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Female Reproductive System Anatomy-Histology Correlate. By: Michael Lu, Class of ‘07. Note the sacrotuberal and sacrospinous ligaments forming the greater and lesser sciatic foramens with the pelvis bones.
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By: Michael Lu, Class of ‘07
Note the sacrotuberal and sacrospinous ligaments forming the greater and lesser sciatic foramens with the pelvis bones.
The internal pudendal artery enters the perineum from the pudendal canal and gives off the inferior rectal artery. As the internal pudendal artery continues toward the external genitalia, it gives off the perineal artery superior to the perineal membrane and ends as the posterior labial artery. The internal pudendal artery continues deep to the perineal membrane, with its terminal branches ending as the dorsal artery and deep artery of the clitoris.
Note the relative relations of the pelvic viscera: urinary bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and rectum.
The list above has superficial features of the female external genitalia.
The uterine or fallopian tubes, or oviduct, contain complex mucosal folds with distinct ciliated columnar epithelium. The ampulla (top left) shows the oviduct in low power. In the inset, small arrows point to ciliated cells, while arrowheads point to bulging, non-ciliated secretory (peg) cells.
The uterus is divided into endometrial (E), myometrial (M), and perimetrial (P) layers (top left). The endometrium prepares for implantation of an ovum by cycling through proliferative and secretory phases. It can be divided into the basal and functional layers. The basal layer remains relatively unchanged through the cycles.
The most characteristic change in the secretory phase of the endometrium is the “saw-tooth” or “serrated” appearance of the glands (top left).
The cervix is shown in three different magnifications in the top panel. The red arrows point to the junction and change in epithelium, from the columnar epithelium of the cervical canal to the stratified, squamous epithelium of the vagina.
The vagina wall contains abundant connective tissue with large amounts of elastin. There is also a thick muscular layer (bracket in top panel). The inset shows the muscular layer in more detail, with longitudinal and circular smooth muscle layers.
The hilus of the ovary is where all the nerves and vessels enter the organ. The medulla contains loose connective tissue, abundant blood vessels and lymphatics, and nerves. The numbers in the top left panel indicate the stages of follicular development.
The top panel shows a primary follicle. The multilayered granulosa cells secrete a glycoprotein and proteoglycan rich fluid that accumulates in the spaces between the cells.
The stromal theca interna cells (top left) lie immediately outside the granulosa cells, separated by the basement membrane. The theca interna cells are larger and paler staining than regular stromal cells or the surrounding theca externa cells. The interna cells produce steroid precursors that are converted to estrogen by the granulosa cells.
If the ovum is not fertilized, it is expelled from the uterus with menstruation. The corpus luteum degenerates and forms the corpus albicans (top panel), or white body. There are dense accumulations of collagen, which looks like a scar.