For life to have an on-going process, there must be the process of creating new life. This process is called reproduction. Human beings reproduce in much the same way as other mammals. There is need for both male and female to be involved in the human reproductive process.
The female reproductive system consists of the fallopian tube, ovum,ovary, uterus, cervix and vagina.
OvaryThis is the name for the sex gland that is similar in function to the male testicle. They are two in number and are located on either side of the uterus (womb). Each ovary is coverd by a tough protective capsule and contains many follicles. A follicle-sound is an egg cell sourounded by one or more layers of follicle cells. It is estimated that about 400,000 eggs (ovum) are stored in eachovary at birth. However, only one egg becomes ripe each month, once puberty begins, and departs from the ovary and travels into the fallopian tubes (oviduct). They also manufacture the female hormones estrogen and progesterone which is instrumental in the onset of the menstrual cycle.
Ovum(ova) egg cellA microscopic egg cell is released from one of the two ovaries at an average cycle of once every 28 days. When sperm cells encounter an ovum in the fallopian tube, they swarm around it like bees around honey. Once one sperm cell breaks through the outer membrane of the ovum by using hydrolitic enzymes, the egg immediately produces a wall that blocks a second sperm from entering.When fertilization of an ovum occurs, menstruation stops and no other ovum can be discharged until the fetus has left the uterus.
Luteinizing hormone (LH)-soundThis hormone is responsible for triggering the release of the ripe egg from the ovary.
Corpus Luteum-soundAfter the ovum (egg) is released from the ovary, a small temporary gland forms in the ovary and begins to produce the hormone progesterone.
Progesterone-soundProgesterone is secreted to help prepare the endometrium to receive a fertilized ovum. Once menstruation occurs, progesterone levels decrease and slowly rise again to form a new endometrium.
Fallopian tube (oviduct)-soundThe ovum is transported from the ovary to the uterus over a period of one to five days via the fallopian tube. They are two in number and lead directly to the uterus. As the egg travels down the tube, hair-like cillia move the egg toward the uterus by a swaying motion. If one fallopian tube becomes blocked and an egg attempts to travel down to the uterus through it, the egg will not be able to make contact with a sperm cell. Occasionally, an egg will implant on the fallopian tube wall. When this happens, the tube painfully ruptures as the egg matures into an embryo. The embryo is expelled from the body and the fertilization process must begin again.
Fertilization (conception)Fertilization occurs when one sperm unites with an egg. This usually happens in the fallopian tubules of the female.
OvulationOvulation is a period of time when a female becomes fertile and can conceive (when a sperm cell and an egg can unite). It usually occurs two weeks before the onset of the female menstrual cycle and lasts for one to five days; the amount of time it takes for an egg to travel down the fallopian tube.
Blastula-soundThe name for a zygote after the process of clevage, cell division. The blastula is a hollow ball of cells and travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. During this stage the growing egg implants itself into the endomertium.
Zygote-soundThe fertilized ovum that can divide into a group of human tissue cells and becomes an embryo is called thezygote. A zygote usualy forms in the fallopian tubules.
Menstruation-soundTwo weeks, on the average, after ovulation, if the egg is not fertilized, it dies and the blood rich cells of the membrane of the uterus and the microscopic unfertilized ovum pass through the uterus out through the vagina in a process called menstruation..
Uterus (womb)-soundThe uterus is an thick, muscular organ in the reproductive system shaped like an upside down pear located within the abdomen of a female. It is the place where the membrane lining of the uterus endometrium becomes thicker as it amasses blood and nutrients to accommodate the embryo which will develop and grow into a fetus. It is also the origin of the bloody discharge that usually occurs monthly during the reproductive years of a female. The unique arrangement of hte When it is time for the fetus to be born, the uterus will contract to expel its contents.
CervixAn opening at the top end of the vagina leading to the uterus is called the cervix. After an embryo has favorably been implanted in the uterus, the cervix is sealed off to stop infection and allow amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the fetus) to fill the uterus. During the first stage of labor, expulsion of the fetus from the uterus, the cervix dilates (increases in size) to form a passageway for the fetus into the vagina.
Endometrium-soundThis is the lining of the uterus that is prepared to receive the fertilized ovum. The rich endomerium is equipped with blood vessels which attach to the growing embryo and nourish it.
Vagina-soundThis tubular female sex organ serves many functions. It is the place where menstrual discharges pass out of the body. It also stretches to function as a birth canal when it is time for the fetus to be expelled from the uterus. It is the channel through which the sperm in the semen travel up toward the fallopian tube to fertilize an egg. Although its muscular tissue is much thinner than the uterus, the walls are strong enough to contract to hold a penis or allow passage of a babys head.
The male reproductive system consists of the urethra, prostrate gland, testicles, scrotum, vas deferens, seminal vesicle, and penis.
Male UrethraUnlike the female, the male's urethra is concerned with reproduction. It serves as a channel for all male sexual fluid. It also is the conduit from the bladder to the urinary opening in the penis.
Prostrate GlandImmediately beneath the bladder (the place where urine is stored until it is emptied) is an opening that leads to the prostrate gland. The prostrate gland is a small cone shaped organ that is normally about one-half inch long and weighs less than an ounce. It totally encircles the base of the urethra where it joins the bladder . It emits prostatic fluid, which is thin, milky, and basic. These substances are important as they enable the spermatozoa(sperm) that come from the testicles (or testes) to remain alive and thrive. In fact, prostatic fluid's basic properties help balance the acidic environment of the vagina-hyper link and also protect the sperm from urinary traces. It also acts, to a certain degree, as a control mechanism to stop semen and urine from mixing together as both are discharged through the urethra. Because of the close relationship of the prostrate gland and the urinary tract, a problem in one system can have far reaching effects on the other system.
Bulbourethral GlandsLocated under the prostate gland are a pair of small glands that are connected to the urethra. The main function of these two glands is still in question. However, they do secrete a fluid before ejaculation. Many believe that the fluid lubricates
Seminal vesicleAn organ in the abdomen situated on either side of the urethra in an area just above the prostrate gland is called the seminal vesicle. It is the place where almost 55% of semen is produced. The seminal vesicle fluid is thick and clear. It contains mucus, amino acids, and fructose, which gives sperm cells energy. In addition, it also has hormones called prostaglandins which stimulate the uterine muscles to move the sperm cells to the egg.
the penis; however, the secreted fluid which is one or two drops is insufficient to lubricate such a large area.
SemenA thick white opaque fluid that is secreted by seminal vesicals, glands that open into the urethra is called semen.. The function of semen is to protect the sperm cells in the vagina, provide energy for weakened sperm cells, and help contract the uterine muscle to move the sperm cells into the uterus faster. Millions of sperm cells join with this fluid and are spewed out of the urethra by undulating contractions. The contractions and discharging of semen is called ejaculation.
Testicles (testes, testis)Two testicles dangle down beneath the penis bag of skin called the scrotum. Each testicle is made up of tightly coiled seminiferous tubules which manufactures more than 250 million sperm cells each day. The sperm cells are stored in the testis itself. If the sperm are not released, they break down and are absorbed into the bloodstream. In addition to producing sperm, the interstitial cells, which are scattered in the seminiferous tubules, produce testosterone, a steroid hormone accountable for male sexual urges. Some scientists think that the testicles are in such a vulnerable position outside the body because the spermatozoa(sperm) need to be maintained at a temperature that is 2°C less than interior body temperature.
EpididymisA long winding tube in the scrotum attached to the testicle where mature sperm cells are stored before they are discharged through the vas deference is called the epididymis. (There is one attached to each testicle.)
ScrotumA small walnut shaped wrinkled bag of skin holds the testicles and is called the scrotum. Muscle fibers in the scrotum contract to help hold the sperm producing testicles closer to the body when warmth is needed and relax to allow the testicles to move farther away when it is too warm.
Sperm (spermatozoa)An egg cell cannot begin to divide and develop into a life form unless it is joined by a sperm cell, a small tad-pole shaped cell propelled by a tail called a flagelum-sound. Sperm cells are produced in the seminiferous tubules of the testes and contain genetic material. A sperm cell is called a gamete and contains only half the amount of chromosome(genetic material) necessary for producing an embryo. The other half is supplied by the egg cell-hyper link of the female.
Vas deferenTwo seminal tubes from which sperm cells produced in the testicles travel (one from each testicle) are called thevas deferens . They go upward through the urethra and are located on both sides of the scrotum.
PenisThe male external sex organ consisting of spongy tissue like mass is called the penis. The shaft of the penis is covered by a thick layer of skin whereas the head has only a thin layer, making it more sensitive. When aroused sexually, the spongy areas called cavernous bodies-sound fill with blood. As the blood begins to flow, the pressure seals the veins which drain the penis. This in turn enables the penis to enlarge and become firm (an erection). It is the main vehicle used to transport semen from the male into the vagina of the female for reproductive purposes.
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