Female Reproductive System

HowStuffWorks answers your questions about parts of the female anatomy and how they function. Learn how the different parts of the female reproductive system work in this section.


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Georgios Papanikolaou: Papa of the Pap Smear

He was able to detect a significant number of early cancers with his method, paving the way for the first mass screening program, launched in Tennessee in 1928.

'Vicious Cycle' Podcast Demystifies Menstruation

The trio behind this female-centric podcast set out to unmask menstruation — and even make it funny.

Menstrual Cups Pose a Greater Risk for Toxic Shock Syndrome than Tampons

A new study found that menstrual cups are greater breeding grounds for the bacteria that causes toxic shock syndrome than tampons.

Century-old Procedure Treats Infertility by Flushing Fallopian Tubes With Oil

Using contrast dye dissolved in poppy-seed oil could be a cost-efficient alternative to treatments like IVF, new research confirms.

4 Reasons Why Menstrual Cups Aren't More Popular

Menstrual cups still don’t get much love from many American women. Why's that?

Migraine May Be Linked to Faster Estrogen Drops During Menstrual Cycle

A new study finds that estrogen withdrawal due to plummeting hormone levels might make women with migraine more susceptible to an attack.

Space Menstruation Deserves Further Study

Say you're a female astronaut chosen for a three-year mission. That's 1,100 combined oral contraceptive pills you need to pack to stop your period. Is there a better way?

Lena Dunham Got Us Thinking About Ovarian Cysts

'Girls' creator was recently hospitalized with a ruptured ovarian cyst. What causes them?

Can antibiotics affect menstruation?

"Misbehaving periods" doesn't appear on any list of medication side effects, but as many women can attest, menstrual irregularities aren't uncommon when you're taking antibiotics. The culprit may not be the drugs.

Why are breasts different sizes?

During puberty, breasts don't always receive identical amounts of the hormone that makes them grow. Why does this happen, and how common is perfect symmetry anyway?

How Vaginas Work

Why are vaginas so taboo? Researchers have shunned them for decades, which means we know much less about the female anatomy in comparison to the male counterparts. Does out of sight really mean out of mind? Not here, as we explore how vaginas work.

Are hormones in food causing early menstruation?

The use of hormones in food is a highly debated issue and raises concerns as to possible health risks, especially in children. Learn if hormones in food are causing early menstruation in this article.

10 Things Men Should Know About Female Hormones

Think you know everything about women's hormones just because you know to bring home chocolate during her time of the month? Think again. Check out our list of things that men should know about women's hormones.


What is the definition of clitoris? Learn about female sexual anatomy and the functions of the clitoris.


What are the definitions of gynecology terms? Learn about how the medical field of gynecology provides health care to women.


What is the definition of a hymen? Learn about the anatomy and function of the hymen, a component of the female reproductive system.


What is the definition of menstruation? Learn about the anatomy and physiology of menstruation as part of a woman's reproductive system.


What is the definition of perineum? Learn about the anatomy of the perineum and how it can be used to enhance sexual arousal.

How Female Puberty Works

When bras and tampons replace a girl's childish playthings during puberty, it can be tough. Growing up isn't easy, especially when so much is it visible, from acne to a sudden growth spurt.

Do you really need to have a period every month?

Is it a rite of passage or pure inconvenience? Women don't see their periods in the same way. But if you decide to trade in your tampon supply for birth control pills that suppress your period altogether, is it bad for you?

Are female orgasms essential to continuing the human species?

The evolutionary rationale behind the male orgasm is obvious -- it's the female orgasm that's a little more obscure. Is it an evolutionary necessity or a lucky accident that's on its way out?

If a woman has two wombs, can she get pregnant in both?

A couple of months ago in Britain, three babies were born from two separate wombs -- inside the same woman. Uterus didelphys -- or a double womb -- is a pretty rare condition. It affects anywhere from about one in 1,000 to one in 1 million women worldwide, and it sometimes occurs in families.

What to Ask During Your First Reproductive Health Appointment

Starting the process of trying for a baby can create a ton of questions in your mind. Get your questions answered about your reproductive health in this article.

Your Menstrual Period

There are many physical changes that a girl goes through during their teenage years. Learn more about one of the biggest changes in this article from HowStuffWorks.

Bartholin Gland

What is the definition of Bartholin Glands? Learn about how Bartholin Glands assist in lubrication during sex.