Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 3: A woman's body in pregnancy

The Healthwiki provides free information to 20,000 people every day.
This is made possible by donors like you!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.


HealthWiki > A Book for Midwives > Chapter 3: A woman's body in pregnancy


In this chapter, we describe the parts of a woman’s body that are most affected by sex, pregnancy, and birth. We call these parts sexual or reproductive parts. We also explain how pregnancy happens, and how a woman’s body changes during pregnancy.

A woman’s sexual and
reproductive parts


MW Ch3 Page 27-1.png
A woman's genitals (vulva)
outer lips
inner lips
opening of the vagina
clitoris
a very sensitive spot that can give sexual pleasure when touched
urethra
the opening that urine comes out of
anus
the opening of the rectum and intestine, where stool comes out


The pelvis

The bones below the belly are called the pelvis.
MW Ch3 Page 27-3.png
The pelvis is shaped like a bowl with a hole in the bottom.
MW Ch3 Page 27-2.png
pelvis
pubic bone
MW Ch3 Page 27-4.png
During birth, the baby passes through the hole to get out.


The womb, tubes, and ovaries
The womb (uterus) is a hollow muscle. It sits inside the pelvis. Monthly bleeding comes from the womb, and the womb is where the baby grows during pregnancy.

MW Ch3 Page 28-1.png
pelvis
The womb is in the woman's belly along with her other organs
MW Ch3 Page 28-2.png
heart
lung
liver
intestines
stomach
kidney
bladder