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Female Reproductive System



fluid-filled cavity within the follicle


during folliculogenesis, the degeneration and reabsorption of ovarian follicles that are not ultimately ovulated


narrow neck of the uterus whose mucus protects the uterus from foreign materials. The cervix also dilates during childbirth to allow passage of the baby


small organ containing tightly packed nerves that provides stimulation during intercourse


first stage of childbirth when the cervix softens and opens


hormone responsible for many functions in the female body, including the promotion of the growth of the endometrial lining, inhibition of bone resorption, decreasing the risk of heart disease, and affecting fluid/electrolyte levels

fallopian tube

hollow tube between the ovary and the uterus that conducts eggs to the uterus during a woman's menstrual cycle


ovarian structure that houses the oocyte, surrounded by one or more layers of cells, inside the ovary


formation of the ovarian follicle

granulosa cell

cell that makes up the follicle envelope

human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)

hormone that maintains the corpus luteum and results in increased levels of progesterone during the first trimester of pregnancy

labium (plural, labia)

flap of skin that protects the clitoris, the vagina, and the opening of the urethra; part of the external genitalia


secretion of milk from the mammary tissue of the breast

mammary gland

exocrine gland that produces milk in response to hormones


onset of the first menstrual cycle


time when ovulation and menstruation cease and fertility ends


cell that will give rise to a mature ovum and three polar bodies via meiosis


development of the eggs, or ova (singular, ovum)

ovarian cycle

one of the two cycles that regulates a woman's fertility. It includes the events in the ovary that produce an egg each month


organ that produces and releases eggs and estrogen and progesterone


release of the egg from the ovary


hormone that promotes uterine contractions during childbirth and causes milk ejection during breastfeeding

polar body

haploid (1n) cell produced during meiotic divisions of an oocyte that cannot be fertilized


hormone that prepares the uterus for implantation of a zygote


hormone that stimulates milk production hormone that stimulates milk production


hormone that causes changes to the cardiovascular system during the first trimester of pregnancy, initiates labor, and facilitates delivery of the baby by dilating the cervix and increasing flexibility of ligaments and pubic bones

uterine cycle

sequence of changes in the uterine lining (endometrium) in response to ovarian hormones. Phases include menstruation, rebuilding of the endometrium, and preparation for implantation of an embryo.


organ where gestation occurs


tract in the female reproductive system that extends from the opening on the outside of the body to the cervix

zona pellucida

noncellular, protective layer that immediately surrounds the plasma membrane of an oocyte and helps with fertilization