The Reproductive System consists of those organs whose function is to produce a new individual.
Male And Female Sexual Reproductive Organs
The sex organs in the male and female can be divided as:
Primary sex organs, i.e. those producing male and female gametes.
Secondary (or accessory) sex organs, i.e. those concerned with carriage of gamete and other functions.
Primary Sex Organs in Male and Female
They are a pair of testes producing spermatozoa (male gametes) while in females are a pair of ovaries producing ovum (female gamete). These primary sex organs in addition to producing male and female gametes secrete male and female sex hormones as well.
Accessory Sex Organs in the Male
Accessory Sex Organs in the Female
FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
The gonads of the female are called ovaries and the cells that they produce are known as ova or egg-cells. Each female has a pair of oval-shaped structure, about the size of an almond. Each ovary measures 3.5 x 2.5 x 11.5 cms and weighs about 8-10 gms. They are situated at the back of the abdominal cavity at the hip level. An ovary consists of the following:
The Germinal Epithelium: It is the outer part of the ovaries from which the primitive graafian follicles develop. :
Tunica Albugina: This is made up of connective tissues found under the germinal epithelium.
Stroma: It is a connective tissue network continuous with Tunica albugina and containing involuntary muscle fibres. It supports the ovarian tissues and carries blood vessels, lymphatics and nerves.
Graafian Follicles : These, are small islands of cells found at the peripheral part of the ovary. The female gametes called ova are produced in the graafian follicles. When an ovum matures, the follicle in which it develops bursts. The follicle usually takes 10-14 days. This process of rupture of graafian follicle is called the 'ovulation'. Female gamete (ovum) produced, during ovulation is secreted.
Corpus luteum: When the follicle ruptures Corpus luteum develops. In the absence of pregnancy, it persists upto 27th day and degenerates on the 28th day. If pregnancy occurs it persists to about 4 to 5 months. It secretes progesterone which is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy.
Interstitial Cells: These are polyhedral cells found in between follicles. These cells secrete oestrogen.
Produce ova and expel one at approximately 28 days interval during the reproductive life.
Secretes hormones (Oestrogen and progesterone). Oestrogen influences secondary sex characteristics and is responsible for
the changes in the accessory organs of reproduction. Progesterone prepares the uterus for the reception of the fertilized ovum - implantation, the development of the placenta, development of the mammary glands, and inducing multiplication of the uterine muscle fibres.
Close to each ovary there is a narrow tube about 10 cm long with an open end which looks like a fringe of petals. These tubes are called the fallopian tubes. These are attached to the uterus at its upper outer angles.
These tubes act as ducts for the female gametes although they are not connected to the ovaries. Fertilization of the male and female gametes normally occurs in the tubes.
Uterus is a pear-shaped muscular organ the inside of which is hollow. It measures about 7.5 x 5 x 2.5 cms. consists of an upper portion called the body and a lower portion called the cervix. The uterus is lined by a mucous membrane, known as endometrium.
The uterus plays an important role in maintaining growth and development of the embryo. The ovum is discharged from the ovary. It is then transported to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. The fertilized ovum is embedded in the endometrium of the uterus. Placenta is then formed from the embryonic and endometrium tissues. This maintains the nutrition, respiration and excretion of embryo until parturition.
It is a muscular membranous tube situated between the rectum and the urethra.
It is estimated that, at birth, there are about 30000 ova or eggs in a female child. No fresh ova are formed after birth but during the reproductive female life that is commencing between 10 and 16 years of age and concluding between 45 and 55 years of age, these Ova develop within the follicles or sacs in which they are embedded. They come progressively nearer to the surface of the ovary where they mature and increase in size. About every 28 days one of these follicles burst open from the ovum together with the fluid surrounding it, and is expelled into the fallopian tubes; into uterus where it may or may not be fertilized. If the ovum is fertilised by a male reproductive cell or spermatozoa it then attaches itself to the uterine wall and develops there. If the ovum does not become fertilised within a few days, it is cast off and the process termed menstruation is initiated.