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FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM The female reproductive system is designed to carry out several functions. It produces the female egg cells necessary for reproduction , called the ova or oocytes. The system is designed to transport the ova to the site of fertilization. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes. The next step for the fertilized egg is to implant into the walls of the uterus, beginning the initial stages of pregnancy . If fertilization and/or implantation do not take place, the system is designed to menstruate (the monthly shedding of the uterine lining). In addition, the female reproductive system produces female sex hormones that maintain the reproductive cycle. Parts of the female reproductive system a. Broad Ligaments . Two wing-like structures that extend from the lateral margins of the uterus to the pelvic walls and divide the pelvic cavity into an anterior and a posterior compartment. b. Corpus Luteum . The yellow mass found in the graafian follicle after the ovum has been expelled. c. Estrogen . The generic term for the female sex hormones. It is a steroid hormone produced primarily by the ovaries but also by the adrenal cortex. d. Fimbriae . Fringes; especially the finger-like ends of the fallopian tube. e. Follicle . A pouch like depression or cavity.
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f. Follicle Stimulating Hormone . The follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone produced by the anterior pituitary during the first half of the menstrual cycle. It stimulates development of the graafian follicle. g. Graafian Follicle . A mature, fully developed ovarian cyst containing the ripe ovum. h. Hormone . A chemical substance produced in an organ, which, being carried to an associated organ by the bloodstream excites in the latter organ, a functional activity. i. Lactation . The production of milk by the mammary glands. j. Luteinizing Hormone . A hormone produced by the anterior pituitary that stimulates ovulation and the development of the corpus luteum. k. Oocyte . A developing egg in one of two stages. l. Ovum . The female reproductive cell. m. Progesterone . The pure hormone contained in the corpora lutea whose function is to prepare the endometrium for the reception and development of the fertilized ovum. n. Reproduction . The process by which an offspring is formed. 1-3. INTERNAL FEMALE ORGANS The internal organs of the female consists of the uterus, vagina, fallopian tubes, and the ovaries a. Uterus . The uterus is a hollow organ about the size and shape of a pear. It serves two important functions: it is the organ of menstruation and during pregnancy it receives the fertilized ovum, retains and nourishes it until it expels the fetus during labor. (1) Location. The uterus is located between the urinary bladder and the rectum. It is
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