Female Physiology Before Pregnancy and Female Hormones

By: Ma. Theresa Stephanie B. Yee Medicine 1B

Female's internal reproductive organs
‡ Vagina ‡ a. is a muscular, hollow tube that extends from the vaginal opening to the uterus. b. The vagina is about 3 to 5 inches (8 to 12 centimeters) long in a grown woman. Because it has muscular walls, it can expand and contract. c. The vagina connects with the uterus at the cervix



‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

fallopian tubes - connect the uterus to the ovaries. - about 4 inches and as wide as a piece of spaghetti. Ovaries a. 2 oval-shaped organs that lie to the upper right and left of the uterus. b. produce, store, and release eggs into the fallopian tubes in the process called ovulation. c. measures about 1 1/2 to 2 inches (4 to 5 woman. centimeters) in a grown




d. produce female sex hormones such as estrogen and


Anatomy of the Female sex Organs

Female Hormonal System
3 hierarchies of hormones: 1.) a hypothalamic releasing hormone, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) 2.) the anterior pitiutary sex hormones, folliclestimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) 3.) the ovarian hormone, estrogen and progesterone

Monthly Ovarian cycle; Function of the GnRH
Female Monthly Sexual Cycle ( Menstrual Cycle) - is the monthly rhythmical changes in the rates of secretion of the female hormones and corresponding physical changes in the ovaries and other sexual organs. - the duration of the cycle averages 28 days.It maybe as short as 20 days or as long as 45 days in some women.

2 significant result of female sexual cycle
1.) only a single ovum is normally released from the ovaries each month, so normally only a single fetus will begin to grow at a time. 2.) the uterine endometrium is prepared in advance for implantation of the fertilized ovum at the required time of the month.

Gonadotropic Hormones and Their Effects on the Ovaries
FSH and LH -secreted by the anterior pituitary gland,in the absence of these hormones, the ovaries remain inactive -during puberty, the pituitary begins to secrete FSH and LH, which leads to onset of normal monthly sexual cycle.

Refer to figure 81-3 in the book .
During each month of the female sexual cycle,there is a cyclical increase and decrease of both FSH and LH. Both FSH and LH stimulate their ovarian target cells by combining with highly specific FSH and LH receptors in the ovarian target cell membranes.In turn, the activated receptors increase the cells rates of secretion and usually the growth and proliferation of cells as well.


-in a woman who has a normal 28 day female sexual cycle occurs 14 days after the
onset of menstruation.

Initiation of Ovulation
Luteinizing Hormone Follicular steroid hormones (progesterone)

Proteolytic enzymes ( collagenase) Weakened follicle wall
Degeneration of stigma

follicular hyperemia and prostaglandin secretion
plasma transudation into follicle

follicle swelling

follicle rupture evagination of ovum

After ovulation, the secretory cells of the ovulating follicle develop into corpus luteum that secretes large quantities of both the female hormones,progesterone and estrogens.After 2 weeks, the corpus luteum degenerates,where upon the hormone progesterone and estrogen decreases greatly and menstruation begins and a new ovarian cycle then follows.

Functions of ovarian hormoneestradiol and progesterone
2 types of ovarian sex hormones: a.) estrogens -the most important estrogens is the homone estradiol b.) progestins -by far most important progestin is progesterone

In normal non-pregnant female -estrogens are secreted in significant quantities only by the ovaries,and minute amounts are secreted by the adrenal cortex During pregnancy -tremendous amounts are also secreted by the placenta

3 Estrogens present in plasma og human female:
1.) -estradiol-the principal estrogen secreted by the ovaries; considered the major estrogen 2.) estrone-also secreted by the ovaries in small amounts,but mostly they are formed in the peripheral tissues from androgens secreted by the adrenal cortices and ovarian thecal cells. 3.) estriol-is a weak estrogen, it is an oxidative product derived from both estradiol and estrone

Progesterone- the most important of the progetins 17 -hydroxyprogesterone- another progestins present in small amounts

Functions of Estrogens-Their effects on primary and secondary female sex characteristics
A primary function of of the estrogens is to cause cellular proliferation and growth of the tissues of the sex organs and other tissues related to reproduction. Effects of estrogens: 1.) on the uterus and external female sex organs - at puberty, the female sex organs change from child to an adult.the ovaries, fallopian tubes,uterus and vagina increases in size.and also the external genitalia enlarge,with deposition of fats in mons pubis and labia majora and enlargement of labia minora.

-the estrogens change the vaginal lining
epithelium from cuboidal into stratified type.

2.) fallopian Tube - estrogens effect on the epithelial lining of the uterine tubes,they cause the glandular tissues of this lining to proliferate,and most importanly they cause the number of ciliated epithelial cells that line the uterine tubes to increased.

3.) on the breast -they cause development of the stromal tissues of the breasts,growth of an extensive ductile system and deposition of fat in the breast. -estrogens initiate growth of the breast and of the milk producing apparatus,they also responsible for the characteristic growth and external appearance of the mature female breast.

3.) on the skeleton -estrogens inhibit osteaoclastic activity in the bones and therefore stimulate bone growth. -they cause uniting of the epiphyses with the shaft of the long bones 4.) on body metabolism and fat deposition -estrogens increase the whole body metabolism rate slightly, they also cause deposition of increased quantities of fats in the subcutaneous tissues.as a result the percentage of body fats in females is greater than in male body -also estrogens cause deposition of fat in the buttocks and thighs, which is characteristic of the feminine figure.

5.) on the skin -estrogens cause the skin to develop a texture that is soft and usually smooth. -cause the skin to become more vascular;this often associated with increased warmth of the skin and also promotes greater bleeding of cut surfaces than is observed in men. 6.) on electrolyte balance -estrogens like aldosterone and some adrenocorticotropic hormone cause sodium and water retention by the kidney tubules.

Functions of Progesterone
Effect of Progesterone on the uterus -function of progesterone is to promote secretory changes in th uterine endometrium during the latter half of the monthly female sexual cycle. On the fallopian tubes -promotes increased secretion by the mucosal lining of the uterine tubes.these secretions are necessary for the nutrition of the fertilized, dividing ovum as it traverses the tube before transplantation.

On the breast -promotes development of lobules and alveoli of the breasts, causing the alveolar cells to proliferate, enlarge and become secretory in nature.However it does not cause the alveoli to secrete milk. -it also causes breast to swell.

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