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Chapter 26. Female reproductive system. Primary sex organ. Ovaries suspended in the retroperitoneal abdominal cavity, superior and lateral to the uterus. They contain the ova for reproduction of the species. They are somewhat almond shaped and are ~3 cm ↑, 1.5 cm → and 1 cm thick.

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Chapter 26

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chapter 26

Chapter 26

Female reproductive system

primary sex organ
Primary sex organ
  • Ovaries suspended in the retroperitoneal abdominal cavity, superior and lateral to the uterus. They contain the ova for reproduction of the species.
  • They are somewhat almond shaped and are ~3 cm ↑, 1.5 cm → and 1 cm thick.
  • Each ovar contains 6 – 7 million ova and only a single ova is released at the time of ovulation.
primary and secondary female sex organs
Primary and secondary female sex organs
  • Ovaries are the primary female sex organs that manufacture and release a single ova for fertilization with each ovarian cycle.
  • Secondary accessory sex organs include:
    • The mons pubis, labia minora and majora, clitoris, vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, fimbria and mammary glands.
  • Structure:
  • tunica albuginea – fibrous outer covering on ovary.
  • cortex – outer layer of ovary where the oocytes reside in follicles “little bags” before maturation.
  • follicles – tiny scale-like structures that contain the ova.
  • (Graafian or vesicular follicle) – a mature follicle that bulges out onto the surface of the ovary just prior to ovulation (release of the ova). Only 1 ova is released.
  • corpus luteum – luteal body left after ovulation.
  • medulla – inner connective tissue core of the ovary, contains blood vessels and nerves.
  • Ligaments – ovarian ligament anchors ovary to uterus; suspensory ligament anchors ovary to pelvic wall; mesovarium ligament suspends ovary in between uterus and fallopian tubes.
  • Both suspensory and mesovarium form broad ligament which tents over the uterus and supports the uterine tubes, uterus and vagina.
  • It receives its vascular supply from the ovarian artery and the ovarian branch of the uterine artery.
  • Function of ovary:
    • a. To produce ova for fertilization
    • b. Produce estrogen and progesterone
uterine or fallopian tubes
Uterine or Fallopian tubes
  • Consist of fimbriae, infindibulum, ampullae, and isthmus.
  • Fimbriae are finger like ciliated projections at proximal end of infindibulum. They have a wave-like motion to sweep the ova toward the infindibulum.
  • The infindibulum is lined with cilia. At the time of ovulation the cilia beat toward the opening into the fallopian tube pulling the free ova inward, moving it along by peristaltic contractions into the ampullae.
uterine or fallopian tubes1
Uterine or Fallopian tubes
  • Fertilization of the ova occurs in the ampullae near the infindibulum.
  • The fallopian tubes are made of smooth muscle and are lined with ciliated columnar epithelium and are supported by a short mesentery called the mesosalpinx, a part of the broad ligament.
  • Is a thick muscular organ where implantation of the fertilized ovum occurs for development of the embryo into a fetus.
  • Location – within retroperitoneal pelvic cavity, covered by visceral peritoneum.
  • Structure –looks like an inverted pear
  • Is a thick muscular organ with a fundus, body and cervix.
    • Fundus is the dome of the uterus
    • Body is the main portion
    • Cervix is a thick circular muscular ring the opens into the vagina
uterine wall layers and vascular supply
Uterine wall layers and vascular supply
  • Layers of the uterine wall include:
    • endometrium – mucosal layer of simple columnar epithelium with secretory cells and ciliated cells underlain by a thick lamina propria.
    • Two stratum makeup the lamina propria:
      • Functionalis is highly vascular and under ovarian hormonal control. It is shed at menstruation if an ovum is not implanted.
      • Basalis forms a new functionalis layer after menstruation.
    • myometrium – thick muscular layer of interlacing bands of smooth muscle.
    • perimetrium – outer most serous layer = visceral peritoneum
  • Hollow thin tube that receives the penis during sexual intercourse and serves as the birth canal at the time of partuition.
  • Inferior to the uterus and is where cervix opens into. Area of the vagina that encircles the cervix is called the fornix.
  • Consists of three layers: Outer fibrous CT adventitia; middle muscularis of smooth muscle and inner mucosa with transverse rugae.
  • Lined with stratified squamous epithelium
  • Vaginal orifice opens to the exterior and in virginal women is covered by an incomplete diaphragm called the Hymen
external genitalia or vulva pudendum
External genitalia or Vulva = Pudendum
  • mons pubis– fatty area anterior to the pubic symphysis; covered with pubic hair.
  • labia majora – large fatty skin fold running posteriorly to the mons; the female homologue of the male scrotum.
  • labia minora – smaller fatty skin fold; medial to the labia majora.
  • vestibule – area surrounded by the labia minora; contains the vaginal and urethral openings; also contains the vestibular glands which are responsible for secreting mucous
  • clitoris – small protruding structure of erectile tissue (corpus cavernosa) located anterior to the vestibule.
    • the female homologue of the male penis and is highly sensitive to touch. Hooded by a fold of skin called the prepuce of the clitoris.
mammary glands
Mammary Glands
  • Present in both sexes, but are functional in females after birth.
  • They function only during lactation in response to hormonal stimulation to nourish the infant.
  • Structure – modified sweat glands; at puberty the female duct system partially develops, but the increase in breast size is largely due to fat deposition. It does not become fully secretory until pregnancy occurs. In non-prenanat females breast size is determined by presence of fatty tissue within the breast.
  • Vascular supply is from lateral and internal thoracic artery as well as the posterior intercostal artery. They also have a large lymphatic vascular network.
mammary glands anatomical structure
Mammary glands anatomical structure
  • Consist of:
  • lobes/interlobar connective tissue – 15 to 25 lobes formed by strips of the suspensory ligament and radiate around and open at the nipple.
  • lobules with alveoli – smaller units that contain alveoli that produce milk when the female is lactating.
  • lactiferous duct – tubes that receive milk from alveolar glands and empty into lactiferous sinus.
  • lactiferous sinus – dilated region at end of lactiferous ducts and stores milk prior to release during suckling by infant.
  • nipple in the center of the areola; site for milk exudation from breast.