Function of the female reproductive system.
At puberty the ova begins to mature. At the follicular phase, an ovum matures within a cyst called 'Graafian follicle' until it reaches the surface of the ovary where rupture occurs. The ovum is discharged into the peritoneal cavity. This periodic liberation of matured ovum into the peritoneal cavity is referred to as ovulation.
This ovum finds its way into the fimbriated end of the fallopian tube. On its way to the uterus, if it meets a spermatozoan, the male gamete and union occurs and conception or fertilisation takes place.
The empty Graafian follicle, after ovulation is called as corpus luteum (yellow body), which secretes progesterone, a hormone that prepares the uterus for receiving the fertilised ovum.
The ovaries produce steroid hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
It is responsible for development and maintenance of the female reproductive organs and the secondary sexual characteristics associated with the adult female. Estrogen also plays an important role in breast development and in monthly cyclic changes (menstrual cycle) in the uterus.
Progesterone regulates the changes that occur in the
uterus during the menstrual cycle. It is secreted by the corpus luteum.
Progesterone is important for conditioning the endometrium in preparation for
implantation of the fertilised ovum. If the pregnancy occurs, progesterone is
essential for maintaining a normal pregnancy. In addition, it works along with
oestrogen in preparing the breast for secretion of milk.