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Sex Cells

r Life begins at the joining of two cells

r Egg- female sex cell
r Sperm- male sex cell
r Fertilization- joining of a sperm and an egg
r Reproduction- the process by which living things
produce new individuals of the same type
r Zygote- fertilized egg
r Sex cells contain chromosomes
r Chromosomes- rod shaped structures that carry the
information that controls inherited characteristics
r Every cell in the body contains 46 chromosomes; sex
cells only contain 23
Vhe Male Reproductive System- Vestes
r Vhe male reproductive system
is specialized to produce sperm
and the hormone testosterone
r Vestes- organs of the male
reproductive system in which
sperm are produced
r Vestes are actually clusters of
tiny coiled tubes where sperm
is formed
r Vestosterone- hormone
produced by the testes that
controls the development of
physical characteristics in men,
including facial hair, deep
voice, etc.
r Scrotum- external pouch of
skin which contains the testes
and is slightly cooler than the
Sperm Cells
r Production of sperm cells
begins during the teenage
r Sperm is composed of a head
that contains chromosomes
and a whiplike tail
r Sperm form and are mixed
with fluids produced by
r Semen- mixture of sperm and
r Semen contains 5-10 million
sperm per drop
r Penis- organ through which
sperm leave the body
r Semen leaves the body
through the urethra while
bladder muscles contract
Vhe Female Reproductive System- Ovaries
r Vhe female reproductive system
functions to produce eggs and,
if an egg is fertilized, to nourish
a developing baby until birth
r Ovaries- located slightly below
the waist, one on each side of
the body, they produce egg cells
r Ovaries are endocrine glands
that produce hormones
r Estrogen- a hormone that
triggers the development of
some adult female
characteristics, such as hip
widening and breast
Egg Cells
ß Ovaries are near oviducts-
fallopian tubes
ß Each month, one of the ovaries
releases a mature egg into the
ß Vhe egg travels through the
oviduct to the uterus- a hollow
muscular organ about the size of a
ß Fertilized eggs remain in the
uterus to develop
ß Non-fertilized eggs break down in
the uterus and exit through the
ß Vhe egg then enters the vagina- a
muscular passageway leading to
the outside of the body (birth
ß Babies leave the mother¶s body
through the vagina during birth
Vhe Menstrual Cycle
r Female reproductive
system becomes mature
during the teenage years
r Females are born with all
400 thousand of their eggs,
of which only about 500
will actually mature and
leave the ovaries
r An egg is released about
once a month
r Menstrual Cycle- the
monthly cycle of changes
that occur in the female
reproductive system
Stages of the Cycle
r Menstrual cycle begins when an
egg matures in the ovary.
r Vhe lining of the uterus begins to
r Halfway through a cycle, the egg
is released into an oviduct
r Vhe egg can now be fertilized for
a few days if sperm are present
r Unfertilized eggs begin to break
down with lining of the uterus
r Menstruation- blood and tissue
of the thickened lining pass out
of the body through the vagina
r Menstruation lasts 4-6 days
r A new egg begins to mature in
the ovary during menstruation
Endocrine Control

r Vhe menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones of the

endocrine system
r Hormones can trigger a girl¶s first menstruation
r Girls begin menstruation between 10 and 14
r Women continue to menstruate until about age 50
r At that age (menopause), production of sex
hormones drop and ovaries stop releasing mature
egg cells

r What specialized cells are produced in the male and female reproductive
r Male- sperm cells; female- egg cells
r How does the uterus change during the menstrual cycle?
r Vhe lining of the uterus thickens during the beginning of the cycle. If the
egg is not fertilized after its release, the lining of the uterus breaks down
and menstruation begins.
r How does a sperm¶s structure help it function?
r Vhe head of the sperm cell is a package of chromosomes. Vhe tail helps the
sperm swim toward the egg.
r What is ovulation? How often does it occur?
r Ovulation consists of the release of a mature egg from an ovary. It occurs
about once a month.
r In what ways are the functions of the ovaries and the testes similar? How
are they different?
r Both produce sex cells and hormones. Vestes produce sperm and
testosterone, while ovaries produce eggs and estrogen.