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Anatomy 200 - Female Reproductive System

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University of Alberta
David Begg

Female Reproductive System Reproductive System - Not necessary for survival of the individual - Required for survival of the species - Other systems of the body functional at or shortly after birth - Reproductive system becomes functional at puberty Functions of the Female Reproductive System - Production of female gametes (ova) - Reception of male gametes (spermatozoa) - Provision of site for fertilization - Mechanism for transport of zygote to uterus - Provision of site for development of fetus - Mechanism for parturition - Provision of nutrition for the newborn Functions of the Male Reproductive System - Production of male gametes - Delivery of male gametes to female reproductive tract Uterus - Anteverted (uterus tipped forward) - Anteflexed (body of uterus bent forward) Subdivisions of the Reproductive System - Ovaries – production of gametes - Reproductive tract o Fallopian tubes (uterine tubes) – fertilization and transport of ovum o Uterus – implantation and development of fetus o Vagina – coitus and birth canal - Mammary glands – nutrition of newborn The function of the different components of the reproductive system are integrated by pituitary and ovarian hormones and complex neurological pathways Ovary - Until you start developing – primordial follicle - When you start developing – Primary follicle - When there’s a fluid inside – Secondary follicle - When the follicle is large enough to ovulate – Mature follicle (Graafian) - Ovulation and follicle development is influenced by FSH from anterior pituitary - LH also stimulates primary follicle to divide meiotic division Follicle Development - Multiple primordial follicles enter development at the same time - Only one follicle reaches maturity and is ovulated - Remainder degenerate by the process of atresia Zona pellucida is proteins with sugars attached that becomes impermeable after fertilization Endocrine Function of Follicle - The theca and the granulosa cells together secrete estrogen - Estrogen enters the capillary bed within the theca and circulates throughout the body - Estrogen support the regrowth of the endometrium after menstruation o Endometrium dies and is shed (blood + tissues), then estrogen feeds back and tells uterus lining to start growing again and a new endometrium develops What is the function of the non-ovulated follicles? - The amount of estrogen secreted is a function of the size of the follicle - Many small follicles are required in early stages of the ovarian cycle to secrete the required estrogen - As the follicles enlarge, one becomes dominant and takes over estrogen secretion When a Mature (Graafian) Follicle is really mature, it will be pressed up against the tunica albaginea Ovulation - As the follicle matures and elarges, it secretes increasing amounts of estrogen - The high concentration of estrogen causes the anterior pituitary to secrete LH - LH induces the final maturation and ovulation of the follicle - Cumulus oophorus separates from wall - Follicle ruptures - Oocyte released with its cumulus onto surface of ovary - Cumulus now called corona radiate - Oocyte picked up by infundibulum of fallopian tube Function of Corpus Luteum - Temporary endocrine organ - Secretes estrogen and progesterone - Progesterone prepares endometrium for implantation of embryo - Progesterone required for maintenance of endometrium Ovarian hormones - Estrogen acts as feedback inhibitor for FSH - Estrogen acts as feedback activator for LH - Progesterone acts as feedback inhibi
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