Boston Healthcare for Women values providing our patients with the most personalized and exceptional gynecological and obstetrical care possible. We believe that patient education is an essential part of providing this high level of care.

This section of the site provides information and resources for you to further you understanding of you reproductive system. We hope that you find this to be informative and helpful.

Below you will find enlarged portions of this image of the major reproductive structures in the female body. Each is paired with a brief description of its function and information about its role in pregnancy and menstruation.




The ovary is the location of the development of the ovum. There are two ovaries on either side of the uterus. Once per month, a follicle will mature into an egg and release into the fallopian tube, this is called ovulation. Additionally, the ovaries are responsible for releasing both estrogen and progesterone. The ovaries are about the size of an almond.


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Each ovary is paired with a fallopian tube. This tube allows the egg to travel from the ovary to the uterus by gently pushing it along with cilia. Typically, if fertilization occurs, it will happen while the egg is in the fallopian tube. If the fertilized egg implants into the wall of the tube, this is known as an ecopic pregnancy.



The uterus is lined with tissue known as the endometrial lining. This lining builds throughout your menstrual cycle and is shed during your period. If a fertilized egg implants into the uterine lining, the lining will not shed and will instead contribute to the formation of the placenta. The uterus is hollow and in the absence of pregnancy is approximately the size of a closed fist.



The cervix is the narrow connection between the uterus and vagina. During childbirth, the cervix will dilate, or open, to allow for the baby to pass through to the vagina. When you have a pap smear, cells are taken from here to test for abnormalities.  


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The vaginal canal is a muscular, flexible tube that connects the uterus and cervix with the vulva and the outside of the body. The vagina will widen and lengthen during both sexual intercourse and child birth. On the exterior of the vagina are the minor and major labia, referred to together as the vulva, which protect the internal cavity from germs or infection.