The reproductive system is a collection of internal and external organs that work together for the purpose of procreating.
Male Reproductive System:
- Testes: where sperm is produced, carried in an external pouch known as the scrotum, where they normally remain slightly cooler than body temperature to facilitate sperm production.
Female Reproductive System (external):
- Labia minora
- Labia majora
- Bartholin’s glands
Female Reproductive System (internal):
- Vagina/uterus: receptacle for semen
- Ovaries: produce the female’s ova
The vagina is attached to the uterus through the cervix, while the fallopian tubes connect the uterus to the ovaries. In response to hormonal changes, one ovum, or egg – or more in the case of multiple births – is released and sent down the fallopian tube during ovulation. If not fertilized, the egg is eliminated during menstruation.
Fertilization occurs if a sperm enters the fallopian tube and burrows into the egg. The egg becomes implanted in the uterus and begins the processes of embryogenesis (embryo forms) and morphogenesis (fetus takes shape). The cervix dilates and contractions of the uterus propel a fetus that is mature enough to live outside the womb.
Diseases of the female reproductive system
- Cancers in the uterus, ovaries, breast and cervix
- Sexually transmitted diseases such as genital herpes, gonorrhea and syphilis
- Menstrual cramping, or dysmenorrheal
- Vaginal yeast infection: caused by a yeast fungus in the vagina
- Endometriosis: a condition where that normally lines the inside of your uterus – the endometrium – ends up outside of the uterus, most commonly in the ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: an infection of any of the female reproductive organs, including the uterus and ovaries. STDs are typical causes of pelvic inflammatory disease.
Diseases of the male reproductive system
- Cancers including of the prostate, testicular and penile
- Erectile dysfunction: can be linked to vascular disease, neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, trauma and psychological episodes
- Prostatitis: swelling or inflammation of the prostate gland
Infertility is defined as a couple’s inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse. In males, infertility is a condition in which they produce no sperm cells or too few sperm cells, or their sperm cells are abnormal or die before they can reach the egg. Causes can include chromosomal defects, hormonal imbalances, or tumors. In females, infertility is defined as a disorder of the reproductive system that hinders the body’s ability to ovulate, conceive, or carry an infant to term.
Symptoms and their Emotions
- Breast: Represents mothering and nurturing and nourishment. – Cysts, lumps: A refusal to nourish the self. Putting everyone else first. Over mothering. Overprotection. Overbearing attitudes.
- Cramps: Tension. Fear. Gripping, holding on.
- Endometriosis: Insecurity, disappointment and frustration. Replacing self-love with sugar. Blamers.
- Herpes Genitalis: Mass belief in sexual guilt and the need for punishment. Public shame. Believe in a punishing God. Rejection of the genitals.
- Menopause problems: Fear of no longer being wanted. Fear of aging. Self-rejection. Not feeling good enough.
- Menstrual problems: Rejection of one’s femininity. Guilt, fear. Belief that the genitals are sinful or dirty.
- Miscarriage: Fear of the future. Inappropriate timing.
- Ovaries: Represent points of creation. Creativity.
- Prostate: Represents the masculine principle. Mental fears weaken the masculinity. Giving up. Sexual pressure and guilt. Belief in aging.
- Sterility: Fear and resistance to the process of life or not needing to go through the parenting experience.