Female Reproductive System

The female reproductive system is a group of organs responsible for reproduction (that’s making babies). They are mainly present in the woman’s lower abdomen. In order to understand the disorders and diseases, we should first know the anatomy – that’s the structure – and physiology – that’s the function – of these organs. We should know what’s normal before you know what’s abnormal. And I will be discussing some normal aspects of the female reproductive system in this video.

In this illustration the model stands in the standard anatomical position, and the reproductive system is seen here in the lower abdomen. Also there are two section views of the reproductive system.

One is longitudinal/frontal, and here we are looking at the inside of a woman’s body from the front side. We can see the uterus – or womb –, which is similar to a goat’s head with two horns. These horns are the fallopian tubes, which transport the egg – or the ovum – that comes out from the nearby ovaries. Also, there are two ovaries, one on each side, attached to the uterus by bands – or ligaments. We can also see the thick uterine wall, which contains muscles all over the interior side. And it’s called the endometrium. The endometrium is where the growing baby, or the foetus, gets implanted, like a small seed, and that’s where the placenta starts to form.

There’s also a side-view of the uterus. As if we’ve cut an orange into two halves and now are looking from the side on the inside of it. This side-view shows additional organs, and I will explain more on this model. As we can see on the side-view of the female pelvis, this is the frontal abdominal wall that consists of skin, fat and muscles, and this is the backside, where the buttocks are. Down there are the reproductive organs that we will talk about.

Parts 11 and 12 are labia minora and labia majora respectively. Along with the clitoris – number 13 – they are rich in nerve endings, which are responsible for sexual pleasure. At the vaginal opening you’ll find two small glands that you will not normally feel unless they get swollen or inflamed. These are called the Bartholin’s Glands, which lubricate the vagina by producing secretions called mucus. Around these external organs you’ll find hairs that mechanically protect the reproductive system from microbes and harmful elements. That pubic hair also carries the personal smell of the pheromones that make a woman attractive to her partner.

We see here the vagina – and you will notice that it’s going up and leaning slightly backward – and then the uterus. Right inside the vagina there’s the hymen, which is a membrane and can be sometimes not very easy to locate. It is not easy to break the hymen with the daily activities like sports, and sometimes it doesn’t rupture at all until your first vaginal childbirth.

Up here we have the cervix of the uterus. Did you notice that the vagina is leaning backwards and then the uterus is resting forwards? Why do we need to know that? A different uterine position can affect the woman’s fertility and is an abnormality or a defect that is probably present since birth.

Also during pregnancy, when the uterus is enlarged, you will find that the uterus is pressing on the urinary bladder, and this may cause frequent urination and sometimes bladder infections.

The myometrium of the uterus – that’s the muscle layer – is the layer of the uterus where the smooth muscle tumours, known as fibroids or myomas, will originate. These tumours are fairly common, especially in African and Middle-Eastern countries. It is important to know that myomas may affect your fertility and the continuation of your pregnancy. Also, myomas or fibroids in non-pregnant women can cause problems. They can cause heavy periods or press against the rectum and cause chronic constipation. That’s why if you’re a lady and you’re complaining from chronic constipation, I’d recommend that you consult your gynaecologist to rule out the presence of uterine fibroids.

Fallopian tubes and ovaries – not illustrated here tough – are also important reproductive organs. Here we have the ovary, which contains many eggs called ova – that’s the plural of ovum.

All these will be discussed in the coming videos related to women’s health. Stay with us for more on the subject.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad

Constipation in Babies

Constipation in babies leads to many problems. That’s why we must always be aware of the pattern of their bowel movements. Every day we should watch our child’s bowel movements. Normally she would pass stools everyday, but if there’s no defecation for more than three days and you’re noticing that your baby is suffering, this is regarded as constipation. In this case we should help the baby, because his weak muscles cannot press properly.

The causes of constipation can be recently changing the type of milk in form of formula feeding, and if you are breastfeeding maybe some kind of food that you’re eating is affecting his bowel movement. If you’re formula feeding please make sure that the formula is not affecting your child’s bowel movements, otherwise you will have to change it. And if you’re breastfeeding, make sure that you’re eating a healthy diet.

I would also advise you to check your baby’s stool for any foreign objects – blood or pus or any abnormal look or colour or odour. You should also notice how many bowel movements are happening in a day or a week, and if there are any abnormalities present, please note them down, might you need to report them to your doctor.

So, what should you do if your baby is constipated? Most importantly you should give plenty of fluids – water or teas like Caraway tea. You can also breastfeed for longer periods of time, so that your baby takes more fluids via your breast milk.

Secondly you need to massage the baby’s tummy. Let me show you how. Lay the baby on her back or in a half-sitting position, and massage her tummy in a clockwise direction, as if you’re counting the clock hours. 12 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. Why? Because this is the direction of the bowel movement, starting with the ascending colon, transverse colon, and descending colon, till it reaches the rectum and the anus. That’s why it’s very important to massage in a clockwise manner.

If after two hours your baby is still constipated you can try this tip:

First, you’ll need any type of plant oil. Let’s say olive oil. You will also need cotton swaps, Q-tips or cotton buds – preferably thin ones – then immerse them into the oil, and make sure it’s totally covered in oil. Raise the baby’s legs and hold them with one hand if you can, and then gently press on the tummy of the baby. If the child is a boy make sure to cover the penis, in case he urinates. Insert the cotton bud carefully into the anus – it’s the lowest opening in girls – and only insert the cotton part. Count till 15 slowly. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 13 – 14 – 15. Then remove the cotton bud. Very soon you’ll observe that the baby is defecating.

Change the diaper and remember to be ready with a paper sheet placed under the baby and toilet paper to clean up.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad

Male Reproductive System

All men should be fully aware of the structure and functions of their reproductive system, because this can prevent the occurrence of several health problems. If you know how your body functions you will know how to protect it and keep it healthy. So I’ll be sharing some hopefully useful information about he male reproductive system in this video.

The male sexual organs have two main functions. One is to produce sperms for the purpose of reproduction. Two is to produce the male hormones, mainly the testosterone. You are able to reproduce because your brain makes certain hormones that stimulate your reproductive system to produce sperms and testosterone.

Using this model I will explain the structure and function of each organ in the male reproductive system. Most sexual male organs are present outside the body, and this requires more caution so as to protect them from harm.

Starting with the testes – you normally have two of them. And they are responsible for producing mainly the male hormone testosterone. They are present in a sack outside the body, known as the scrotum. The scrotum maintains a lower temperature and contains smooth muscles. When you are sick or feverish, this muscles work to distance the testes away from your trunk, or, so to say the centre of your body, so that the testes remain at a cooler temperature, which is important to preserve a healthy sperm production process. That’s why I’d advise men to avoid sitting for long periods of time with the laptop or notebook on their laps; because it decreases the sperm activity and may cause infertility due to exposure to thermal radiation from those computers.

A small tube knows as the epididymis arises from each testis. Its function is to store the fresh sperms until their maturation. The testis is surrounded by a network of blood vessels, in which some patients might suffer from varicose veins that could affect their fertility. The epididymis is important for sperm maturation and transport from the testis to the penis. Let me show you its course. It starts from right behind the testis and moves upwards, winding around the urinary bladder and then goes into this gland, know as the prostate. The prostate, together with the small neighbouring glands called the seminal vesicles, secrete a sugary fluid in which the sperms swim. This fluid nourishes sperms and allows for the transport thru the urethra within the penis, and finally to the outside of the body.

Concerning the penis; it actually starts from the inside of your body, here. You will notice that there’s a large part of it present inside the abdomen. And there is its outer part. So anatomically the penis is formed from three parts: the root of the penis, inside the abdomen, the body of the penis, and the head of the penis, which contains a small opening for passing urine and semen. Inside the penis you will notice a spongy structure that contains numerous small blood vessels, which get filled with blood; and as a result, erection occurs. So erection is actually a collection of retained blood within the penis. That’s why if you’d like to have a stronger erection you should maintain a healthy state of your blood vessels. How? By living a healthy lifestyle, doing regular exercise, avoiding eating unhealthy fats and avoiding smoking. As you can see, the end of the penis has a bulging end, which is called the head of the penis; and this contains numerous nerve endings responsible for sexual pleasure.

Concerning the part of the penis inside the body, it is called the root of the penis. This part can add to your sexual pleasure, if stimulated by your partner. If you have a normal prostate and you would like to have a prostatic massage during sex, your partner should press against the skin between the scrotum and the anal opening. This area is called the perineum. By doing this you get to stimulate both the root of the penis and the prostate, which would add to your sexual pleasure. But please keep in mind that you can do this only if you have no prostate disorders.

So, like I said before, the male hormone testosterone, is produced by the testes, and there are other hormones produced by the brain to stimulate the sperm production. They’re called the FSH and the LH. If you have fertility problems and you consult a doctor, your doctor will check three hormones: FSH, LH and testosterone.

Now I will illustrate the shape of a normal sperm. Sperms have three parts: Head, body and tail. The head contains the nucleus that will fertilize the egg. And the tail is responsible for sperm movement towards the egg. This is important to know before talking about fertility problems, in the coming videos.

Finally, concerning the epididymis– you will find it here more clearly– it arises from here, moving forwards and upwards, around the urinary bladder, into the prostate and the penis. That’s why if prostatic enlargement occurs, it will cause problems during urination and ejaculation.

Take good care of your health when you’re young, so you would protect your health when you’re old. Prevention is always better than cure.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad