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BR23310 - Female Reproductive

Tract
Main Functions
Production of female gametes
Providing physical access to male gametes and a site for fertilization
Supporting pregnancy
Production of steroid hormones involved in co-ordinating reproductive
activity

The Vulva
The external entrance to the reproductive system. The inner area is lined by a
mucous membrane and the outer area by the skin, the seal of which remains
tight. The skin adjacent to the vulva is known as the Perineum, which also
surrounds the anus. It is the outermost area and so is the 1 st line of defence to
the inner part of the tract.

The Vagina
This is the muscular tubing which leads from the vulva to the cervix. It forms a
seal prior to the cervix, due to the loose walls which collapse on the pelvis
causing them to stick together.

The Cerivx
The cervix is the spincter which closes the uterus. It produces a mucus that lines
the vagina

The Uterus
This is where gestation takes place. The lumen is largely collapsed in the non-
preganat female, leaving only a small cavity. There are 3 layers to the wall of the
uterus:

Periemtrium outer layer


Myometrium thick central layer of muscle, with different planes of
muscle allowing for better elasticity for pregnancy
Endometrium the inner mucous membrane which is generally inform
across the surface. There are glands here which produce uterine milk
which helps the embryo survive until it sticks for placenta development.
The shape of the uterus depends on the species.

Fallopian Tubes
The Utero-tubular junction is where the uterus joins the fallopian tubes. It is a
sphincter formed of circular muscle in the wall of the fallopian tubes.
The Fallopian tubes is where fertilization of the ova takes place, more specifically
in the ampulla region which is adjacent to the ovary. The Ampulla ends in the
infundibulum, a funnel like structure opposed to the ovary and has small
projections which guide the ova into the fallopian tube. They are continuous with
the uterine horns.

Ovum
The ovaries are held int h infundibulum. The immature ova (oogonia) are held
in the primordial follicles. After this, sequence of development is as follows.
Stage 1: 1ary oocytes in primary follicles are surrounded by epithelial
granulosa cells. They undergo the first stage of meiosis. Theses follicles can
form primordial follicles from birth. Antral follicles are fluid filled cavities which
develop around the ootid. Meiosis is completed here and the zona pellucida is
developed.
Stage 2: Dependent on Gonadotropin hormone and so only occurs after
puberty. The Antral follicles develop into Graafian follicles which increase in
size and the cells begin to secrete fluid. Epithelial cells then differentiate into
inner granulosa cells and outer theca cells, activated by an increase in LH. The
Theca cells are in two layers, the interna and externa.
The theca is activated by LH and the granulosa cells are activated by FSH. The
latter breaks down progesterone to oestrogens. The bigger the follicle, the more
oestrogen, the more likely the animal to stand.
Ovulation is caused by LH peaks which in turn causes a thinning and rupture of
the follicle wall. Post-ovulation, the pre-ovulatory follicle collapses and the
theca cells fold into the cavity, bleeding and thereby causing a blood clot in the
cavity. It is now known as the Corpeus luteum. The conversion of Progesterone
is now stopped so the CL just secretes it into the blood stream.

Differences in animals
Horse Ruminant Pig Carnivores Rabbits
Gener Decrease in size and becomes less horizontal
al
Vulva Bred for speed,
goes against
reproductive
muscles so
passed down
physiology
problems
(defecate onto
vulva
Cervix Cow- Long cervix Has 2
annular penis is as the
rings filter corkscrew so norm.
sperm the cervix Unkno
through so reflects that wn
only the so it gets why.
best sperm locked in.
fertalize the
egg
Uterus Simplex has Bipartite Predominantl Bicornate,
predominantly y uterine very
uterus body horn due to similar to
increased the sow
litter size (c. although
15) much
more so.
Fallopi In mare,
an unfertalized ova
Tubes wont get passed
the UT junction.
Ovum Decrease in size