Chapter 51: Reproductive System
STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS
The primary roles of male reproductive system are production and transportation of sperm,
deposition of sperm in female reproductive tract, and secretion of hormones.
o The primary male reproductive organs are the testes.
The primary roles of female reproductive system are production of ova, secretion of hormones,
and protection and facilitation of the development of the fetus in a pregnant female.
o The primary female reproductive organs are the ovaries.
The hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and gonads secrete numerous hormones that regulate
the processes of ovulation, spermatogenesis, fertilization, and formation and function of
secondary sex characteristics.
In women, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) production by anterior pituitary stimulates
growth and maturity of ovarian follicles.
o Mature follicle produces estrogen, which in turn suppresses the release of
FSH. In men, FSH stimulates seminiferous tubules to produce sperm.
Estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries.
o Estrogen is essential to development and maintenance of secondary sex
characteristics, proliferative phase of menstrual cycle immediately after
menstruation, and pregnancy uterine changes.
o Progesterone is also involved in body changes of pregnancy.
The major gonadal hormone of men is testosterone, which is produced by the testes.
Testosterone is responsible for development and maintenance of secondary sex
characteristics and spermatogenesis.
Menarche is the first episode of menstrual bleeding, indicating that a female has reached
o This usually occurs at 12 to 13 years of age.
o The length of the menstrual cycle generally ranges from 20 to 40 days.
The major functions of ovaries are ovulation and secretion of hormones. These functions
are accomplished during the menstrual cycle.
If fertilization occurs, high levels of estrogen and progesterone continue to be secreted
due to continued activity of corpus luteum from stimulation by human chorionic
gonadotropin (hCG). o If fertilization does not take place, menstruation occurs because of a decrease
in estrogen production and progesterone.
Menopause is the physiologic cessation of menses associated with declining ovarian
function. It is usually considered complete after 1 year of amenorrhea.
The sexual response is a complex interplay of psychologic and physiologic phenomena
influenced by a number of variables, including daily stress, illness, and crisis.
o Changes that