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THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE CYCLES These are the rhythmic changes in the ovary and uterus during the

female fertility period (from 15 45 years). These cycles occur approximately every 28 days. They include the menstrual and ovarian cycles

OVARIAN CYCLE - It is a regular monthly cycle occurring in the ovary starting at puberty. Stages of the ovarian cycle: I- The Follicular phase: Growth of 1ry follicle to mature follicle by FSH

II. Ovulation = Rupture of the Graffian follicle with liberation of the secondary oocyte out of the ovary (day 14)

Factors causing ovulation

1- The sharp increase in LH from ant. pituitary. 2- Local weakness and degeneration of the ovarian surface. 3- The increased intrafollicular pressure. 4- Muscular contraction of the ovarian wall.

III. The Luteal phase (days 15 to 28):

Fate of corpus luteum

If fertilization does not occur:
corpus luteum of menstruation --------------- corpus albicans

If fertilization occurs:
corpus luteum of pregnancy

Oocyte transport
1- sweeping movements of the fimbriae of the uterine tube.

2. In the uterine tube: the oocyte is pushed towards the uterine lumen by contractions of the muscular wall and the action of the cilia of its mucosa .

(Fertilization takes 24 hours to occur)

In human, the fertilized ovum reaches the uterine lumen 3-4 days after ovulation.

The Menstrual (Uterine) Cycle

- It is the cyclic changes occurring in the endometrium every ~28 days. (menses = months). - Starts at puberty till menopause. It is under the control of ovarian hormones.


The menstrual phase (3-5 days):

- No fertilization -----> spasm in the uterine
arterioles ---- > cracks and fissures in the spongy layer of the endometrium - --- > shedding + haemorrhage. - Menses occurs 14 days after ovulation.

Contents of the menstrual flow:

- Non-clotted blood - Desquamated endometrium, cervical mucus, vaginal cells.

II. The Follicular (Proliferative) phase (9 days)

- Occurs after the menstrual phase. - Under control of estrogen secreted by the Graffian follicle. The endometrium in thickness (up to 3 mm), epithelium columnar, uterine glands -- tortuous & rich of mucin, glycogen.

III. The secretory (progestational) phase (13 days)

- Starts 2-3 days after ovulation. - Under the effect of progesterone of the corpus luteum. - Endometrium --- thick, soft, velvet in nature. - Uterine glands --- more tortuous, full of mucin, glycogen, and water. - The ischemic phase: It is day 14 (day 28 of the whole period) of the secretory phase where estrogen and progesterone levels fall (due to degeneration of the corpus luteum).