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HealthPhone™: Understanding Your Body: How Babies are Made

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Understanding Your Body: How babies are made

This is my head

This is my nose

These are my shoulders

This is my chest

These are my boobs

These are my legs

These are my private parts

These are my reproductive parts

Well, aren't our bodies amazing? The aim of this film is to give you information about how your body changes in puberty and how babies are made.

Women and men´s bodies are similar but one major difference are our reproductive organs and genitals. Here is Dr Sue Mann to tell us more

Baby boys and baby girls look really pretty similar But around about the age of ten or eleven things start to change and this time of change is called puberty and it can be quite a strange time for young people and sometimes quite difficult. And it´s after this time that girls become able to become pregnant and have babies.

It´s also a time when there´s lots of... there are special chemicals that are rushing around the body and these are called hormones and these can make the boy or girl feel sad or happy or sometimes just quite confused.

When I started puberty I was scared because my breasts started showing up.

I can remember during my puberty age there were quite some changes in the body like, uhm... the sound changed.

It was quite frightening growing – certain parts of my body like my breasts and going through my menstrual period without having any idea what was really happening.

It was funny because I didn’t realise that I could get a beard and now I have them.

Some changes were taking over in my whole body and I was not aware so I was very confused.

Some changes when I sleep and wake up I'm wet so sometimes it was bad but the experience was good to me.

I just accepted the way it was because it was part of growing.

I felt happy since I was growing

So, how do boys' bodies change during puberty?

As a boy develops his voice becomes deeper, he becomes hairier and his body becomes broader.

The boy’s penis also starts to get hard more often. This is called an erection and sometimes fluid comes out of the penis as well.

This can happen even when you're asleep.

The man’s genitals are the penis and testicles. They make tiny cells called sperm inside their testicles.

These sperm are the man’s seed

Sometimes the penis can become hard and then millions of sperm mixed with fluid come out of the thin tube also called the urethra in the middle of the penis.

Urine or pee comes out of the same tube but not at the same time as the sperm, and the penis isn't hard at this time either.

So how do girls’ bodies change during puberty?

Girl’s bodies change to allow them to get pregnant and carry babies. Their breasts become bigger so that they could produce milk if they have a baby.

Their hips become wider and hair begins to grow under the arms and on the vulva which is the outside part of a woman’s genitals.

There is an opening there called the urethra where the woman urinates or pees from.

The other opening is called a vagina. This leads to the cervix, which is the entrance that leads into the womb and where a baby can grow.

The vagina is where a baby comes out when it’s born.

Once a month a woman’s ovary releases a tiny egg. If the egg is not fertilised by a man’s sperm then the lining of the womb breaks down and bleeds. This is called a period.

Once the girl’s periods start, it’s really important for her to know that she can now get pregnant whereas before this it wasn’t possible.

How do women get pregnant?

A woman becomes pregnant by having penetrative sex. This happens when a man’s penis goes into a woman’s vagina.

A man’s penis can ejaculate sperm during sex.

This sperm can travel to the womb and if a woman’s egg is there it can fertilise the egg, which can grow into a baby.

So now we know how our bodies make babies. Dr Sue Mann went to talk to a group of young people to explain when this is most likely to happen.

Hi! I'm Sue Mann. I'm a doctor and I'm going to talk to you a little bit about how a woman’s menstrual cycle works. I'm going to use this necklace to describe what happens to a woman every month as she goes through her cycle. Most women have regular cycles and by that I mean it’s the same length of time from the beginning of one period to the beginning of the next period. And usually that’s around 28 to 30 days.

You could make this necklace yourself, so with beads or seeds or shells. So something that tells you one bead for each day of the month. So 28 beads for a 28-day cycle, for instance. And this little ring here - and it doesn't have to be a ring - you just move that across so that you can see, that you can remember that you are on day one. And then that helps keep track of your cycle as you go through the days of the month.

So you can see here that there are some red beads here and that represents the time that a woman is bleeding. Now most women will bleed for around five days. And what's happening when a woman is bleeding is that she’s shedding the lining of the womb, and it means that she’s not pregnant.

There are substances going round the body called hormones and these are preparing the ovary which is inside the woman’s body and stores the eggs which are the woman’s seed - ready to release that egg.

Could this necklace help you plan to get pregnant?

That’s a good question. So the blue beads are a way of telling a woman that actually that’s the time that she’s most likely to get pregnant if she has sex here She probably won't get pregnant if she has sex here because it’s too early. So the egg won't have been released.

And she probably won't get pregnant here because it’s too late: the egg's gone, okay. So for a woman trying to be pregnant this is the best time – the best chance of an egg being there to meet the sperm when she has sex with a man. But it’s not an absolutely reliable method because we don’t always know for certain that these are non-fertile days and these are fertile days.

How long does a sperm live for in a woman’s body?

Sperm can survive for up to a week so it’s really important to think about that when you’ve had sex and think it’s not just about getting pregnant on the day you have sex but actually it can happen up to a week after, okay? It's normal for a woman to have a discharge all the time but through the month the discharge changes and the discharge is sort of thin and stretchy around this time time because it helps the sperm swim up, okay, so it makes it more efficient.

You said that a woman’s discharge changes so how would you know the change?

Around the time of ovulation the discharge is more like sort of uncooked egg white so it’s sort of stretchy and clear and thinner. And then as you move into this last two weeks it thickens up and gets much less

so women will produce more mucous around the time that they're fertile and it will be this thin and sort of stretchy kind. And if at the end of the cycle a pregnancy has happened, you won't see the period because the lining of the womb needs to stay there to provide a cushion for a developing baby in the womb.

But if a pregnancy hasn't happened, if a sperm hasn't met an egg, the lining of the womb will come away and you’ll see blood as a period.

So now I think we understand a lot more about how our bodies make babies.

I hope you enjoyed watching!

With thanks to: Presenter/Editor/Produced & Directed by

With Special Thanks to Medical Aid Films: Films for Life

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 36 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: Medical Aid Films
Views: 5,321
Posted by: nand on Mar 29, 2012

This is a film aimed at early teens and young adults. It describes what puberty is and how babies are made using a mixture of animation and expert advice as well as from vox-pop's from young men and women in Nairobi.

© Medical Aid Films - 2011

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