Reproduction & All It Entails!
Every couple should have a clear understanding of both male and female anatomy, the difference in their functions and the role each plays in reproduction. Man and woman are equal partners, each dependent on the other and unable to function sexually alone. Following is a brief description of the female reproductive system:
The female reproductive system
The organs that make up the female generative system are, internally, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus (womb), and vagina.
The external genitals are called collectively the “vulva”, and consist of the larger lips (labia majora), lesser lips (labia minora), the clitoris and the openings of the vagina and urethra.
The ovaries, two small glands about the size of plums, are located in the lower part of the abdomen, one on each side, near the upper end of the uterus.
They are between one and one and one-half inches long and about one-half inch thick.
Once during each month, or menstrual cycle, one of the ovaries releases an egg or ovum, which is sucked into the fallopian tube. This process is called ovulation.
The egg proceeds along the tube to the uterus. If it is not fertilized, it disintegrates in the uterus and passes out during menstruation.
If intercourse has taken place preceding ovulation and contraceptive measures have not been utilized, the egg cell will be fertilized in the fallopian tube and, upon reaching the uterus, will attach itself to the lining and begin to develop.
In addition to producing eggs, the ovaries secrete chemical substances called hormones.
The fallopian tubes, which carry the egg from the ovary, are connected to the upper part of the uterus and open into it.
The end nearest the ovary has a series of small, funnel-like openings, which suck in the egg.
The whole tube is about four inches long, round, and as thick as a pencil. The egg, which is almost microscopic in size, passes down into the uterus, while active sperm pass upward, to meet and impregnate the egg.
The uterus, or womb, is roughly pear shaped, opening into the vagina. It is a hollow, muscular organ with thick walls, lying behind the bladder and with the upper end tipped slightly forward over it. It is about three inches long, two inches wide and one inch thick.
During pregnancy, it stretches to about six inches long and becomes oval in shape.
Inside the area covered by the labia majora are the labia minora, a pair of smaller, narrow folds. The labia minora decrease in size as they go back, finally blending into the labia majora.
At the front, they come together in a sort of peak, called the prepuce, covering the clitoris, the center of sensation in woman, corresponding to the head of the penis, the glans of the male. The function of the labia minora is to guide the penis into the vagina.
The clitoris is, of course, much smaller than the penis. It varies greatly in size, from as small as one-fifth of an inch to as long as an inch and a half.
To the examining finger, the tip of the clitoris will resemble a small rounded node, extremely sensitive to the touch.
Like the penis, it is composed of erectile tissue, which under sexual stimulation is suffused and distended by blood.
The surface covering of the head of the clitoris is supplied with special nerve endings which are especially intended for sensory stimulation and are not found anywhere else in the female sex organs.
It is in the clitoris that the sexual climax is felt, and it is by stimulating the clitoris that most women can arrive at orgasm.
The menstrual cycle starts in the middle of a woman’s “month”, while menstruation actually occurs in the middle of the cycle.
It begins when the ovary throws out an egg, which is sucked into the fallopian tube. It takes nearly two weeks to work down to the uterus, which is preparing to receive it and to nourish it if fertilized.
The uterus swells a little, the lining, or endometrium, gets thicker, its blood supply increases and its glands secrete a special mucus, all in preparation for a fertilized egg.
If the egg is not fertilized, the uterus begins to shed part of its lining, with the extra blood and mucus, along with the unfertilized egg.
This bleeding phase is what is commonly called menstruation. It lasts for several days, each woman having her own schedule. The average is between three and six days, as the average cycle is between twenty-five and thirty days.
The menstrual cycle is nature’s continuous preparation for pregnancy. Month after month, year after year, from puberty to menopause, the cycle repeats itself.
The female body is constantly passing through important and dramatic changes, of most of which she is unconscious.
These changes are designed to provide food and shelter for the development of a baby.
If the egg should be fertilized, it will sink into a soft, thick bed, rich with food elements, and there go through its many fascinating changes.
Should the egg not be fertilized, and most of them are not, it can not cling to the uterus, but passes out along with the materials especially created to nourish it. Whereupon, the whole process immediately starts over again.
The menstrual cycle has three distinct phases. The first is called the proliferative or pre-ovulatory phase. It starts on the first day of menstruation and lasts about two weeks.
The pituitary gland, (in the head) , secretes a hormone that stimulates a tiny thing in the ovary called the graafian follicle. Every graafian follicle contains an egg which is stimulated by the hormone. Usually only one follicle in one ovary ripens at a time.
Under the influence of the follicle-stimulating hormone, it fills with fluid and begins to produce follicular hormone.
This, in turn, works on the endometrium, or lining of the uterus. It begins to get thick, its glands start developing, etc.
Meanwhile, the graafian follicle has been moving to the surface of the ovary, where it finally breaks open, or ruptures. This releases the egg into the abdominal cavity, where it is sucked up into the fallopian tube.
The period during which the egg is erupted and enters the tube is known as ovulation.
This usually takes place between the tenth and sixteenth day after the first day of the previous period. Ovulation marks the end of the first phase.
The second phase is called the secretory or postovulatory phase. This lasts, roughly, about ten days.
Every woman has her own time-schedule, subject to change without notice. A new endocrine gland develops in the broken graafian follicle.
A structure called a corpus luteum is formed, which secretes a hormone called progesterone or corpus luteum hormone. This stimulates the endometrium still more, with its blood supply increasing and glands actively secreting a special mucus. The uterus is all ready for the fertilized egg.
But menstruation is keyed to the unfertilized egg. The third phase of the cycle is the bleeding phase, or menses.
By the time the unfertilized egg reaches the uterus, the corpus luteum has begun to cease production of its hormone. Within a few days, the frustrated uterus begins to shed its lining.
Blood vessels shrink, glands become inactive. Menstruation, or bleeding, starts, to continue for from three to six days. Simultaneously, there begins again a repetition of the whole cycle.
THE ART OF INTERCOURSE
Sexual intercourse (coitus) is the most intimate of personal relations. It is the blending, for one brief period, of two bodies into one, heightened by the most ecstatic sensations and surrounded by warmest love and deepest trust. At least, that is what it should be.
That is what it can be when a couple understand exactly what they are doing and the proper way to do it.
Satisfactory intercourse is the basis for happy relationship. It does not occur automatically, but must be striven for.
It requires that each partner think first of the other and try to attain whatever way will heighten those needs and give his (or her) mate sexual satisfaction. This will greatly heighten his and her commitment to each other and each will be more closely drawn to the other.
There is no room for selfishness or inconsideration in bed!
The woman’s sexual desire is more diffused and slower to arouse. It takes a considerable amount of foreplay to arouse her completely and awaken all her responses to the proper pitch.
She must be courted anew each time, caressed and petted with ever-increasing ardor until her passion is fully roused and she is ready.
Because erection comes easily and ejaculation may occur very quickly – as any man with premature ejaculation knows only too well! – a man can achieve a measure of satisfaction even with an indifferent or sexually unaroused woman.
But because a woman reacts slowly, she is dependent on the man for sexual satisfaction.
She needs his cooperation, his lovemaking. This does not mean that she should remain passive, letting him do all the wooing. Love-making must be shared. Her kiss is as intoxicating, her hands on his body as thrilling as his to her.
She must tell him what she needs, speaking openly and frankly.
Courtship, or foreplay
Every act of intercourse is preceded by a period of courtship, of love-play, a building of desire and passion to the point of readiness for the final act.
Some women require more love-play than others to arouse them sufficiently to take an active role in coitus, but all women require some courtship. Like other arts, it must be studied.
Although the woman should never hesitate to start the love-play when she desires to, it is usually the man who takes the initiative, especially in the beginning of relationship.
Sexually, the male is the more aggressive, the female more passive. Since a woman takes a longer time to come, he must pay more attention to her needs.