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Reproductive System Introduction Sexual reproduction is the process of producing offspring for the survival of the species, and

passing on hereditary traits from one generation to the next. The male and female reproductive systems contribute to the events leading to fertilization. Then, the female organs assume responsibility for the developing human, birth, and nursing. The male and female gonads (testes and ovaries)

produce sex cells (ova and sperm) and the hormones necessary for the proper development, maintenance, and functioning of the organs of reproduction and other organs and tissues.

The reproductive system comprises the reproductive organs. In the male, the organs include the testes, accessory ducts, accessory glands, and penis. In the female, the organs include the uterus, uterine tubes, ovaries, vagina, and vulva.

Male reproductive organs

The testes are paired reproductive organs in the scrotum, which hangs outside the human body. Normal sperm production requires the cooler outside temperature. Each testis contains coiled seminiferous tubules where sperm (male reproductive cells) production occurs. Between the seminiferous tubules are Leydig cells, clusters of endocrine (secretory) cells. Leydig cells produce androgens (sex hormones), mostly testosterone.

During conception. An acrosome at the head tip produces enzymes that help penetrate the female ovum (egg).Each sperm cell has three parts: a head. middle piece. chromosomes (genetic material) in the nucleus (cell control center) join with . and tail.

The middle piece contains mitochondria. The . structures that provide energy for the sperm. which moves the sperm toward the ovum.chromosomes in the ovum. The accessory ducts store secretions from the testes and accessory glands and deliver secretions to the penis. An ejaculation (ejection of sperm from the penis) has 300 to 500 million sperm. The mitochondria are tightly spiraled around the axial filaments (contractile portion) of the flagellum (tail). Centrioles form the tail.

epididymis. . a coiled tube next to each testis. body. the sperm mature and receive nourishment. Smooth muscle contractions in the epididymis walls move sperm through the duct. As sperm pass through the epididymis. The epididymis has three parts: a head. and tail. receives sperm from the seminiferous tubules. The epididymis stores sperm and propels it toward the penis.

the vas deferens passes behind the urinary bladder and expands to form an ampulla (expanded end part). Once in the abdomen. The vas deferens travels out of the scrotum and into the abdomen (gut cavity) through the inguinal canal. Each ampulla joins with a seminal .The vas deferens is the dilated continuation of the epididymis.

From this junction. Stimulation of these nerves propels sperm into the ejaculatory ducts. the ampulla of the vas deferens and seminal vesicles meet and secretions from the seminal vesicles and sperm are stored.vesicle (an accessory gland) to form an ejaculatory duct. Here. where they receive more secretions. then join with the single . the ejaculatory ducts pass through the prostate gland. The vas deferens is the main sperm carrier. Its walls contain three layers of smooth muscle innervated by sympathetic nerves.

urethra (tube through which sperm and urine pass out of body). The urethra is the final section of the duct system. The urethra . the prostate gland. The urethra carries sperm through the penis during intercourse. during urination. urine passes through it. It passes from the urinary bladder and the ends of the ejaculatory ducts through the prostate gland and into the penis. and the bulbourethral glands (accessory glands). The urethra receives secretions from the ejaculatory ducts.

and energize the sperm for the journey to the . a muscular sphincter (ring of muscle) closes off the bladder. During ejaculation.cannot execute both functions simultaneously.

For example.ovum. Its secretions also help neutralize vaginal acidity and make sperm motile (able to move). The bulbourethral glands secrete a clear fluid that neutralizes the acidity of remaining urine in the . during sexual excitement the seminal vesicles add secretions to the sperm in the ejaculatory duct. These secretions provide energy for the sperm and a neutralizing chemical that reduces vaginal acidity. The prostate gland lies under the urinary bladder and surrounds the first part of the urethra.

The remainder contains fructose to nourish the sperm. Only 1 percent of semen is sperm. an alkaline component to neutralize vaginal and urethral acidity. the result is seminal fluid. substances that make sperm motile.urethra. or semen. When secretions of these glands combine with sperm. and salts and phospholipids. It contains erectile tissue that becomes . The penis (male sexual organ) deposits semen into the vagina during sexual intercourse and carries urine through the urethra during urination.

and the prepuce. resulting in an erection. The penis includes the shaft (tubular portion). It produces ova (egg cells). the prepuce is removed. The system . Female reproductive organs The female reproductive system is more complex than that of the male. carries. nourishes. In a circumcision procedure. and protects the developing embryo. glans (penis tip and sexual sensation center). or foreskin (loose skin fold over glans).engorged with blood during sexual excitement. and nurses the newborn after birth.

structures are the ovary. vulva. uterine tubes. vagina. and mammary glands. uterus. . Ovaries. Ovaries produce ova and estrogen (female sex hormone). a pair of female gonads (sex organs). reside in the pelvic part of the abdomen on either side of the uterus.

The hypothalamus in the brain produces hormones that cause these cycles. the menstrual (uterine) cycle. a series of cyclic changes to the endometrium (uterine lining) begins. causes the menstrual cycle.At puberty onset. The ovarian and menstrual cycles begin each month when a follicle (developing ovum surrounded by a cluster of cells) develops in the ovary. fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones in the blood. The ovarian cycle. The hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone .

The developing follicle produces estrogen. FSH causes the primary oocyte within the follicle to develop into a secondary oocyte. which acts on the anterior pituitary gland.(GnRH). Development occurs through meiosis (cell division that reduces the chromosome number in the cell from 46 to 23). Each secondary oocyte completes this division only when sperm fertilizes it. which causes the . GnRH causes the pituitary to release two more hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

endometrium to prepare to nourish a fertilized egg. These hormones . Estrogen also inhibits pituitary gland production of FSH. an endocrine (secretory) body. The corpus luteum secretes estrogen and progesterone (hormone that stimulates endometrium thickening). This action causes ovulation. a process in which the follicle rapidly enlarges and releases the secondary oocyte. LH also causes the collapsed follicle to become the corpus luteum. The elevated estrogen level causes the anterior pituitary to release LH.

Unless sperm fertilize the secondary oocyte.complete the endometrium development and maintain the endometrium for 10 to 14 days. the lining is shed with the . dropping blood progesterone levels. the corpus luteum begins to degenerate. Without progesterone to maintain the endometrial lining.

This negative feedback control ensures that only one follicle develops each cycle. Each cycle lasts approximately 28 days. The uterine tubes (oviducts or fallopian tubes) are paired tubes that receive the developing ovum from the ovary. estrogen and progesterone act in the bloodstream to inhibit anterior pituitary production of LH and FSH. its fimbria (feathery structures) "sweep" the . The infundibulum end is beside the ovary.degenerated oocyte approximately 14 days after ovulation. After ovulation.

The fundus is the wide upper portion. the fertilized ovum resumes its journey to the uterus. Cilia (inner wall little projections) also sweep the egg along the tube. The uterus is a hollow muscular organ in front of the rectum and behind the urinary bladder. contains smooth muscle to move the egg. The isthmus end of the uterine tube opens into the uterus. the middle part of the uterine tube.developing ovum into the tube. The body is the tapered middle part . The ampulla. The unfertilized ovum degenerates in the ampulla.

The . The uterus has three layers. The round ligaments hold the uterus anteverted (inclined forward) over the urinary bladder. The outer serous layer forms ligaments that hold it to the pelvic walls. The isthmus is the constricted region between the body and cervix.that ends at the cervix (junction between the vagina and uterus).

Unless sperm fertilizes the secondary oocyte. the corpus luteum disintegrates into corpus albicans.middle muscular layer has three muscle layers used in labor to deliver a baby. It contains blood vessels and glands to nourish the fertilized ovum. Every month the stratum functionalis is built up in response to estrogen secretion. Without these hormones. the . and estrogen and progesterone secretion cease. The endometrium inner mucosal lining has two layers. the stratum functionalis and stratum basalis.

endometrium breaks down and menstruation (expulsion of endometrial lining from the uterus through the vagina) occurs. After menstruation, progesterone and LH levels decrease. The inhibition of LH causes the anterior pituitary to secrete FSH, which stimulates development of another ovum. The monthly cycle begins again. The vagina is a muscular tube from the uterus to outside the body. In some women, the hymen (thin tissue) partially covers the vaginal orifice. Initial sexual intercourse or other form of penetration ruptures

the hymen. The vagina receives sperm from sexual intercourse, channels menstrual flow out of the body, and is a birth canal for the baby during childbirth. Normally collapsed, it can enlarge to accommodate an erect penis or a birth. The vulva, external genitalia, includes the mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, and clitoris. The mons pubis is a mound of fatty tissue at the junction of the thighs and torso. During puberty, pubic hair covers it. The labia majora are skin folds that form the vulva outer

border. During puberty, pubic hair covers the labia majora, too. The labia minora are inner, smaller skin folds that surround the urethral and vaginal openings. The labia minora merge anteriorly to form the prepuce (foreskin) of the clitoris. This small erectile structure, comparable to the male penis, becomes engorged with blood during sexual excitement and is the female center of sexual sensation. The mammary glands have 15 to 20 lobes of glandular tissue. The lobes contain lactiferous ducts that converge toward the nipple. These

ducts dilate just before they reach the lactiferous sinus, then constrict again before passing out of the nipple through 15 to 20 openings.

The mammary glands are in the breasts. These glands overlie the pectoral muscles and are attached to them via fascia (connective tissue). The glands are connected to the skin by the suspensory

the placenta takes over later. These glands are modified sweat glands that produce and secrete milk during the lactation process to feed the newborn. high blood estrogen and progesterone levels stimulate lactation. During pregnancy. spermatozoa form in . Development of sex cells The formation of sex cells begins before birth. The hormones stimulate the ducts and glands in the breasts. The corpus luteum produces these hormones during early pregnancy. enlarging the breasts.ligaments of the breast.

After birth. At puberty onset. Spermatogonia (stem cells) line these tubules at birth and contain 46 chromosomes (genetic material). Spermatogenesis (sperm cell production) occurs in the seminiferous tubules. These cells .males and oocytes in females. This cell division process produces two daughter cells with the same chromosome number (46) as the parent. spermatogonia continue to divide during mitosis. some spermatozoa grow to become primary spermatocytes.

Oogenesis is the formation of the ovum (female sex cells). Each primary spermatocyte undergoes the first meiotic division to produce two secondary spermatocytes.undergo meiosis. meiosis produces millions of sperm every day. the cell division process that cuts back the number of chromosomes from 46 to 23. which . Each spermatid develops into a mature spermatozoon (sperm cell). In this way. Each secondary spermatocyte undergoes the second meiotic division to produce two spermatids.

begin as hundreds of thousands of oogonia (stem cells) in the fetal ovaries. Human reproductive system . the oogonia grow to become primary oocytes that contain 46 chromosomes. During this first meiotic division. During prenatal development. oocytes enter a resting phase that lasts until the oocyte resumes development during the ovarian cycle (puberty). Each oocyte undergoes meiosis. oocytes are in prophase. at birth.

The sperm then travels through the vagina and cervix into the uterus or fallopian tubes for fertilization of the ovum. During this process. Upon successful fertilization and implantation. gestation of the foetus then occurs within the .Further information: Human reproduction Human reproduction takes place as internal fertilization by sexual intercourse. into the female's vagina. the erect penis of the male is inserted into the female's vagina until the male ejaculates semen. which contains sperm.

this process is known as pregnancy in humans. Gestation ends with birth. Human's babies and children are nearly helpless and require high levels of parental care for many years. the cervix dilating. and the baby passing out the vagina.female's uterus for approximately nine months. Labor consists of the muscles of the uterus contracting. One important type of parental care is the use of the mammary glands in the female [4] breasts to nurse the baby. the process of birth is known as labor. .

Corpus cavernosum penis. Testicles.Humans have a high level of sexual differentiation. 3. 4. In addition to differences in nearly every reproductive organ. numerous differences typically occur in secondary sexual characteristics. 2. [edit] Male reproductive system Main article: Male reproductive system (human) Partially shaved erect male genitalia. Foreskin. 1. Frenulum. 5. . Epididymis. 6.

The primary direct function of the male reproductive system is to provide the male gamete or spermatozoa for fertilization of the ovum. Corpus spongiosum. The human male reproductive system is a series of organs located outside of the body and around the pelvic region of a male that contribute towards the reproductive process. The major reproductive organs of the male can be grouped into three categories. Scrotum. 8.Urethral opening . 10. The first category is . 9. Penis. Glans penis. 7.

The final category are those used for copulation. vas deferens.sperm production and storage. these include the penis. urethra. immature sperm then travel to the epididymis for development and storage. and the vas deferens. Production takes place in the testes which are housed in the temperature regulating scrotum. The second category are the ejaculatory fluid producing glands which include the seminal vesicles. and Cowper's gland. prostate. and deposition of the spermatozoa (sperm) within the male. .

more muscular stature.Major secondary sexual characteristics includes: larger. An important sexual hormone of males is androgen. facial and body hair. and particularly testosterone. deepened voice. and development of an adam's apple.[5] [edit] Female reproductive system Main article: Female reproductive system (human) . broad shoulders.

2.Clitoral hood. 4. Labia majora. 5. Labia minora (enclosing the Vaginal Opening). 1. Pubic bone. Clitoris. Perineum. 3. 6.Photograph of the vulva. The human female reproductive system is a series of organs primarily located inside of the body and around the pelvic region of a female that contribute towards .

The breasts are also an important reproductive organ during the parenting stage of reproduction. during intercourse this area is lubricated by mucus secreted by the . The vagina meets the outside at the vulva. the uterus. which produce the female's ova. The human female reproductive system contains three main parts: the vagina. and the ovaries. which acts as the receptacle for the male's sperm. which holds the developing fetus.the reproductive process. which also includes the labia. clitoris and urethra.

the ovaries release an ovum. The lining of the uterus.Bartholin's glands. The vagina is attached to the uterus through the cervix. typically approximately every 28 days. and unfertilized ova are shed each cycle through a process known as menstruation. while the uterus is attached to the ovaries via the fallopian tubes. At certain intervals. which passes through the fallopian tube into the uterus. Major secondary sexual characteristics include: a smaller stature. a high percentage of body . called the endometrium.

Gametogenesis occurs when certain types of germ cells undergo meiosis to split the normal diploid number of chromosomes in .[5] [edit] Production of gametes Main articles: Spermatogenesis and Oogenesis The production of gametes takes place within the gonads through a process known as gametogenesis. and enlargement of breasts.fat. development of mammary glands. wider hips. Important sexual hormones of females include estrogen and progesterone.

The immature spermatozoon or sperm are then sent to the epididymis where they gain a tail and motility. Each of the original diploid germs cells or primary spermatocytes forms four functional gametes which is each capable of fertilization. In females gametogenesis is known as oogenesis which occurs in the .humans (n=46) into haploids cells containing only 23 chromosomes.[6] In males this process is known as spermatogenesis and takes place only after puberty in the seminiferous tubules of the testes.

It has long been understood that in females. unlike males. and three polar bodies which are not capable of fertilization. This process does not produce mature ovum until puberty. However. and that the final stages of ova production will then not [6] resume until puberty. .ovarian follicles of the ovaries. all of the primary oocytes ever found in a female will be created prior to birth. each of the original diploid germ cells or primary oocytes will form only one mature ovum. In contrast with males.

Development of the reproductive system Main article: Development of the urinary and reproductive organs The development of the reproductive system and urinary systems are closely tied in the development of the human fetus.[7] This new data indicates that in at least some species of mammal oocytes continue to be replenished in [8] females well after birth.recent scientific data has challenged that hypothesis. Despite the differences between .

Both organ systems are derived from the intermediate mesoderm. The three main fetal precursors of the reproductive organs are the Wolffian duct. Endocrine hormones are a well known and critical controlling factor in the normal differentiation of the [9] reproductive system. there are a number of homologous structures shared between them due to their common origins within the fetus. and the gonad. Müllerian ducts. .the adult male and female reproductive system.

and seminal vesicle in the male reproductive system and essentially disappears in the female reproductive system. ductus deferens.The Wolffian duct forms the epididymis. uterus. In both sexes the gonad goes on to form the testes and ovaries. For the Müllerian Duct this process is reversed as it essentially disappears in the male reproductive system and forms the fallopian tubes. ejaculatory duct. vas deferns. and vagina in the female system. because they are derived from the same undeveloped .

There are a number of other homologous structures shared between male and female reproductive systems. Examples of homologous human reproductive organs Male Female Shared organ organ function . despite the similarity in function of the female fallopian tubes and the male epididymis and vas deferens.structure they are considered homologous organs. However. they are not homologous but rather analogous structures as they arise from different fetal structures.

Cowper's Bartholin's Lubrication gland glands secretions Erectile Penis Clitoris tissue and sensation Gamete Testes Ovary production Ejaculatory Prostate Skene's fluid and gland gland sensation Diseases of the human reproductive system Main article: Reproductive system disease .

Like all complex organ systems the human reproductive system is affected by many diseases. and 4) functional problems cause by environmental factors. They are: 1) genetic or congenital abnormalities. 3) infections which are often sexually transmitted diseases. There are four main categories of reproductive diseases in humans. psychological issues. or other causes. 2) cancers. physical damage. The best known type of functional problems include sexual dysfunction and infertility which . autoimmune disorders.

or unknown causes making them difficult to classify. Klinefelter's syndrome. or have multiple. Specific reproductive diseases are often symptoms of other diseases and disorders. Many congenial conditions cause reproductive abnormalities but are better known for their other symptoms.are both broad terms relating to many disorders with many causes. Examples of unclassifiable disorders include Peyronie's disease in males and endometriosis in females. . these include: Turner syndrome.

[12] .Cystic fibrosis. dioxin. Common chemicals with known links to reproductive disorders include: lead.[10] It is also known that disruption of the endocrine system by certain chemical adversely affects the development of the reproductive system and can cause vaginal [11] cancer. and Bloom syndrome. toluene. Many other reproductive diseases have also been link to exposure to synthetic and environmental chemicals. styrene. and pesticides.

XY chromosome pair) to develop .Examples of congenital abnormalities • • • Kallmann syndrome .A genetic disorder causing people who are genetically male (i. Cryptorchidism .Absence of one or both testes from the scrotum.e.Genetic disorder causing decreased functioning of the sex hormoneproducing glands caused by a deficiency of a hormone. Androgen insensitivity syndrome .

A person who has genitalia and/or other sexual traits which are not clearly male or female.Cancer of the prostate gland. Uterine cancer . Intersexuality . Examples of cancers • • • • • . Penile cancer . Ovarian cancer .Cancer of the mammary gland. Breast cancer .Cancer of the uterus.Cancer of the ovary.Cancer of penis.• sexually as a female due to an inability to utilize androgen. Prostate cancer .

• • Testicular cancer .Cancer of the cervix.Sexually transmitted infection caused by some sub-types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Cervical Cancer .Sexually transmitted infection caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 [edit] Examples of infections • • • .Cancer of the testicles. Herpes simplex . HIV . Genital warts .Infection by the retrovirus known as human immunodeficiency virus.

Infection of the vagina by any species of the fungus genus Candida.• • • • Gonorrhea . and/or ovaries with associated scar formation and adhesions to nearby tissues and organs. Syphilis . fallopian tubes. Pelvic inflammatory disease Painful infection of the female uterus.Common sexually transmitted disease caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Neisseria gonorrheae Yeast infection . .Sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum.

The inability of a male to produce or maintain an erection.Sexually transmitted infection by the single-celled protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Trichomoniasis . Examples of functional problems • • . Impotence .Infection of the pubic hair by crab lice.• • Pubic lice . Hypogonadism .A lack of function of the gonads. in regards to either hormones or gamete production. Phthirius pubis.

insufficient.When a fertilized ovum is implanted in any tissue other than the uterine wall. Other vertebrates . or absent lubrication in females during sexual activity Premature ejaculation . Hypoactive sexual desire disorder .• • • • Ectopic pregnancy . Female sexual arousal disorder A condition of decreased.A lack of voluntary control over ejaculation.A low level of sexual desire and interest.

See also: Sexual reproduction Vertebrate animals all share key elements of their reproductive systems. typically the cloaca. Mammals . These gonads are then connected by oviducts to an opening to the outside of the body. but sometime to a unique pore such as a vagina or intromittent organ. They all have gamete producing organs or gonads.

and most have a penis bone or baculum. For instance. most mammalian males have a penis which is stored internally until erect. most groups of mammals have descended testicles found within a . Additionally. males of most species do not remain continually sexually fertile as humans do. Like humans. however.A newborn joey suckles from a teat found within its mother's pouch Most mammal reproductive systems are similar. there are some notable differences between the "normal" mammal and humans.

[14] Marsupials are unique in that the female has two vaginae. Marsupials . males usually have a two-pronged penis which corresponds to the females' two vaginae. such as elephants. and a few groups of mammals. have undescended testicles found deep within their [13] body cavities near their kidneys.scrotum. however. others have descended testicles that rest on the ventral body wall. both of which open externally through one orifice but lead to different compartments within the uterus.

reptiles. amphibians. on the way to its mother's pouch. marsupials have a unique prepenial [15] scrotum. The uterus and vagina are unique to mammals with no homologue in birds.typically develop their offspring in an external pouch containing teats to which their newborn young (joeys) attach themselves for post uterine development. The 15mm (5/8 in) long newborn joey instinctively crawls and wriggles the several inches (15 cm). [16] In place of the uterus the other . while clinging to fur. or fish. Also.

and wastes pass. a group of egg-laying mammals.vertebrate groups have an unmodified oviduct leading directly to a cloaca. Birds Male and female birds have a cloaca. and in that respect have a reproductive system resembling that of a reptile. also lack a uterus and vagina. platypus and echidnas). sperm. and feces. which is a shared exit-hole for gametes. an opening through which eggs. urine.e. Monotremes (i. Intercourse is performed by pressing the lips of the cloacae .

like mammals. are noted for their high level of parental care.[17] As a group. birds. Unlike most vertebrates female birds typically have only one functional ovary and oviduct.g. A few species of birds (e.together. which is sometimes known as the "cloacal kiss". The female lays amniotic eggs in which the young gestate. most waterfowl) have a intromittent organ which is known as a phallus that is analogous to the mammals' penis. Reptiles . during which time the male transfers his sperm to the female.

In turtles and crocodilians. which are usually retracted or inverted and stored inside the body. Most male reptiles have copulatory organs. Some reptiles lay eggs while others are viviparous (animals that deliver live young). and exhibit internal fertilization through the cloaca. .Reptiles are almost all sexually dimorphic. while male snakes and lizards each possess a pair of penis-like organs. the male has a single median penis-like organ. Reproductive organs are found within the cloaca of reptiles.

though some amphibians such as caecilians have internal fertilization. Fish .[18] All have paired. internal gonads. typically within the water.A female frog sitting in a mass of its own spawn Amphibians Most amphibians exhibit external fertilization of eggs. connected by ducts to the cloaca.

females use their cloaca to release a large quantities their gametes. a white fluid containing many sperm over the unfertilized eggs. called spawn. In this process. Other species of fish are oviparous and have internal fertilization aided by pelvic or anal fins that are . Most fish however are oviparous and exhibit external fertilization. into the water and one or more males release "milt".Main article: Fish#Reproductive_method Fish exhibit a wide range of different reproductive strategies.

Fish gonads are typically pairs of either ovaries or testes. Most fish are sexually dimorphic but some species are hermaphroditic or [21] unisexual. [edit] Invertebrates See also: Reproductive system of gastropods . and are collectively known as [20] livebearers.[19] A small portion of fish species are either viviparous or ovoviviparous.modified into an intromittent organ analogous to the human penis.

in which the male places his gametes inside the female's mantle cavity or pallial cavity to fertilize the ova found in . aside from cephalopods. nearly all other invertebrates are hermaphroditic and exhibit external fertilization. the only commonality may be that they all lay eggs.Invertebrates have an extremely diverse array of reproductive systems. Most cephalopods have semiinternal fertilization. and arthropods. Cephalopods All cephalopods are sexually dimorphic and reproduce by laying eggs. Also.

The "penis" in most unshelled male cephalopods (Coleoidea) is a long and muscular end of the gonoduct used to transfer spermatophores to a modified arm called a hectocotylus. Likewise. In the female of most cephalopods the nidamental glands aid in development of the egg.the female's single ovary. That in turn is used to transfer the spermatophores to the female. the "penis" is long and able to extend beyond [22] . In species where the hectocotylus is missing. male cephalopods have only a single teste.

making them the only cephalopods to spawn once per year. can regenerate their gonads. Most cephalopods die after reproducing. and thus only reproduce once.the mantle cavity and transfer the spermatophores directly to the female. The females in many cephalopod species exhibit some level of parental protection for their eggs Sexual Reproduction . Females nautilus however. Many cephalopods shed their gonads during reproduction.

In sexual reproduction new individuals are produced by the fusion of haploid gametes to form a diploid zygote. fertilization is the fusion of two such distinctive cells that produces a unique new combination of alleles. Meiosis produces cells that are genetically distinct from each other. thus increasing variation on which natural selection can operate. Sperm are male gametes. ova (ovum singular) are female gametes. Rotifers will reproduce asexually when conditions are favorable by having females produce eggs by .

Costs of this process include the need for two individuals to mate. Rotifers thus use sexual reproduction as way to survive a deteriorating environment. these eggs hatch into diploid individuals. Once conditions improve.mitosis. rotifers will reproduce sexually and encase their zygotes inside a resistant shell. When conditions deteriorate. courtship . which enhances the chances of the population's survival. Sexual reproduction offers the benefit of generating genetic variation among offspring.

which produce eggs (ova) and female sex hormones. Human Reproduction and Development | Human reproduction employs internal fertilization. the nervous system. and depends on the integrated action of hormones. Gonads are sex organs that produce gametes. . Female gonads are the ovaries.rituals. which produce sperm and male sex hormones. Male gonads are the testes. and the reproductive system. as well as a number of basic mechanisms described later.

and are where sperm are produced by meiosis. About 250 meters (850 feet) of tubules are packed into each testis. . Seminiferous tubules are inside each testis.The Male Reproductive System Testes are suspended outside the abdominal cavity by the scrotum. Spermatocytes inside the tubules divide by meiosis to produce spermatids that in turn develop into mature sperm. a pouch of skin that keeps the testes close or far from the body at an optimal temperature for sperm development.

Life: The Science of Biology. Images from Purves et al..The male reproductive system. 4th .

Spermatogenesis Sperm production begins at puberty at continues throughout life. by Sinauer Associates used with permission. Once sperm form they move into the epididymis.Edition. . where they mature and are stored. with several hundred million sperm being produced each day.

This image is copyright Dennis Kunkel at used with permission.785). Male Sex Hormones The anterior pituitary produces follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Action of LH is controlled by the .Human Sperm (SEM x5.

gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). which has a role in sperm production and developing male secondary sex characteristics. FSH acts on cells to help in sperm maturation. Sexual Structures Sperm pass through the vas deferens and connect to a short ejaculatory duct that connects to the urethra. The urethra passes through the penis and opens to the . LH stimulates cells in the seminiferous tubules to secrete testosterone. Negative feedback by testosterone controls the actions of GnRH.

are located within the lower abdominal cavity. Sperm and secretions make up semen. The prostate gland secretes a milky alkaline fluid.outside. The Female Reproductive System The female gonads. The bulbourethral gland secretes a mucus-like fluid that provides lubrication for intercourse. . ovaries. Secretions from the seminal vesicles add fructose and prostaglandins to sperm as they pass.


A . Each egg begins oogenesis as a primary oocyte.The ovary contains many follicles composed of a developing egg surrounded by an outer layer of follicle cells. At birth each female carries a lifetime supply of developing oocytes. each of which is in Prophase I.

developing egg (secondary oocyte) is released each month from puberty until menopause. Ovarian Cycles After puberty the ovary cycles between a follicular phase (maturing follicles) and a luteal . a total of 400-500 eggs. Oogenesis.

phase (presence of the corpus luteum). During the first phase. The ovarian cycle lasts usually 28 days. when reproductive capability ends. These cyclic phases are interrupted only by pregnancy and continue until menopause. the oocyte is released from the ovary in a process known as ovulation. Following ovulation the follicle forms a corpus luteum which synthesizes and prepares hormones to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. the oocyte matures within a follicle. At midpoint of the cycle. .

The secondary oocyte passes into the oviduct (fallopian tube or uterine tube). External Genitals The female external genitals are collectively known as the vulva. The uterus has an inner layer. At the lower end of the uterus the cervix connects the uterus to the vagina. The vagina receives the penis during intercourse and serves as the birth canal. the endometrium. in which a fertilized egg implants. . The oviduct is connected to the uterus.

important in arousal. is a short shaft with a sensitive tip covered by a fold of skin.The labia minora is a thin membrane of folded skin just outside the vaginal opening. The follicle secretes estrogen before ovulation. Hormones from the hypothalamus . the corpus luteum secretes both estrogen and progesterone after ovulation. The labia majora cover and protect the genital area. Hormones and Female Cycles The ovarian cycle is hormonally regulated in two phases. A clitoris.

by Sinauer . 4th Edition.and anterior pituitary control the ovarian cycle. Image from Purves et al. the menstrual cycle occurs in the uterus. Hormonal controls and the functioning of the female reproductive system.. The ovarian cycle covers events in the ovary. Life: The Science of Biology.

Both FSH and LH stimulate the maturation of a single follicle in one of the ovaries and the secretion of estrogen. Rising levels of estrogen . The first day of the cycle is the first day of blood flow (day 0) known as menstruation.Associates and WH Freeman (used with permission. During menstruation the uterine lining is broken down and shed as menstrual flow. FSH and LH are secreted on day 0. Menstrual cycles vary from between 15 and 31 days. beginning both the menstrual cycle and the ovarian cycle.

If pregnancy does not occur. LH stimulates the remaining follicle cells to form the corpus the blood trigger secretion of LH. which produces both estrogen and progesterone. Click here to view a "movie" of the hormone sequences. Estrogen and progesterone stimulate the development of the endometrium and preparation of the uterine inner lining for implantation of a zygote. or midcycle). the drop in FSH and LH cause the corpus . which stimulates follicle maturation and ovulation (day 14.

The drop in hormones also causes the sloughing off of the inner lining of the uterus by a series of muscle contractions of the uterus. Hormonal changes and the female productive cycles. .luteum to disintegrate.