We often think of anatomy as a way of understanding the differences between males and females, yet both sexes are very similar physiologically before birth. The following male and female sex organs develop from the same tissue in the fetus during the first six weeks of fetal life:
- The glans (head) of the penis in the male and the clitoris in the female.
- The penis and the vagina.
- The testicles and the ovaries.
- The vas deferens and the fallopian tubes.
When we are born, we are equipped with sex organs that grow mature, as we grow older. It is not until adolescence that we begin to get signals that our sexual organs are maturing (i.e. a boy's ejaculation or a girl's first menstrual period).
One difference between males and females is that in males the organ responsible for the male role in reproduction are the same organs that provide sexual pleasure, but in females there is one organ which seems to have no other function than to help a woman have sexual pleasure. This organ is the clitoris.
- The clitoris is located in the soft folds of skin in front of a woman's vagina.
- Because the clitoris comes from the same tissue that develops into the glans of the penis in the male, it has the same number of nerve endings as the glans; and because it is so much smaller, about the size of a pea, it is very sensitive.
- Direct or indirect simulation of the clitoris is the main way a woman reaches climax or orgasm.
Below the clitoris is the urethra, which is the passageway for urine from the bladder to the outside of the woman's body.
Just below the urethral opening is the entrance to the vagina.
- The vagina is the elastic muscular passage extending from the woman's outer sexual organs (the vulva) to the uterus.
- The vagina is about 4 inches long and can receive a man's penis during sexual intercourse.
- The vagina, also called the birth canal, is the passage through which the baby is born.
- The vagina is not a hollow tube. The walls are collapsed when empty, but it can stretch to accommodate a penis or a full-term baby.
- The vagina is designed to clean itself by periodically shedding mucus and dead cells.
Often, but not always, a small web of skin called the hymen partly covers the opening of the vagina.
- For centuries, people mistakenly believed that if this web were torn or missing, a woman is not a virgin.
- Actually, the hymen hardly exists in some women. In others, it is very easily stretched.
- For some women in whom the hymen is still intact, first sexual intercourse may be uncomfortable.
The clitoris, urethra and the vagina are surrounded by the labia minora (inner lips) and the labia minora (outer lips). All of the woman's reproductive organs are located inside her body.
The neck of the uterus, which is called the cervix, protrudes down into the back of the vagina.
- The cervix is the entrance to the uterus and contains mucus-producing glands.
- The cervix feels like the end of a nose with a dimple in it.
- If fertile mucus is present in the vagina during intercourse, sperm released by the male will travel through the cervical opening and into the uterus.
The uterus, also known as the womb, is a pear-shaped muscular organ in which the fertilized egg grows and develops into a fetus.
- Normally, the uterus is about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide. During pregnancy, it stretches and grows with the fetus.
- In pregnant women, the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, nourishes the fetus.
- In women who are not pregnant, the lining is shed about once a month if an egg is not fertilized. The shedding is called menstruation.
A girl"s first period can come as quite a shock. It normally happens around 12 or 13 years, and it can come without any warning. One can be sitting in the movies, or at school, or one could wake up one morning and find some blood between their legs. Just like that. As you can imagine this could be frightening if one did not anticipate it and know what it was.The blood of course, comes from inside the uterus lining and out through the vagina. Usually at the time the period comes, one may have a stomach ache or one may feel nothing. Sometimes for months before the first period, girls have vague abdominal pains, or feel sleepy, or irritable. That usually clears up, as if by magic, after one had two or three normal periods.
It is a fact that periods are often irregular in time and
duration for the first year they occur.It is best for girls
to dismiss the warnings of their well meaning relatives
about "the curse" and accept the discomforts of menses (
the period) as a small inconvenient fact of life.
Another fact of life is that periods are very necessary part of being a woman. To understand why, you need to know about the womb.
The womb is where a baby lives for the nine months it develops inside a female's body. Most of the time, obviously, one haven t got a baby inside. But the female body gets prepared just in case.
Connected by ligaments to the uterus are two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus.
- These are the organs that store the egg cells. They also produce some of the female sex hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle and are responsible for the development of female secondary sex characteristics.
- At birth, a girl's ovaries contain all the eggs she'll ever have---about 400,000. However, she'll probably use only about 400 of the eggs in her lifetime.
The eggs or ova (which are about the size of a dot made by a sharp pencil) are among the llargest cells in the human body.
- When an egg is expelled from one of the ovaries, it travels to the uterus in one of the Fallopian tubes. This takes from 3-5 days.
- If the egg is not fertilised, it will disintegrate and be absorbed into the body.
The testicles and the penis are the male external sex organs.
- The penis is made up of spongy erectile tissue.
- Most of the time it is soft and limp.
- But when a man becomes sexually excited, his penis stiffens and grows larger in width and length.
- An erect penis is about 5-7 inches long and an-inch-and-a-half in diameter, regardless of its size in a normal (flaccid) state.
- The entire penis is highly sensitive, particularly the glans or head of the penis.
- The testicles, which produce sperm and the male hormone called testosterone, are located in a wrinkled-looking pouch called the scrotum, which hangs behind the penis.
- Adult men have two testicles about the size and shape of plums.
- The testicles contain hundreds or thousands of chambers where sperm develop.
The scrotum controls the temperature of the testicles. Scrotal temperature is about six degrees below body temperature. This is ideal for producing sperm.
- In warm weather, the scrotum becomes somewhat larger and more limp to expose and cool a larger skin area.
- In cold weather, the scrotum contracts to conserve heat.
After passing through the seminal vesicles, the vas deferens also goes through the prostate gland, where additional fluid is added to nourish the sperm.
The vas deferens is a tubular structure that joins with the urethra, which becomes the sperm's passage through the penis to the outside of the body.
Sperm, which are the microscopic male reproductive cells, make up less than two percent of the total ejaculate.
- They are much smaller than the egg.
- Each has a head and tail, like a tadpole.
- When ejaculated during sexual intercourse, they swim through the vagina, through the cervical opening into the uterus and on up into the Fallopian tubes.
- Sperm can live for 6-8 hours in the vagina.
- But once they get up into the uterus and tubes they can live for three to five days.
- They usually reach the tubes within an hour to an hour-and-a-half after ejaculation.
- On reaching the top of the uterus, half go into one Fallopian tube and half go into the other.
- They swim against strong currents set up by the cilia in the Fallopian tubes, which act to draw the egg down toward the uterus.
- Of several hundred million sperm ejaculated, only about 2000 reach the tubes.
- Even though the egg must be totally surrounded by sperm in order to be fertilized, only one sperm is able to actually penetrate it. The rest are absorbed by the body.
CIRCUMCISION is the removal of the hood of the skin called the foreskin, which covers the end of the penis.
- People have very strong feelings about this but either way, a man can make love, ejaculate sperm and make babies.
- Among Jews, Muslims, and some African cultures, it is done to comply with religious laws and traditions.
- In boys and men who are not circumcised, the foreskin can be pulled back to reveal the glans.
- The glans and foreskin should be washed carefully because perspiration, urine and glandular secretions called smegma can become trapped underneath and possibly an infection.
WET DREAMS, also known as seminal or nocturnal emissions in males, are erotic dreams that cause sexual excitement during sleep and lead to orgasm (climax). Because males ejaculate fluid during orgasm, such dreams have come to be known as "wet dreams."
- Females also have erotic dreams that can lead to orgasm.
- Wet or erotic dreams are common for both sexes at all ages and are a way in which sexual tension is relieved.
- It is also common not to have wet or erotic dreams.
Usually by age 13 or so,
the body is ready for mating. Physically, one can have children.
Mentally and socially, one is not ready to have them yet.
So nature has created her own solution. Its called masturbation.
Men do it. Women do it. Even some animals do it. It's a
way of getting sexual release without the full act of mating
with a member of the opposite/same sex.
Mating at an early age is a mistake. One should first learn about the normal functions of ones body and information on family planning on how to use them. Also one has to know.
Masturbation is healthy and a normal function. It s sometimes called "playing with yourself". Girls use their fingers to caress and rub their vagina and clitoris. Boys do the same with their penis.
This usually happens when your imagination creates scenes that cause you to become sexually excited, sexual tensions builds up, and that is when the urge to touch and play with oneself begins.
If carressing and rubbing becomes long enough, orgasm follows.
This is a release of the sexual excitement that has built up inside you. And it is a great feeling. To repeat : masturbation is normal, healthy part of growing up. Don't worry nothing dreadful happens when one masturbates.
ERECTION of the penis takes place when a man becomes sexually excited. His penis, which is usually soft and limp, swells and becomes larger and erect.
- Erections are caused when veins in the penis fill with blood.
- A climax will cause an erection to go down quickly but the erection will subside gradually by itself without orgasm.
- Men generally have erections as a result of sexual stimulation. Erections also can be caused by tension in the pelvic muscles, irritation of the penis or a full bladder.
- Sometimes, particularly during adolescence, erections seem to happen for no apparent reason. When a man has a climax during sexual activity, a wet dream, or masturbation, semen spurts out of the erect penis. This is called EJACULATION and is caused by muscles in the penis that contract and shoot out fluid containing sperm.
- It is possible for a man to ejaculate fluid without having an orgasm. This doesn't happen often to most men and doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong if it does.
Premature ejaculation refers to a condition in which the penis is unable to sustain an erection and the man ejaculates very quickly.