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Human Reproductive System

Presented By:
Mr. Kiran D. Baviskar,
Assist. Professor
Dept. of Pharmaceutics,

Smt. Sharadchandrika Suresh Patil College of Pharmacy, Chopda.

The process of formation of life from pre- existing life is
called reproduction.
The ability to reproduce is one of the distinguishing
characteristics of the living organisms.

Process of reproduction is simple in primitive animals and

becomes complex in advanced animals.

Reproduction helps in continuation of species and makes up

the loss due to death of an organism.
Two basic patterns of reproduction are observed among
animals. They are:-
1) Asexual and
2) Sexual
•An individual can give rise to daughter individuals by mitotic
division of a part of its own body.
•There is absence of fusion of gametes.
•The offsprings are genetically similar to parents and they do
not show variations.
•It is a very quick method of multiplication.
•It is commonly seen in organisms like protists, sponges,
coelenterates and certain flatworms.
•Production of offspring is carried out by a single parent
without fusion of gametes.
•So it is also known as agamogenesis or agamogeny.
•It involves only mitotic division.
•It is also called somatogenic reproduction.
•Offspring is identical to parent genetically.
So it is also referred as clone.
Variation may rarely be seen due to mutation.

Gemmule formation-
In fresh water sponges, formation of gemmules takes place by
aggregation of archeocytes.
A layer of amoebocytes secrete hard, chitinous membrane
around these archeocytes.
Gemmule formation is the formation of internal bud to
overcome unfavourable conditions.
On return of favourable conditions gemmules hatch and
develop into new individuals eg. Spongilla, Ephydatia.
A few multi-cellular animals like coelenterates and ascidians
produce small buds which grow gradually.

In Hydra, the bud grows into a small hydra, which detaches

from the parent and becomes an independent new organism.
Planarians show regeneration.
The anterior part exerts a pull over the posterior part which
holds on.
Due to the pull, the middle part constricts and finally breaks.
The anterior part regenerates the posterior part and the
posterior part regenerates the anterior part.
Thus, two complete worms are formed from each parent
It involves formation of gametes and fertilization.
In human beings, sexes are separate.
The primary sexual organs are the gonads.

Male gonad is known as testis which produces male sex cells

or the male gametes called sperms or spermatozoa.

Female gonad is known as ovary which produces female sex

cells or female gametes called eggs or ova.

Secondary sexual characters and secondary sex organs are

different in males and females.
Secondary sexual characters like mammary glands are well
developed in females and rudimentary in males.

Males develop beard and moustache.

The voice in females is pitched higher than that in males.

Secondary sex organs include reproductive ducts for

transporting gametes and accessory glands that help in
reproductive processes.

Gonads undergo the process of gametogenesis and also

produce sex hormones.
The growth and functioning of gonads are regulated by
specific hormones-
follicle stimulating hormone and
luteinizing hormone.
Human reproduction takes place by sexual method and
exhibits viviparity.
Events in sequence are:-
1) Formation of gametes (Gametogenesis).
2) Changes in the female body for supporting entry of
sperms during copulation
3) Fusion of gametes. (Fertilization)
4) Development of zygote. (Embryology)
5) Production of milk for nourishing young one.
6) Hormonal co-ordination by pituitary gland and
Male reproductive system consists of two parts for production
of gametes and copulation.
The male gonads are testes situated in scrotum, a pouch of
pigmented skin arising from lower abdominal wall.

Its wall consists of smooth muscles called dartos tunic


It is divided into two compartments right and left by muscle

Each compartment encloses
•a testis,
•epididymis and
•a testicular end of a spermatic cord.
It lies below the pubic symphysis in front of upper part of
thigh and behind the penis.

Scrotum protects testes and acts as thermo-regulator i.e.

regulates temperature for proper functioning of testis.

Testes are soft, smooth, pinkish oval organs about 4.5 cm long,
2.5 cm wide and 3 cm thick.

Testes are mesodermal in origin and located outside the

abdomen in scrotum i.e. extra abdominal in position.

They are suspended in the scrotal sac by the spermatic cord.

Each testis is connected to the wall of scrotum by short

fibromuscular band called gubernaculum.
During early foetal life, the testes develop in the lumbar region
of the abdominal cavity just below the kidney.

During seventh month of development, they descend

permanently into the respective scrotal sacs through a passage
called inguinal canal.

Along with testes, peritoneum, blood vessels, lymph vessels,

nerves and vasa deferentia also descend down in scrotal sacs.

Hence peritoneum covering testes i.e. tunica vaginalis is an

indication of abdominal origin of testis.

The peritoneum eventually surrounds the testes in the scrotum,

becoming detached from abdominal peritoneum
Failure of testis to descend from abdomen into scrotum leads
to sterility called cryptorchidism.

In each testis, there are 200 to 300 lobules.

In each lobule there are 1 to 4 convoluted loops called

seminiferous tubules.

These tubules converge towards posterior surface and form a

network of irregular tubules called rete testis.

Testes descend into the scrotum along with peritoneum, blood

vessels and vas deferens.
Histology of Testis
Testis is externally covered by fibrous connective tissue called
tunica albuginea.

It is covered internally by tunica vascularis formed by

capillaries and externally by an incomplete peritoneal covering
called tunica vaginalis.

Seminiferous tubules are lined by cuboidal germinal

epithelial cells.
The germ cells undergo the process of spermatogenesis.

Transverse section of testis shows different stages of

spermatogenesis like spermatogonia, primary and secondary
spermatocytes, spermatids and sperms.
Few large pyramidal cells present interrupted between
germinal epithelium are Sertoli cells.

Sperm bundles get attached to Sertoli cells with their heads.

Sertoli cells provide nourishment to the sperms till maturation.

Between seminiferous tubules are present a few groups of

cells called interstitial cells or cells of Leydig.

These cells secrete the hormone testosterone after puberty

Vasa efferentia:
From the rete testis, 15 to 20 fine convoluted ductules, vasa
efferentia, pierce the tunica albuginea to enter the caput or
head of the epididymis.

These are a pair of “C” shaped structures lying along the
posterior border of each testis.

Each shows presence of highly coiled duct, about 6 meters

long, which is differentiated in three regions:-
1) Upper wider head or caput epididymis that receives vasa
2) Middle narrower body or corpus epididymis.
3)Lower duct is also wider called tail or cauda epididymis.
In the head of epididymis, the sperms undergo physiological
maturation, acquiring increased motility and fertilizing

In the tail, sperms are stored for short period and then
enter the vas deferens.

Spermatozoa are produced irrespective of whether ejaculation

takes place or not.

The spermatozoa not ejaculated are reabsorbed in the vas

Vasa deferentia:
These are a pair of tubular structures arising from cauda

Each vas deferens is about 40 cm long and entering into

abdominal cavity through the inguinal canal.

It ascends in the form of spermatic cord, medially towards the

posterior wall of the urinary bladder.

Here it is joined by the duct from seminal vesicle to form

ejaculatory duct.
Ejaculatory duct:
These are a pair of ducts each about 2 cm long.

It is formed by joining of vas deferens and a duct of seminal


Both ejaculatory ducts open into urethra in the region of

prostate gland.

They carry seminal fluid and spermatozoa to the urethra.

The male urethra provides a common pathway for the flow
of urine and secretion of male reproductive organs called
The urethra includes three parts:-
1) The first part is surrounded by prostrate gland and is called
the prostatic urethra which carries urine only.
2)The second part is the membranous urethra, which
is situated between the end of prostate gland and root of
penis. It carries both urine and semen.
3) The third part is penile urethra which is situated in the
It carries both urine and semen. The urethra has two
sphincters-internal sphincter of smooth muscle fibres at its
beginning, and external sphincter of striated muscles.
It is cylindrical, erectile and pendulous organ suspended in
pubic region in front of scrotum.
Urethra passes throughout the length of penis.
It contains three columns of erectile tissues.
Ordinarily, it remains small and limp but on sexual arousal, it
becomes long, hard and erect. Erectile tissue has abundant
blood sinuses. Blood flows in the sinuses and makes penis

The penis contains two postero-lateral tissues called corpora

cavernosa and a median corpus spongiosum.
Urethra passes through corpus spongiosum.
Hence, it is also called spongial urethra.
Near the tip of the penis, the corpus spongiosum is enlarged to
form a soft and highly sensitive glans penis.
It is covered by a loose retractable fold of skin called prepuce
or foreskin.
Penis functions as a copulatory organ
Seminal vesicles-
The seminal vesicles are two small fibro-muscular pouches
present on the posterior side of the urinary bladder.
Seminal duct joins with vas deferens and forms ejaculatory
Seminal vesicles secrete a viscous fluid fructose, fibrinogen
and prostaglandins.
It contributes about 60% of the total volume of the semen.
Fructose provides energy to sperms for swimming.
The prostaglandins stimulate contractions in the female
reproductive tract to help the process fertilization.
The fibrinogen helps in coagulation of ter ejaculation.
Prostate gland-
It consists of 20 to 30 separate lobes which open separately
into the urethra.
The prostatic fluid is a whitish liquid forming about 30% of
total volume of semen.
The prostatic secretion neutralizes the acidity of vaginal
At pH 6.0 to 6.5, sperms become motile and facilitate the
process of fertilization.
Cowper’s glands –
These are also known as bulbo-urethral glands.
They are pea-sized and situated on either sides of membranous
These glands secrete an alkaline viscous fluid, which
neutralizes acids that may be present in the penile urethra due
to previous urination and also lubricates the vagina of female
genital tract.
Fructose is present in seminal fluid and is not produced
elsewhere in the body.
Hence it provides a proof for forensic test in case of rape. Its
presence in the female genital tract confirms sexual
Artificial insemination- It is a technique to make a female
pregnant by artificially introducing semen into the vagina.
It is ejaculated during sexual intercourse, known as coitus.
It is a whitish fluid which contains spermatozoa and a mixture
of secretions from seminal vesicles, prostate gland and
Cowper’s gland.
A single ejaculation releases 3 to 4 ml of semen which
contains about 300 million sperms.
However, only one sperm fertilizes the ovum.
The release of a large number of sperm ensures the process of
The female reproductive organs or genitalia are divided into
external and internal organs.
External genitaiia: These include:-
 Labia majora
 Labia minora
 Mons pubis
 Clitoris
 Vestibule
 Hymen
 Greater vestibular glands
 Breasts, (1 to 4 genitalia are collectively called vulva).
Labia majora:
These are two large folds which form the boundary of the
They are homologous to scrotum of males.
They are composed of skin, fibrous tissue and fat.
These are prominent and longitudinal folds on right and left
sides of the vestibule.

Labia minora:
These are smaller and thinner lip like folds located just
medially to the labia majora.
Posteriorly the labia minora are fused together to form the
Mons pubis:
It is fleshy elevation above the labia majora.
It is a small erectile organ lying at the anterior end of the labia
It is homologous to the penis of males. It shows presence of
erectile tissues.
It is a median vertical depression of vulva enclosing vagina
and urethral opening.
It is a thin layer of mucous membrane which partially occludes
the opening of the vagina.
Vestibular glands:
These are a pair of vestibular gland or Bartholin’s glands
which occur on each sides of the vaginal opening.
These glands are homologous to the Cowper’s glands of the
They secrete a lubricating fluid.
Breasts: These are a pair of rounded structures found in
pectoral region on ventral thoracic wall.
It has an erectile nipple in the middle.
These are a pair of modified sweat glands. Each breast
contains fatty connective tissue and numerous lactiferous
It has 15- 20 openings of lactiferous ducts which carry milk
from mammary glands to nipples.
Lactiferous ducts dilate and form lactiferous sinuses just
beneath the nipple to store the milk.
The base of the nipple shows dark brown rounded area called
Release of milk from breast is under the control of prolactin
and oxytocin of pituitary gland.
The female reproductive system consists of-
 Ovaries
 Fallopian tubes
 Uterus
 Vagina
A pair of ovaries are the primary sex organs of the female
reproductive system.
They are almond- shaped bodies each measuring about 3 cm
long, 1.5 cm wide and I cm thick.
The ovaries lie in the lower part of the abdomen.
Each ovary is suspended from the dorsal body wall (to broad
ligament) by a fold of peritoneum.- the mesovarium.
Ovary is connected to uterus by an ovarian ligament and is
connected to lateral body wall by a suspensory ligament.
Ovaries produce ova and also female sex hormones- oestrogen
and progesterone.
These two hormones control menstrual cycle and secondary
sexual character.
Structure of Ovary :
Each ovary is a compact structure consisting of inner medulla
and outer cortex.
The medulla contains connective tissue called stroma.
The cortex is lined by germinal epithelium.
Oogonia arise from endoderm of the yolk sac and migrate to
ovaries during embryonic development.
The process of oogenesis begins even before the birth of
female baby.
The ovaries contain 2 millions or more oogonia which become
primary oocytes about six months before a human female is
At the time of birth, about 1 million primordial follicles are
present in each ovary and only about 40,000 remain by the
time of puberty, rest being degenerated.
Out of these, during every menstrual cycle only one Graafian
follicle reaches to maturity and then ovulation takes place.
The remaining follicles degenerate (atrefied).
Menarch (onset of the menstrual cycle) is at the age of about
thirteen years and menopause (end of menstrual cycle) is at the
age of about forty five years.
So the reproductive span is approximately thirty two years.
There are about 13 menstrual cycles per years.
So 32 X 13= 416 eggs may be released.
Histology of ovary -
Tunica albuginea is a whitish capsule of dense irregular
connective tissue located immediately inside the germinal
Ovary shows cyclic changes during menstrual cycle.
Cortical region shows different stages of development of
ovarian follicles or Graafian follicles.
Each follicle contains a large ovum surrounded by many
layers of follicle cells.
The follicle cells of a maturing follicle secrete oestrogen.
Different stages of developing ovarian follicles are seen in the
cortex and consists of oocytes in various stages of
In the beginning, a single layer of follicular cells surround
each oocyte and the entire structure is called a primordial
Although the stimulating mechanism is unclear, a few
primordial follicles periodically start to grow even during
They become primary follicles which are surrounded first by
one layer of follicular cells and then by 6 - 7 layers of
granulosa cells.
As the follicle grows, it forms a clean glycoprotein layer,
called the zone pellucid between primary oocyte and
granulose cells.
The innermost layer of granulose cells become firmly attached
to zone pellucid to form corona radiata. (corona-crown;
The outermost granulose cells rest on a basement membrane.
Encircling the basement membrane is a region called theca
Many capillaries are present in the theca folliculi.

A granulosa cell or follicular cell is a somatic cell of the sex

cord that is closely associated with the developing female
gamete (called an oocyte or egg) in the ovary of mammals.
As a primary follicle continues to grow, the theca folliculi
differentiates into-
(i) Theca interna-
A highly vascularized internal layer of secretory cells.
(ii)Theca externa-
an outer layer of connective tissue cells.

The granulosa cells begin to secrete follicular fluid, which

fills up a cavity called antrum in the center of follicle.
Now, it is called secondary follicle.
Under the influence of gonadotropins (follicle stimulating
hormone and luteinizing hormone), Meiosis I resumes in
secondary follicles.
Only one matures and ovulation takes place.
The diploid primary oocyte completes Meiosis I and forms
secondary oocyte.
secondary oocyte proceeds with Meiosis II and is arrested at
The follicle with Secondary oocyte arrested at Metaphase II is
called mature (Graafian) follicle.
It takes 90 days or longer for a primary follicle to develop in
to secondary follicle.
One ovum from mature follicle is released from one ovary in
every menstrual cycle (alternately in right and left ovary ).

It may also show presence of mass of yellow cells called

corpus luteum, formed in the antrum or follicular cavity of an
empty Graafian follicle after the release of its ovum
If the ovum is fertilized corpus luteum secretes progesterone
to maintain pregnancy and relaxin towards the end of
The ovarian cortex may also show white body or corpus
albicans representing a degenerating corpus luteum in case if
the ovum is not fertilized.

Fallopian tubes (oviducts):

These are a pair of tubes lying horizontally over peritoneal
cavity close to the ovary.
Each fallopian tube is about 10 to 12 cm long, narrow,
muscular structure lined by ciliated epithelium.
It conducts egg or ovum discharged from the ovary to the
It is supported by a double fold of peritoneum called
The free proximal end is dilated into a funnel like
infundibulum which bears a number of finger-like processes
called fimbriae at its free border.
It shows the presence of an opening called ostium.
This funnel is quite close to the ovary of its side so that the
ova discharged from ovary are received.

Ampulla is the site of fertilization.

Cornua/ isthmus is very short, narrow part opening in the

It is also known as womb. It is a pear- shaped, highly
muscular, thick walled, hollow organ. It is about 8 cm long. 5
cm wide, and 2 cm thick.
It is present in the pelvic cavity between the rectum from
behind and urinary bladder in front.
It is attached to the body wall by double fold of peritoneum
called mesometrium or broad ligament.

It is differentiated into:
(i)A dome shaped part above the opening of uterine tubes is
called fundus.
(ii)Broad upper part called body or corpus
(iii)Narrow cylindrical part called cervix.
Body of uterus receives the oviduct at its right and left upper
The cervix projects and opens into vagina.
The cervix communicates above with the body of the uterus by
an aperture, the internal os and with vagina below by an
opening, external os.
The highly distensible uterine wall consists of an outer serous
layer derived from peritoneum called perimetrium.
The middle thick muscular layer of smooth muscles is called
The inner highly vascular mucosa is called endometrium.
It shows many uterine glands. It undergoes cyclic changes in
thickness during menstrual cycle.
Uterus receives the ovum from Fallopian tube. It forms
placenta for the development of the foetus.
It expels the young one at birth.
This is highly collapsible and highly distensible fibro-
muscular tube in which cervix opens.
It measures about 7.5 cm to 10 cm in length. It opens into the
vestibule of vulva.
Inner lining cells of vagina store glycogen.
Vaginal bacteria mainly Lactobacilli ferment the glycogen and
this makes the mucous acidic.
Highly acidic medium in vagina prevents infection by fungus.
In girls the opening of vagina into the vestibule of vulva is
partially covered over by a fold of mucous membrane called
Vagina is a copulatory passage as it receives erected penis
during intercourse. It allows passage of menstrual flow.
It serves as the birth canal during parturition.

Puberty in females:
Puberty is the age at which the internal reproductive organs
reach maturity.
This is called the menarche which marks the beginning of the
child bearing period.
The ovaries are stimulated by the gonadotropins from the
anterior pituitary- the follicle stimulating hormone and
luteinizing hormone.
The age of puberty varies between 10 to 14 years.
Menopause or climactic period is the ceasing of menstrual
cycle i.e. end of childbearing period.
It usually occurs between the age of 45 to 50 yrs.
During menopause the ovaries gradually become less
responsive to the FSH and LH.
The menstrual cycle becomes irregular and then stops.
It also shows secondary effects of menopause like
osteoporosis, increase in blood cholesterol and hot flushing,
sweating and palpitation.
The menstrual cycle is characteristic of primates (monkeys,
apes and humans).
It starts at the time of puberty and the period is called
Menstrual cycle in humans lasts for 28days.
The days are numbered from the first day of blood flow in
the menstrual period.
A series of events occur regularly in females after every 26 to
30 days throughout the childbearing period of about 32 yrs.
The menstrual cycle consists of a series of changes that take
place simultaneously in the ovaries and uterine wall
(endometrium) stimulated by different concentrations of
gonadotropins like FSH and LH.
Follicle stimulating hormone promotes the maturation of
ovarian follicles and secretion of oestrogen leading to
ovulation while luteinizing hormone stimulates the
development of corpus luteum and secretion of progesterone

Menstrual cycle includes four phases:

I)Menstrual phase –
It is also called Bleeding phase. This phase extends from 1st
to 4th day of menstrual cycle.
When the ovum is not fertilized ,the high level progesterone
inhibits secretion of luteinizing hormone and LH level
This results in decrease in the level of progesterone from
corpus luteum.
After 14 days of ovulation, if ovum is not fertilized, the
lining of the uterus degenerates and the menstruation begins.
This phase lasts for about four days .
The day when bleeding starts is considered as the first day of
menstrual cycle.
Menstrual flow consists of the secretion from
endometrial glands,
cell debris,
blood and
unfertilized ovum.
During menstrual flow about 35 to 45 ml of blood is lost.
It is also described as “weeping of uterus for lost ovum” or
“funeral of unfertilized egg.”
When the amount of progesterone further decreases and
stimulates anterior pituitary to secrete FSH and proliferative
phase begins the basal part of endometrium remains intact
and thickness is only about 1 mm.

II)Proliferative phase / follicular phase: This phase extends

from 5th to 13th day of menstrual cycle
Changes in ovary:
During this phase ,the primordial follicle of the ovary develops
into Graafian follicle.
Many primordial follicles are already present in the ovary
The ovum becomes eccentric and it is connected by few
follicular cells called germ hill or cumulus oophorus or
discus proligerous.
The granulosa cells lining the antrum form membrane
granulosa and follicular cells surrounding the ovum are called
corona radiata.
The ovum increases in size.
Thick membrane is formed surrounding the outer surface of
This is called zona pellucida.
From stroma of ovary, follicle is covered with two layers
called theca interna and theca externa.
Theca interna is vascular layer with loose connective tissue.
Theca interna is vascular layer with loose connective tissue.
These cells become endocrine and secrete female sex
hormone called oestrogen.
Theca externa is outer layer of follicle and consists of fibrous
connective tissue.
This follicle is called mature or Graafian follicle.
Only one follicle out of many developing follicles grow into
Graafian follicle.

Changes in uterus:
Oestrogen secreted by follicular cells of ovary stimulate
endometrial glands.
This causes repair of endometrium .
]The endometrial cells proliferate and thickness of
endometrium grows to about 3mm to 5mm.
Ill) Ovulatory Phase
Ovulation is the process in which there is rupture of Graafian
follicle with discharge of ovum into abdominal cavity.
It is Changes in ovary under the influence of luteinizing
A sudden rise in level of LH stimulates ovulation which occurs
usually on 14th day of menstrual cycle.
The rupture of Graafian follicle results in oozing out of
follicular fluid.
The ovum along with radially arranged cells (corona radiata)
is released into the abdominal cavity.
The ovum enters the Fallopian tube through ostium assisted by
The Ovum is released on 14th day , but till 9 to 16 days are
considered as fertilization period, Why?

A woman's cervical fluid provides the sperm with the nutrients

they need to survive during their journey to the ovum.
The typical lifespan of sperm in a woman's body while fertile
cervical fluid is present is three days, but in the right
conditions sperm can even live up to five days.
The ovum is haploid since meiosis II is arrested at metaphase.
The ovum must be fertilized within 24 to 48 hours after
Only during this time it is viable for fertilization.
If fertilization takes place the fertilized egg passes through
fallopian tube and reaches the uterus on third day after
The implantation of embryo in the uterine wall occurs on 6th or
7th day.
If fertilization does not occur, the ovum degenerates.
IV) Luteal phase/ Secretory phase- This phase extends
from 15th to 28th day of the menstrual cycle.

Change in ovary-
After ovulation, the ruptured follicle develops into a yellow
body called corpus luteum.
After the discharge of ovum, the remaining cells of Graafian
follicle together form corpus luteum.
It acts as temporary endocrine gland which secretes
Progesterone secretion is under the influence of luteinizing
Progesterone helps in maintaining the thickness of
endometrium. So it is also called pregnancy hormone.
Corpus luteum is active till the placenta takes up the function
of secretion of hormone human chorionic gonadotropin
HCG is similar to LH.
(Abortion occurs if corpus luteum becomes inactive before the
formation of placenta about three months of pregnancy}.

Fate of corpus luteum:

1)If the ovum is not fertilized the corpus luteum degenerates
and transforms into a whitish scar called corpus albicans.
2)The residual follicles are thrown into folds.
Some bleeding from theca interna occurs.
It concentrates and forms clot in the centre called corpus
If the ovum is fertilized pregnancy occurs and the corpus
luteum increases in size.
It attains a diameter of 20 to 30 mm and persists for 3 to 4
During this time it secretes progesterone and maintains
thickness of endometrium.
After three to four months, placenta starts secreting this
hormone and corpus luteum degenerates.. No shedding of
endometrium or menstruation takes place during this time.
So the missing of menstrual period is the first indication of
Changes in Uterus:
Corpus luteum formed in ovary secretes progesterone.
It causes further growth of endometrial glands.
Uterine glands secrete fluid which is rich in glycogen for
nourishing the dividing embryo.
It is also called uterine milk.
Thus, further increase in thickness of endometrium takes place
(5 mm to 6 mm).
If fertilization occurs, embryo is implanted in thickened
Pregnancy test- During pregnancy, presence of HCG is
detected in the urine.
This forms one of the test for pregnancy.
The gametogenesis is the process of formation of gametes in
sexually reproducing animals.
These animals show presence of somatic cells and germinal
Somatic cells form organs of the body and multiply
The germinal cells form the gamete cells by mitosis and
The process of formation of male gamete i.e, spermatozoa is
called spermatogenesis and the process of formation of female
gamete i.e, ovum is called oogenesis.
The term embryo is used in human beings for about 6-8 weeks
after fertilization.
During later development, embryo takes the characteristics of
human form and is termed as foetus till birth.

The process of spermatogenesis takes place in male gonads
called Testes.
Each testis has seminiferous tubules which are lined by
cuboidal epithelium called germinal epithelium.
The cells of germinal epithelium undergo spermatogenesis to
produce sperms.
In between germinal cells are present Sertoil cells or Nurse
Sertoil cells provide nourishment to the sperms.
Germinal cells in testes are known as primary germinal cells
or primordial germ cells.
Primordial cell passes through three phases namely,
 Multiplication phase
 growth phase
 maturation phase.

i)Multiplication Phase: primordial cells undergo repeated

mitotic divisions to produce large number of spermatogonia.
Each spermatogonium is diploid (2n).
iii) The maturation phase:
The primary spermatocyte undergoes first meiotic or
maturation division.
The homologous chromosomes start pairing.
Each homologous chromosome splits longitudinally.
Chiasma formation results in exchange of genetic material.
At the end of I meiotic division, two haploid, secondary
spermatocytes are formed.
Each secondary spermatocyte undergoes II meiotic division
and produces spermatids.
So at the end of maturation phase each spermatogonium
produces four haploid spermatids.
Spermatid is non motile so it has to undergo spermiogenesis to
become functional, motile male gamete i.e., spermatozoan.
Many changes occur in spermatid like, sperm increases in
length, centrioles are distinguished into proximal and distal
centrioles, distal centriole gives rise to axial filament,
mitochondria become spirally coiled, Golgi complex forms


(Sperm= seed; zoon= animal)
It is microscopic, elongated haploid motile male gamete or
paternal gamete measuring about 0.055 mm (60 u) in length.
Sperm remains viable for seventy-two hours, but can
fertilize the ovum in first 12 to 14 hours only.
It is flat and oval region consisting of a large nucleus and an
Acrosome secretes hydrolytic enzymes like hyaluronidase
which helps in penetration of the egg during fertilization.
The acrosome and anterior half of nucleus is covered by a
fibrillar sheath.

It is very short region having two centrioles.
The proximal centriole plays a role in first cleavage of
The distal centriole gives rise to the axial filament of the
Middle piece:
It serves as power house for sperm.
It has many mitochondria spirally coiled (Nebenkern) around
the axial filament.
The mitochondria provide energy for the movement of the
sperm in the female genital tract.
Posterior half of nucleus, neck , middle piece of sperm are
covered by a sheath.

Tail: The tail is long, slender and tapering structure formed of

A fine thread, the axial filament arises from the distal centriole
and traverses the middle piece and tail.
The process of oogenesis occurs in female gonad called ovary.
Oogenesis is also completed in three phases:

i) Multiplication phase:
Germinal cells undergo mitosis to form large number of
Oogonia in human beings are formed in ovary of female baby
even before her birth.

ii) Phase of Growth:

Just before puberty, under the influence of follicle stimulating
harmone, one of the oogonium grows in size.
Growth in size of oogonium is larger than that seen in
This grown up cell is called Primary Oocyte.
iii) Maturation Phase:
Primary oocyte undergoes maturation or meiotic division.
Meiotic I division of primary oocyte shows equal nuclear
division but unequal cytoplasmic division.
So at the end of meiosis I division, large sized haploid
secondary oocyte and haploid small sized polar body are
Unequal division is meant for sufficient supply of food for
developing embryo.
Secondary oocyte and polar bodies undergo II meiotic
II meiotic division is arrested at metaphase stage and
secondary oocyte is released from ovary.
Remaining part of division is completed at the time of
This division is also unequal by which and functional female
gemete ovum is formed.
This ovum is ready for fertilization.
The ovum discharged by the ovary during ovulation is actually
a secondary oocyte.
The ovum is a rounded, haploid, non-motile female gamete.
It is the largest cell of the body.
It measures about 0.1 mm or 100 u in diameters.
It is almost free of yolk and is said to be microlecithal.
It has abundant cytoplasm called ooplasm having a large
eccentric nucleus termed as germinal vesicle with a prominent
nucleus at the center and surrounded by plasma membrane
now called vitelline membrane.
There is no centriole in the ovum.
Ooplasm (also: oöplasm) is the yolk of the ovum, a cell substance at its center, which
contains its nucleus, named the germinal vesicle, and the nucleolus, called the germinal
spot. ... Mammalian ova contain only a tiny amount of the nutritive yolk, for nourishing
the embryo in the early stages of its development only.
Ovum shows polarity having two poles.
Its side which shows presence of polar body and nucleus is
called animal pole while the opposite side is termed vegetal
The ovum is enclosed by two additional coats-inner thin,
transparent and non-cellular zona pellucida and outer, thick
cellular corona radiata.
The process of fusion of fusion of haploid male gamete
(spermatozoa) and haploid female gamete (ovum) takes place
so as to form diploid zygote.
Sperm reach to ovum
Secretion of oviducal epithelium in genital tract makes
sperm capable to fertilize
Activation of sperms by secretion of internal lining of
fallopian tube.
Secondary oocyte from ovary enters in fallopian tube.
It get fertilized within 6 hours of fertilization.
Oocyte secrets glycoprotein called as fertilizin.
Surface of sperm produces anti-fertilizin.

Adhesion of sperm to surface of oocyte is due to fertilizin

anti-fertilizin reaction.

If copulation occurs at appropriate time then egg is surrounded

by many sperms.

Hyluronidase enzyme of acrosome hydrolyses the hyaluronic

acid of follicular cells.

Zona lysin or acrosin digest zona pellucida.

Now sperm reaches plasma membrane of oocyte.

When sperm reaches the vitelline membrane it undergo
physiochemical changes and gets converted to fertilization

It prevents the entry of other sperm to avoid polyspermy.

Amphimixis (Karyogamy):
The entry of sperm stimulate secondary oocyte to complete
meiosis II.
This is the end of oogenesis and second polar body is released.
Now nucleus of secondary oocyte becomes female pronucleus.
At this time head of sperm gets detached from middle piece of
Now sperm is called male pronucleus.
Mixing of male and female chromosomes of pronucleus takes
Mixing of chromosomes of male and female pronucleus takes
It is called amphimixis or karyogamy.
Genetic information of two parents is mixed.
The ovum is now diploid and termed as zygote (zygon=
yolked together).
Zygote or synkaryon is the first cell of new life.
The mother is now said to be conceived.
1) After completion of meiosis II secondary oocyte
concludes the process of oogenesis.
2) Fertilization restores diploid number of chromosomes in
the zygote.
3) It combines the characters of !wo parents. This leads to
variation and has significance in evolution.
4) It determines the sex of young one.
5) Fertilization introduces centrioles .which are missing in
the ovum.
Cleavage is a process of rapid mitotic division of zygote to
form a hollow spherical multi-cellular developmental stage
called blastula.
Immediately after fertilization, the zygote undergoes repeated
Cleavage converts zygote into a mass of cells called morula.
Cleavage occurs during its passage through the fallopian tube
to the uterus.
In human beings, cleavage is holoblastic and equal.
Cleavage divisions are rapid with short interphase.
There is no time for cells to grow in size.
Thus, cells become progressively smaller.
The resulting daughter cells are called blastomeres.
Cleavage shows faster synthesis of DNA.
Zona pellucida remains intact during cleavage.
So the size of morula is equal to fertilized ovum.
First cleavage is vertical and it takes place along the animal
pole - vegetal pole.
Thus, zygote is divided into two blastomeres.
It takes place about thirty hours after fertilization.
Second cleavage is also vertical but at right angles to the first
It divides both blastomeres resulting in four-celled stage.
It takes place within sixty hours after fertilization.
Third cleavage is a horizontal /latitudinal division and at right
angles to the first two cleavages.
It divides all four blastomeres horizontally forming an eight-
celled stage.
It takes place about seventy-two hours after fertilization.
Successive divisions produce a solid ball of cells called
morula (little mulberry).
Morula consists of 16 cells.
Its cells are of two types.
There is an outer layer of smaller clearer ceils and an inner
mass of larger cells.
Cleavage is indeterminate as each blastomere formed retains
the capacity to develop into complete embryo.
Thus it makes identical twins possible.
Morula reaches the uterus about 4-6 days after fertilization.
The function of zona pellucida is to prevent the implantation
of the blastocyst at an abnormal site.
It does not expose the sticky and phagocytic trophoblast cells
till it reaches implantation site.
The outer layer of cells of the morula now absorb the nutritive
fluid secreted by uterine endometrial membrane and is called
trophoblast or trophoectoderm (tropho= food; blasta= layer).
As more and more fluid is absorbed by trophoblast cells, these
cells become flat to form the cavity called blastocyst cavity or
blastocoel or segmentation cavity.
So, trophoblast cells are separated from inner mass cells
except at one side.
The trophoblast cells in contact with embryonal knob are
known as cells of Rauber.
As the quantity of fluid increases, the morula enlarges rapidly
and assumes the shape of a cyst.
It is now called the blastocyst.
The side of the blastocyst to which embryonal knob is attached
is known as the embryonic or animal pole and the opposite
side as abembryonic pole.
The trophoblast does not participate in the formation of
embryo proper.
It produces extra embryonic membranes.
Now, zona pellucida becomes thinner and disappears.
This allows the blastula to increase in size (0.15 mm to 0.30
mm) and volume.
The blastocyst stage is reached about five days after
Blastocyst depends on mother for nutrition.
After the formation of blastocyst by 6lh to 7Lh day of
fertilization, the embryo gets attached deep inside the wall of
uterus. This process is called implantation.
Significance of implantation:
A) It helps in deriving nourishment from the
mother’s body,
B) It protects embryo.
• The trophoblast cell of animal pole have the power to
stick to the uterine wall. The portion of the blastocysts where
the embryonal knob is located lies against the endometrium.
This contact stimulates rapid division of trophoblast cells.
It forms two distinct layers-
1) Inner layer called cytotrophoblast. Its cells retain their
cell boundaries.
2) Outer layer of cells called syncytiotrophoblast lose their
plasma membrane and appear multi-nucleate. It projects
invasively into the endometrium and destroys endometrial
cells by releasing lytic enzymes.
Blastocyst buries deeply in the endometrium..
Blastulation is followed by gastrulation.
Gastrulation :
The blastocyst continues with the development process even
when implantation is taking place.
Formation of gastrula from blastula is known as gastrulation.
Gastrulation is process during which primary germinal
layers namely ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm are
formed by morphogenetic movements and rearrangement
of the cells.
Gastrulation and implantation of blastocyst takes place
Gastrulation involves following changes:
1) Formation of endoderm:
Some cells covering the free surface of the embryonal knob
(exposed to the cavity of blastocysts) become flat and form
first endodermal cells.
Then, they rapidly multiply, spread out in all directions and
soon form a complete lining inside the trophoblast of the
blastodermic vesicle.
This lining constitutes the endoderm.
The endodermal tube, so formed is primitive gut or
Its cavity also called gastrocoel is simply the earlier
blastocoel with a changed endodermal lining.
The endoderm located under the embryonal knob is
embryonic endoderm
The remaining endoderm along with trophoblast forms the
primary yolk sac. It encloses a fluid and not yolk.
2) Formation of embryonic disc:
The blastocyst continues to grow in size.
With the growth of blastocyst, after the formation of
endoderm, the embryonic knob becomes columnar to
form embryonic disc.
3) Formation of amniotic cavity:
The Endoderm space between embryonic disc and the
trophoblast is called amniotic cavity.
It is filled with amniotic fluid.
The roof of this cavity is formed by amniogenic cells derived
from trophoblasts and its floor is made up of, embryonic disc.
4) Formation of ectoderm:
After the formation of endoderm the remaining cells of
embryonic disc get arranged in a layer called ectoderm.

5) Formation of embryonic mesoderm:

At the hind end of the embryonic disc, the cells start
proliferating at an increased rate.
Addition of cells causes localized thickness of embryonic disc.
The proliferated cells later detach from embryonic cells and
spread between trophobalst and endoderm.
The new layer of cells so formed, is mesoderm, which
separates the yolk sac and the amniotic cavity from the
Formation of extra- embryonic coelom:
A large cavity called extra embryonic coelom is formed in the
extra embryonic mesoderm. Extra embryonic mesoderm splits
this cavity into two layers.-
A) Outer mesoderm lining the trophoblast is called parietal
extra embryonic mesoderm.
B) Inner mesoderm covering the primary yolk sac and wall of
amniotic cavity is termed the visceral extra embryonic
Formation of chorion and amnion:
Chorion consists of trophobiasts lined by parietal extra
embryonic mesoderm.
Amnion consists of amniogenic cells covered by visceral extra
embryonic mesoderm.
At the end of gastrulation, embryo develops into three
germinal layers.
Formation of different tissues and organs from germinal layers
is called histogenensis.
Fate of Ectoderm:
Ectoderm gives rise to epidermis of skin and epidermal
derivatives like hair, nails, sweat glands, conjunctiva, cornea,
lens, retina, internal and external ear, enamel of teeth, nasal
cavity, adrenal medulla, stomodaeum proctodaeum, pituitary
and entire nervous system.
Fate Of Mesoderm:
Mesoderm forms all types of muscles, connective tissues,
dermis of skin, adrenal cortex, circulatory system including
heart, blood vessels and blood, lymphaiic vessels, middle ear,
dentine of teeth.
Fate Of Endoderm :
Endoderm develops into epithelium of mid-gut {pharynx to
colon), glands of stomach and intestine, tongue, tonsils, lungs,
trachea, bronchi, larynx, urinary bladder, vagina, vestibule,
liver and pancreas, thyroid gland, parathyroid, thymus,
eustachiam tube, epithelium of urethra including associated
Monozygotic/ identical twins-
They are derived from a single zygote that splits at an early
stage during development.
They have same genetic makeup and are of same sex.
Dizygotic (fraternal) twins-
In rare cases two ova are released simultaneously.
They are fertilized by two different sperms.
Each fertilized ovum develops into embryo.
It could be of the same sex or of the different sex and they are
genetically dissimilar.
The condition of carrying one or more embryos in the uterus is
called Pregnancy or Gestation.
Human pregnancy lasts for average 266 days from fertilization
of the egg or 280 days from the start of the last menstrual
Human pregnancy can be divided for convenience into three
trimesters of about three months each.
The first trimester is the time of most radical change for both
the mother and the embryo.
During its first 2-4 weeks of development, the embryo
obtains nutrients directly from the endomentrium.
The first trimester is the main period of organogenesis and the
development of body organs.
At 8 weeks, all the major structures of the adult are present in
the rudimentary form and the embryo is called a foetus.
It is only 5 cms long.
Meanwhile, the mother also undergoes rapid changes.
High levels of progesterone initiate changes in her
reproductive system, the maternal part of placenta grows,
the uterus becomes larger, ovulation and menstrual cycle
During the second trimester, the uterus grows enough for
the pregnancy to become obvious.
The foetus is very active and grows to about 30 cms long.
Hormone levels stabilize as HCG declines, the corpus luteum
deteriorates (regresses) and the placenta completely takes over
the production of progesterone which maintains the pregnancy.

During the third (final) trimester the foetus grows to about

3-4 kg in weight and 50 cms in length.

As the foetus grows, the uterus expands around it, the

mother’s abdominal organs become compressed and displaced,
leading to frequent urination, digestive blockages and strain in
the back muscles.
Placenta is a temporary organ formed in the eutherian
(placenta) mammals only.
It is the only organ in animals formed of the tissues derived
from two different individuals, the foetus and the mother.

It serves to bring the foetal and maternal blood close enough

to permit the exchange of materials between the two.
A fully formed human placenta is disc-shaped, about 4 cm. in
thickness and 18 cm. in diameter, and averages about 1/6 to
1/7 the weight of the foetus.

Its foetal surface is smooth and has the umbilical cord attached
near its centre.
Human placenta consists of chorion only.
Hence, it is called a chorionic placenta. Allantois remains
The allantoic blood vessels, however, extend to vascularise it.
A large number of branching villi from the vascular chorion
penetrate the corresponding pits, the crypts, formed in the
uterine wall.
The latter becomes very thick and highly vascular to receive
the villi.
The intimate connection established between the foetal
membrane and the uterine wall is known as the placenta.
The placenta has two parts; the part contributed by the foetus,
i.e. chorionic villi, is called the foetal placenta: and the part
shared by the mother, i.e. part of uterine wall, is termed the
maternal palcenta.
The chorionic villi receive blood from the embryo by
umbilical artery and return it by umbilical vein.
The placenta is fully formed by the end of the third month and
it lasts throughout pregnancy.
When complete, it is redish-brown disc.
In the placenta, the foetal blood comes very close to the
maternal blood, and this permits the exchange of materials
between the two
Food (glucose, amino acids, simple proteins, lipids), water,
mineral salts, vitamins, hormones, antibodies and oxygen pass
from the maternal blood into the foetal blood and foetal
metabolic wastes such as carbon dioxide and urea, also water
and hormones, pass into the maternal blood.

The placenta, thus, serves as the nutritive, respiratory and

excretory organ of the foetus.

The continuous uptake of oxygen by foetal blood is ensured by

the difference in affinity for oxygen between foetal and
maternal haemoglobin.
The maternal and foetal blood are not in direct contact in
the placenta, because
(i) the two may be incompatible;
(ii) the pressure of maternal blood is far too high for the foetal
blood vessels; and
(iii) there must be a check on the passage of harmful materials
(blood proteins, germs) into the foetal blood.
Parturition and Lactation:
Parturition is the act of expelling the full-term baby from the
mother’s uterus at the end of pregnancy completed in about
280 days from the mother’s last menstruation.

However, in some cases it may vary by several days or weeks.

Most of the major organs are formed by the twelth week of
pregnancy and in the rest of the gestation period the foetus

It is important that the baby be born when it is mature.

The foetus signals that it is mature by secreting ACTH
hormone from its pituitary.
ACTH causes the release of corticosteroid hormones from its
adrenal glands.
These foetal hormones diffuse across the placenta and
accumulate in the mother’s blood till they cause a decrease in
progesterone production and an increase in the secretion of
Reduced progesterone level allows the secretion of the
hormone Oxytocin by the mother’s pituitary gland and ends
the inhibitory effect on uterine contractions.
Oxytocin stimulates the uterine muscles to contract, and
prostaglandins increase the force of the contractions.
This provides force to expel the baby from the uterus, causing
The baby ready for birth is about 53 cm long and weighs about
2.7 to 4.5 kg. His / her skin is blush-pink in all human races as
pigment is made after exposure to sunlight.
Parturition involves forceful muscular contractions, called
labour, of the uterine wall.
The term is appropriate as it is a period of work at the expense
of considerable energy.
About two weeks before birth, the foetus normally settles head
downward into the pelvic cavity.
On the completion of gestation, labour starts. It causes labour
Parturition may be divided into 3 stages :
1. First Stage (Dilation):
It lasts for about 12 hours.
Regular peristaltic contractions of the uterine wall begin,
passing from its top downward.
These contractions move the foetus down towards the cervix
which expands fully.
Amnion and chorion rupture.
The amniotic fluid passes out, lubricating the vagina.
The foetal placenta is pulled out from the uterine wall, making
the baby free.
2.Second Stage (Expulsion):
It lasts for about 20 minutes to one hour.
The uterine contractions become more powerful and are
accompanied by contractions of the abdominal wall.

With these contractions the baby is gradually pushed outward

through the dilated cervix and vagina, with the head foremost,
and is finally “delivered” (born) into the outside world, where
it draws its first breath.
The umbilical cord is ligatured at two places close to the baby
and cut between the ligatures.
This frees the baby totally from the mother.
Cervix and vagina are dilated and the ligaments of the pelvic
girdle are relaxed by the hormone relaxin from the corpus
luteum for easy birth of the baby.
3. Third (Placental) Stage:
It lasts for just 10-45 minutes after the infant’s birth.
Now the palcenta, umbilical cord and foetal membrane are
expelled by series of uterine contractions.
These structures are referred to as the “afterbirth”.
Further contractions of the uterus close the cervix and prevent
excessive bleeding.
Bleeding, throughout the process, is kept low by contraction of
smooth muscle fibres of uterine blood vessels supplying the
Sometimes the foetus fails to come out and a surgical
procedure, called Cesarean section, is needed. The baby is
removed through a cut given in the mother’s placenta
Mammary glands start producing milk at the end of pregnancy
by the process called Lactation.
The milk produced during the initial few days of lactation is
called colostrum which contains several antibodies.
It helps in developing resistance for new born baby.
India was amongst the first countries in the world to initiate
action plans and programmes at a national level to attain total
reproductive health as a social goal.

These programmes called family planning were initialed in

1951 and were periodically assessed over the past decades.

Improved programmes covering wider reproduction related

areas are currently in operation under the popular name
Reproductive and Child Health Care (RCH) Programmes.
For creating awareness among people about various
reproduction related aspects, providing facilities and support
for building up a reproductively healthy society are the major
goals under these programmes.
Reproductive health {RH) is central (o general health.
It affects every body especially; woman in all phases of life.
RH means a sense of physical and mental well being in all
matters relating to all parts of the reproductive system.
It also means that all parts of the reproductive system are
functioning normally.
To maintain RH, the following points are a must:
1. Cleaning of private parts regularly.
2. During periods girls have to observe genital hygiene.
3. Avoiding situations in which there is a risk of being infected
with any sexually transmitted infections.
4. Access to relevant and scientific information about matters
related to sexuality.
5. Availing of reproductive health care and service without any
With the help of audio-visual and the print media government
and non-government organization have taken various steps to
create awareness among the people about reproduction -
related aspects.
Parents, other close relatives, teachers and friends, also have a
major role in the dissemination of the above information.
Introduction of sex education in schools should also be
encouraged to provide right information to the young so as to
discourage children from believing in myths and having
misconceptions about sex-related aspects.
Proper information about reproductive organs, adolescence
and related changes, safe and hygienic sexual practices,
sexually transmitted diseases (STD), AIDS, etc. would help
people, especially those in the adolescent age group to lead a
healthy reproductive life.
Educating people, especially fertile couples and those in
marriageable age group, about available birth control options,
care of pregnant mothers, postnatal care of the mother and
child, importance of breast feeding, equal opportunities for the
male and the female child, etc., would address the importance
of bringing up socially conscious healthy families of desired
Awareness of problems due to uncontrolled population
growth, social evils like sex-abuse and sex related crimes, etc.,
need to be created to enable people to think and take up
necessary steps to prevent them and thereby build up a socially
responsible and healthy society.
Successful implementation of various action plans to attain
reproductive health requires strong infrastructural facilities,
professional expertise and material support.
These are essential to provide medical assistance and care to
people in reproduction - related problems like pregnancy,
delivery, STDs, abortions, contraception, menstrual problems,
infertility, etc. implementation of better techniques and new
strategies from time to time are also required to provide more
efficient care and assistance to people.
Statutory ban on amnioaentesis for sex-determination to
legally check increasing female foeticides.
Birth control:
A variety of methods are known for birth control. The birth
control methods which deliberately prevent fertilization are
referred to as contraception.
These methods are of 2 main types
Temporary and Permanent.
Temporary Methods:
These are of following types -
(1) Safe period (Rhythm Method):
A week before and a week after menstrual bleeding is
considered the safe period for sexual intercourse.
The idea is based on the following facts –
a. Ovulation occurs on the 14lh day of menstrual cycle.
b. Ovum survives for about 2 days.
c. Sperms remain alive for about 3 days.
This method may reduce the chances of pregnancy by about
It has certain drawbacks also.
Coitus Interruptus:
This is the oldest method of birth control.
It involves withdrawal of the penis by the male before
ejaculation so that semen is not deposited in the vagina and
there is no fertilization.

This method also has some drawbacks.

Before final ejaculation male produces some pre-ejacu-lating


This fluid may cause fertilization.

Chemical Means (Spermicides):
Foam tablets, jellies, pastes and creams, if introduced into the
vagina before sexual intercourse, adhere to the mucous
membrane and immobilize and kill the sperms.
Mechanical Means –

These are of 3 types:

a) Condom is a rubber sheath to cover the erect penis
“Nirodh” which is the most widely used contraceptive by
males in India as it is cheap and easily available.
It is given free by government.
It is a simple but effective method and has no side effect.
It checks pregnancy by preventing deposition of semen in the
Condom should be used regularly and put on before starting
coital activity, otherwise sperm-containing lubricating fluid
may be left in the vagina.
Condom should be discarded after a single use.
Condom is also a safeguard against AIDS and sexual disease.
b) Diaphragm and cervical cap are rubber plastic covers that
are fitted on the cervix in the female’s vagina, and check the
entry of sperms into the uterus.

These must be kept fitted for at least six hours after sexual
intercourse, The diaphragm and cervical cap are the
counterparts of condoms in the female.
c) Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) are plastic or
metal objects placed in the uterus by a doctor.
These include loop, copper-T, Spiral, ring, bowl, shield, etc.

They prevent the fertilization of the egg or implantation of the


Their presence perhaps acts as a minor irritant and this makes

the egg to move down the Fallopian tube and uterus rather
quickly before fertilization or implantation.

Drawbacks of IUCD include their spontaneous expulsion,

even without woman’s knowledge; occasional haemorrhage;
and change of infection.
5) Physiological (oral) Devices:
Birth control pills (oral contraceptive pills) check ovulation by
inhibiting the secretion of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
and luteining hormone (LH) that are necessary for ovulation.

Hence, no eggs are released in a woman on taking the pill and

conception cannot occur.

The birth control pills have side effects such as nausea, breast
tenderness, weight gain and break through bleeding (slight
blood loss between menstrual periods).
A combined pill is the most commonly used birth control pill.
It contains progesterone and estrogen.
The pill Saheli is taken weekly.
(6) Other Contraceptives:
Certain contraceptives are implanted under the skin of the
upper arm. They prevent pregnancy for 3 to 4 years.

Injectible one month contraceptives are made in Germany.

Mexico and China.
These are marketed to many countries.
(7) Permanent Method:
Surgical methods are called sterilization are generally advised
for males and females.

Surgical intervention blocks gamete transport and prevent


Sterilization procedure in males is called vasectomy and in

female is called vasectomy and in female is called tubectomy.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD):
The sexually transmitted diseases, also called veneral diseases
(VD). are spread by sexual intercourse with infected persons.

The major venereal diseases are syphilis and gonorrhoea.

There are about 50 million cases of syphilis and 150 million

cases of gonorrhoea in the world.

However, the reported cases are merely a fraction of the actual

prevalence of these diseases.

The venereal diseases constitute a major medical problem in

Syphilis is caused by spirochaete bacterium, Treponema
It affects the mucous membranes in genital, rectal and oral
regions, and causes lesions.
The parasites first cause a primary lesion, called a chancre, at
the site of infection.

Chancre is generally formed on the external genitalia but in

women it may be formed in the vagina.

The primary lesion changes into a hard ulcer which heals


However, the parasites persist and invade other tissues.

Later, secondary lesions appear in the form of a rash anywhere
on the body.

This is accompanied by fever, inflamed joints and loss of hair.

The secondary lesions and other symptoms also subside

Both primary and secondary lesions are rich in spirochaetes

and are highly infectious.

Still later (after many years), tertiary lesions appear in skin,

bones, and liver, and degenerative changes occur in the heart
and brain.

Treponemas are rare in tertiary lesions.

Infection occurs by sexual intercourse, and occasionally by
kissing or close body contact.
Incubation period is about 3-4 weeks.
The mothers may transmit the disease to their new-born babies
through the placenta.

This is called congenital syphilis.

Syphilis is easily cured with antibiotics.

Control measures include
(i) prompt treatment of discovered cases
(ij) finding sources of infection and treating them;
(iii) sex hygiene;
(vi) avoiding multiple sexual partners;
(v) prophylaxis, e.g. Condom at the time of exposure and
penicillin after exposure .
Gonorrhoea is caused by a diplococcus bacterium, Neisseria
The victim feel burning sensation and pain during urination.
There may be pus from the penis and excessive secretion of
Incubation period 2 to 14 days in males and 7 to 21 days in
The disease causes inflammation of the mucous membrane of
the urinogenital tract, rectum, throat and eye.
It spreads by sexual contact and through infected clothes.
The infection may spread to other parts of the body and cause
arthritis and female sterility.
The children born to affected mothers often suffer from eye
infection (gonococcal ophthalmia), and gonococcal
vulvovaginitis of girls before puberty.
Gonorrhoea is also easily .durable with antibiotics.
Control measures are same as that for syphilis.
Medical Termination of pregnancy:
Intentional or voluntary termination of pregnancy before
fullterrm, is called medical termination of pregnancy, MTP has
important role in controlling population.
Govt. of India has legalized MTP in 1971 with some
restrictions to avoid or prevent female forticide.

MTP is essential in cases of unwanted pregnancies or in

defective development of foetus.

MTP is safe only till fourth month of pregnancy.

It is illegal to perform MTP for unborn female foetus.
The amniotic fluid contains foetal cells.
These cells are basis of pre-natal tests called amniocentesis.
For checking the chromosomal defects in foetus,
amniocentesis is carried out.
For this purpose, the fluid is drawn out with a hypodermic
needle and examined.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the fertilization outside the
body followed by embryo transfer.
In this ova of the female and sperms of the male are collected
an fertilization is induced to form zygote.
It is commonly called test tube baby.
Zygote or early embryo is transferred into fallopian tube
(Zygote intra fallopian transfer ZIFT)

Transfer of an ovum collected from a donor into the fallopian

tube (Gamete intra fallopian transfer GJFT) of another female
who can provide suitable environment for fertilization and
A technique called gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) has
been developed for the cases in which only the entrance to the
oviducts or the upper segment of the oviducts is blocked.

In this procedure ova and sperms are directly injected into

regions of the oviduct, where fertilization produces a
blastocyst, which enters the uterus via the normal route GIFT
has a success rate of about 30 percent.