Uteruses the size of watermelons, and a lifetime supply of eggs at birth – there are so many reasons to be amazed by the female body. We brought you some of our favorite surprising facts about our bodies.
1. The clitoris is the gift that keeps on giving.
With age, the clitoris grows to be up to 2.5 times larger than its size in teen years.
2. Our senses change throughout our cycle.
Our appetites and moods are clearly linked to where we are in our menstrual cycle, but other more subtle changes in thinking and behavior can also occur. For example, our sense of smell sharpens as fertility peaks in the latter half of our cycles.
3. The uterus can stretch to the size of a watermelon.
Most of the time, our uteruses are surprisingly little, only about the size of a small apple. During pregnancy, however, the uterus stretches to eventually become the size of a watermelon. After giving birth, it shrinks back down again. No other organ in the human body can stretch that much without permanent damage being caused.
4. We are born with our lifetime supply of eggs.
Although the supply is finite, it still comes at an average of over 1 million eggs.
5. We are physiologically permanently connected to our mothers.
In a phenomenon called fetal microchimerism, fetal cells can move through the placenta during pregnancy. This causes some of our cells to be permanently embedded in our mother’s organs, like her uterus, lungs, and brain.
6. Our mothers fuel our energy.
Mothers pass down the genetic material needed to make mitochondria, tiny structures in our cells that give us most of our energy throughout the day and that play a big role in learning, memory, and cognition. Unlike nuclear DNA, this genetic material is only passed down by our mothers.
Rodrigues, Tori, “Fertile Women Have a Heightened Sense of Smell.” Scientific American. September 1, 2013.
Hunt, Elle, “Clitbait: 10 things You Didn’t Know About the Clitoris.” The Guardian. January 22, 2017.
Jennifer Gray, “3 Uterus Facts Everyone Should Know.” Natural Cycles. February 18, 2020.