Female reproductive system
The female reproductive system is involved in sexuality and fertility. It includes the vagina, womb (uterus), fallopian tubes and ovaries. Menstrual periods, ovulation, pregnancy, birth and menopause are part of the female reproductive cycle.
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The menstrual cycle is complex and is controlled by many different glands and the hormones that these glands produce.
Heavy or abnormal periods may be an indication of other health problems.
Some women are at greater risk of amenorrhoea (the absence of periods) due to stress and weight change.
Women who are athletes or who exercise excessively on a regular basis are at risk of developing athletic amenorrhoea, which is the absence of periods.
Women of any age can experience painful periods and some women find periods are no longer painful after pregnancy and childbirth.
The female body shows several signs of ovulation and you may experience some or all of these signs.
Ovulation pain is usually harmless, but can sometimes indicate various medical conditions such as endometriosis.
Most menstruating women have some form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
If you think you could have toxic shock syndrome, stop using tampons immediately and go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital.