to collect sperm (with a cervical mucus), which are later released into the uterus.
  • Observing changes in your cervical mucus will help you determine signs of fertility

Vagina

  • Sperm enter the woman’s body through the vagina which then leads to the cervix.