In order to understand anything about sex it is important that you are familiar with the human anatomy. More specifically, the male and female reproductive system. By understanding your body you are more in control of what happens to it.
- Egg: Female gamete, will contribute ½ chromosomes, and fuses with sperm in order to produce a baby.
- Ovary: Almond shaped organ that releases an egg during ovulation, and also secretes the “sex” hormones estrogen and progesterone.
- Fallopian Tubes: Tubes that funnel the egg from ovary to uterus.
- Uterus: Pear shaped organ that holds baby during pregnancy. It responds to estrogen and progesterone. The lining thickens for preparation of implantation if this does not occur, then this lining sloughs off, causing menstruation.
- Cervix: Opening into uterus from vagina, allows sperm to flow into uterus from vagina. During menstruation, blood and other fluids flow from the uterus through the cervix, and out of the body through the vagina.
- Vagina: A muscular tube that connects the cervix to the exterior of the body. During reproductive sex, this is where the penis enters the vagina, and also functions as the channel for sperm to enter the uterus and fallopian tubes for fertilization.
- Ovulation: It is the phase of a female’s menstrual cycle when an egg is released from the ovaries. This is the time when a woman can get pregnant.
- Vulva: The female genitalia which includes the labia, clitoris, vagina, and the opening to the urethra. The vagina is a passageway that connects your vulva with your cervix and uterus inside your body.
- Labia: The labia, or lips, of the vulva are folds of skin that surround the opening to the vagina. The labia can be different sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and are part of what makes your vulva unique. The outer labia are two folds of skin and fatty tissue outside the inner labia. The inner labia are the folds of skin inside the outer labia that begin at the clitoris and end around the vaginal opening. The outer labia are covered with pubic hair after puberty. The inner labia can grow and change color as you mature.
- Clitoris: The clitoris is a part of your vulva that’s devoted purely to sexual pleasure. It becomes swollen when you’re aroused. Only the tip of the clitoris can be seen at the top of the vulva- the rest is hidden under a part of the labia called the clitoral hood.
- Sperm: Male gametes will contribute ½ the number of chromosomes and fuse with egg during fertilization.
- Semen: Male reproductive fluid contains sperm and other compounds such as fructose.
- Penis: Male external sex organ secretes semen. As a pleasure organ, the penis becomes excited, swollen and erect during sexual arousal.
- Testes: Organs the size of large olives that hang down from the body in a sack. This is where sperm and other “sex” hormones are produced.
- Epididymis: Sperm storage.
- Vas Deferens: Tube that carries the sperm up from the epididymis to the ejaculatory duct.
- Seminal Vesicles: Pair of glands that open into the vas deferens and secrete many of the components of semen.
- Prostate: A gland in males at the neck of the urethra that secretes fluid that is part of semen.
- Ejaculation: During sex when the male ejaculates semen it is released from the penis into the vagina. The sperm in the semen then swim up the vagina through the cervix up the uterus and into fallopian tubes where it is then able to fertilize the egg.
Intersex is a variation in sex characteristics that do not fit the usual definitions of “male” and “female.” This could include primary and secondary sex characteristics, including chromosomes, gonads (testes/ovaries) or genitals. In the past, intersex people were treated as if they had a medical condition, but being intersex is actually completely natural, and most intersex people can live completely healthy lives without medical intervention.