Internal and external genital organs

represent the female tissue

The female tissue is divided into internal and external genital organs depending on their location and comprising multiple anatomical structures. An example for structures of the internal female tissue are the ovaries, the uterus and the vagina. Whereas, the breast represents a structure of the excternal female tissue.



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Internal genital organs

ovaries, uterus and vagina


Ovary - provision of eggs

The ovary is the primary reproductive organ of women where the eggs mature to their final stage and are finally discharged into the fallopian tube during ovulation. Amongst otheres, it also produces the important female hormones estrogen and progesterone. The ovarian function is controlled by the pulsatile hormones LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) produced in the adenohypophysis. These hormones are in turn regulated by the pulsatile hypothalamic GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone).

Uterus - implantation and site of development

The uterus is part of the internal female genitals and is located intraperitoneal within the pelvis. It mainly serves as the place of implantation for fertilized eggs and as a receptacle during embryonic and fetal development. Macroscopically, the uterus is divided into corpus, isthmus and cervix. The lumen of the corpus (cavum uteri) communicates with the abdominal cavity via the tubes and is in contact with the vagina via the cervical canal (canalis cervicis).

Vagina - protection of internal genital organs

In humans the vagina extends from the vulva to the cervix, the neck of the uterus and one of its functions is the protection of deeper located internal genital organs. However, it also functions as part of the birth canal and channels the menstrual flow.

External genital organ

the breast

Breast - provision of nutrition

Every female breast (mammary gland) consists of glandular, fatty and connective tissue and serves to produce and secrete milk for breast feeding. The glandular tissue consists of glandular lobes and lobules or clusters of alveoli in which the breast milk is produced. While the connective tissue makes the breast elastic, its shape is defined by the skin and the embedded fatty tissue. The breast tissue changes regularly depending on the female sex hormones estrogen and progestin. However, the female breast contains no muscle tissue, the breast muscles rather lies beneath the mammary gland on the ribs.

Clinical significance

cancer of the female tissue, a major cause of death

The female tissue as the other tissues can suffer from several dysfunctions which can lead to more or less severe clinical pathologies. Besides endometriosis and myomas of the female tissue, breast and ovarian cancer as well as several cancers of the uterus count for the most serious diseases of the female tissue. While Human Papillomaviruses have been causatively associated with the development of cervical cancer, the development of breast cancer is often based on genetic mutations. Though both cancer types have been studied extensively and many mechanisms have been unraveled they still represent the most common cause of cancer and death of cancer among women worldwide.

Important cancer marker for female tissue used in research and diagnostic are for example CA-125 and HPV-16.


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anti-hCG-alpha mouse monoclonal, G6D12, purified
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