Welcome to The Science of Your Cycle, Groove’s ah-mazing (and FREE) 7-day mini-course that will teach you everything you need to know about how your body (and your period) works. We genuinely believe that you DESERVE to have a deep understanding of how your body works, and we made this course to arm you with information that will help you care for your body, spot any health problems that may arise, and benefit from the incredible data your body provides you each and every day.
Today’s video will cover the basics of how the female reproductive system works — you might just be surprised by how much you don’t know!
What are you hoping to get out of this awesome, 7-day course? Leave a comment below and let us know!
00:00 - Hi there, and welcome to The SCIENCE of Your Cycle — the brand new, awesome, and (the best part) 100 percent FREE 7-day course brought to you by Groove. My name is Jennifer Aldoretta. I am the cofounder and CEO of Groove. I’m going to be your host here for the next 7 days, and I’m really looking forward to it. So before we get started, I was going to give you a bit of my background. I struggled for more than a decade with horribly horribly painful periods, and I didn’t understand anything about my menstrual cycle or my body until I was well into my twenties. And once I did learn about all those things, I was so frustrated with that lack of education that it made me want to teach as many people about this topic as possible. I cofounded Groove in 2013 with the mission of educating women, and really people everywhere, about the female reproductive system to help destigmatize periods. And just a few fun facts: I love riding my bicycle and can often be spotted riding around Austin on it. I am a huge fan of reading medical journals (you got it: I am a huge nerd), and I love talking about women’s health at pretty much any chance that I get.
01:19 - So I want to give you an idea of why we created this course. I told you that I personally have a history of painful periods and really wanted to teach people about this information. But I want to give you a deeper understanding of what benefits you’re going to get out of it and really why we created this for you. So first and foremost, and most importantly, knowledge is power. If you don’t have information, you can’t be empowered by that information. Secondly, not understanding how your body works is incredibly confusing, frustrating, and disempowering, and I know this from personal experience. You deserve to know what’s happening inside your body — what’s normal what’s not normal, and how to identify when there’s a potential problem. And last but not least, I want you to be the wildly confident, period pro that I know is in you somewhere. I pulled it out of me — it’s amazing. It’s super confident-boosting. It’s wonderful. I can’t wait for you to get there too.
02:24 - Here are some of the things that you can expect to get out of The SCIENCE of Your Cycle 7-day course: you can expect a deep understanding of how your periods work, what’s normal and what’s abnormal. You’ll get insider tips on predicting your periods with extreme accuracy — and when I say extreme accuracy, I mean that you’ll know the exact day that your next period will start. And it will be amazing. You’ll know how to tell without having to go see your doctor if you might be suffering from a hormonal imbalance. You’ll understand how tracking your periods can benefit you and your health. And you’ll learn the basics of how to heal period problems that you might be suffering from. S,o without further adieu, let’s go ahead and dive into Day 1. The title of this section is Meet Your Body, and we’re going to be doing an overview of the female reproductive system.
03:23 - You might be wondering why we’re going to cover the reproductive system, and this image right here is pretty much all the reason you need. This was borrowed from BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed asked adults to label diagrams of both the male and female reproductive systems, and this is one of just one of the examples of what they got. I will be the first to say: yikes! We have things that are labeled everything from sperm canal to walnut to a very incorrect location for vulva, pee hole, and g-spot. And we even have vagina eyeballs. I’m sure they were being really silly about that, but the point here is I’m sure a lot of us learned some of these things in elementary school, middle school, and high school, but for most of us this information did not stick with us. Understanding this and really having a solid understanding of it is very important for everything else that we’re going to cover during this course. So even if you feel like you know some of this stuff, I encourage you to stick it out and stick with me because you may just learn something.
04:32 - Here’s a correctly labeled diagram of the female reproductive system. From top to bottom, we will go ahead and read those out. We have the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, the uterus, the cervix, the vagina, and the vulva. Now we’re going to go over the function of each of these things to give you a good idea of the purpose that everything serves. The vulva are the parts of the reproductive system that are located outside of the body, and that includes the clitoris, the labia, and the vaginal opening. Next up is the vagina, also known as the birth canal. This is the muscular, tubular pathway that leads from the uterus to the outside of the body, and it’s often called the birth canal because that’s where the baby comes through when a woman is giving birth. Next up, we have the cervix which is the lower portion of the uterus that bulges into the top of the vagina. This is commonly known as that thing that dilates during childbirth. Another important thing to understand is that the cervix produces a special fluid during the menstrual cycle that actually makes a pregnancy possible, and we’re going to go over that in more detail a little bit later.
06:02 - Next up, we have the uterus, which is also commonly called the womb. The uterus sheds its lining during your period, which leaves the body as menstrual fluid. And it’s called the womb because it houses the developing fetus during a pregnancy. The ovaries are almond-sized sacs that develop and release eggs during ovulation. They’re also responsible for producing some very very important hormones during the menstrual cycle. Last but not least, the fallopian tubes are the tubes that extend from the uterus to the ovaries, and these allow an ovulated (or released), matured egg to travel to the uterus after it’s released during ovulation.
06:51 - The most important structures that I want you to remember — you don’t need to remember all of these, but I do want you to remember the ovaries, the uterus, and the cervix because these three will continue to come up throughout the rest of this 7-day course. Now we’re going to quickly cover the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, and here’s a nice little diagram. You can see that both of those are located deep within the brain.
07:23 - So an overview of what they are: the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus are structures, as I said, located deep within the brain. They send chemical signals to your reproductive system as well as many other systems throughout the body. But in this case we’re going to be talking about the reproductive system. They send chemical signals to your reproductive system that help control various events that happen during the menstrual cycle, and the chemical signals that they send a trigger things like egg development, ovulation, sex hormone production, and even your periods. You don’t need to remember all of this. You don’t need to remember the names of the pituitary and hypothalamus — really any in-depth details about what they do, but I’m just giving you this information because I wanted to give you a sense of the amazing things that need to happen inside your body in order for you to have a period.
08:23 - Here’s just a quick summary of what we’ve covered in Day 1, and these are the things that I really want you to try to remember and try to take away from this first day. The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus, and it produces a special fluid during the menstrual cycle that makes pregnancy possible, which is super amazing. And, like I said, we’re going to be covering that in more detail over the coming days. The uterus sheds its lining during your period, so your menstrual flow that comes out during your period is made up of the lining of the uterus. And then the ovaries are almond-sized sacs that contain eggs and make very important sex hormones.
09:27 - One last look at the female reproductive system diagram so you can get a sense of where everything is in case you forgot because I went over that pretty quickly earlier. Like I said, the three things that you need to remember are the cervix, the uterus, and the ovaries. Let’s jump back to this slide. The cervix, which is the lower portion of the uterus, produces a special fluid. What else did I say? The uterus, which sheds its lining during your period. And then the ovaries, as you can see here, are the two little almond-shaped structures that have eggs and make a very important sex hormones. Alright, so that’s really all that we have for today. I’m hoping that by the end of this 7-day course you’ll be feeling pretty fabulous and confident like this fine lady right here. I’m super excited to share the rest of this super amazing information with you, and I know that you’re going to be so empowered by it and I look forward to Day 2. See you then!