Updated: Dec 3, 2019
So how does the female reproductive system work? Many women truly don't know because their mothers didn't talk to them about it and when it was taught in school, the topic was so uncomfortable that we mostly tuned out and giggled through it.
(I am not a doctor and this should not be considered medical advice. This is simply a lay-person's plain English explanation of the female workings for basic knowledge.)
So let's chat ladies.
How do our beautifully designed bodies work? Assuming there are no medical issues going on like fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrom (PCOS), missing ovaries, tied or blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, etc., then they are very routine.
It begins in the ovaries. Within the ovaries there is an ovarian follicle, which is a fluid-filled sac that contains an immature egg, or oocyte. Each month, a follicle in the ovary develops a single mature egg (unless you struggle with PCOS—polycystic ovarian syndrome). That mature egg is released from the ovarian follicle —on either the right side or the left—and travels through the fallopian tube where it is fertilized. Once fertilized, the embryo typically travels from the fallopian tube to the uterus where it implants itself somewhere in the uterus around the 5th day after fertilization. Once implanted, it snuggles in for the long-haul.
So to fully understand this, it's important to understand that you (typically) from only ovulate from one side per month, either your left or your right ovary. In some cases, that are typically hereditary, the left and right sides will release an egg and if both are fertilized and both implant, the woman will become pregnant with fraternal twins. Fraternal twins are also the most likely form of multiples through infertility treatments as multiple eggs are forced to mature and release at the same time.
For me, because I only had one fallopian tube open (the left one was tied in a knot until I had surgery to correct that issue) for the eggs to travel from the ovary to the uterus, I was fertile only every other month. So, every other month, my left ovary released an egg that was blocked by a knot in my left fallopian tube. On those months, the egg and the sperm could never get to each other, so eventually the egg and the sperm would die and be absorbed by my body.
Sadly, for me, this was not my only issue and correcting that issue did not result in a pregnancy, but it certainly provided more answers for us.
Hopefully this was helpful for you? Let me know if this helped you. This could also be a great read, or conversation starter/guide for you to teach your young daughter about her own body.