Beneath the tunica albuginea is the cortex, or outer portion, of the organ. When fertilization does occur, sperm typically meet the egg while it is still moving through the ampulla. In the ovary, an oocyte surrounded by supporting cells is called a follicle. More precisely, she is our most recent common ancestor through matrilineal descent. This article will look in detail at the structure and function of the female internal and external organs. The anatomy of a chicken includes a study of both external and internal parts. As estrogen levels change, other symptoms that occur are hot flashes and night sweats, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, mood swings, difficulty focusing, and thinning of hair on the head along with the growth of more hair on the face. The internal anatomy of the breasts include the: The female body contains many organs that work together to achieve a variety of functions. The wide distal infundibulum flares out with slender, finger-like projections called fimbriae. Paired ovals, they are each about 2 to 3 cm in length, about the size of an almond. Figure 7. The broad ligament is a fold of peritoneum that serves as a primary support for the uterus, extending laterally from both sides of the uterus and attaching it to the pelvic wall. As a result, these women account for as many as 80 percent of the cases of cervical cancer worldwide. Birth control pills provide constant levels of estrogen and progesterone to negatively feed back on the hypothalamus and pituitary, and suppress the release of FSH and LH, which inhibits ovulation and prevents pregnancy. Although they naturally vary in shape and size from woman to woman, the labia minora serve to protect the female urethra and the entrance to the female reproductive tract. Scientists have given this woman the biblical name Eve, although she is not, of course, the first Homo sapiens female. Folliculogenesis begins with follicles in a resting state. The portion of the uterus superior to the opening of the uterine tubes is called the fundus. Click for a larger image. Illustrators: Abdominal part of ureter (anterior view) - Irina Münstermann Once menstrual flow ceases, the endometrium begins to proliferate again, marking the beginning of the proliferative phase of the menstrual cycle. It occurs when the granulosa and theca cells of the tertiary follicles begin to produce increased amounts of estrogen. Fertilization generally occurs in the uterine tube. Instead, these extremely high concentrations of systemic plasma estrogen trigger a regulatory switch in the anterior pituitary that responds by secreting large amounts of LH and FSH into the bloodstream. The positive feedback loop by which more estrogen triggers release of more LH and FSH only occurs at this point in the cycle. In all cases, the virus enters body cells and uses its own genetic material to take over the host cell’s metabolic machinery and produce more virus particles. However, the study was prematurely terminated after 5.2 years because of evidence of a higher than normal risk of breast cancer in patients taking estrogen-only HT. It also contains special structures called Bartholin’s glands. The uterine tubes also have three layers: an outer serosa, a middle smooth muscle layer, and an inner mucosal layer. If no pregnancy occurs within approximately 10 to 12 days, the corpus luteum will degrade into the corpus albicans. In a typical 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs on day 14. Because small, secondary follicles also respond to increases in FSH levels, larger numbers of follicles are stimulated to grow; however, most undergo atresia and die. Though most HPV infections do not cause disease, the disruption of normal cellular functions in the low-risk forms of HPV can cause the male or female human host to develop genital warts. A recent study suggests that the HPV vaccine has cut the rates of HPV infection by the four targeted strains at least in half. As a result, endometrial tissue dies and blood, pieces of the endometrial tissue, and white blood cells are shed through the vagina during menstruation, or the menses. Figure 5. The most superficial layer is the serous membrane, or perimetrium, which consists of epithelial tissue that covers the exterior portion of the uterus. Recall that, a female infant at birth will have one to two million oocytes within her ovarian follicles, and that this number declines throughout life until menopause, when no follicles remain. The correlation of the hormone levels and their effects on the female reproductive system is shown in this timeline of the ovarian and menstrual cycles. The mons pubis, or public mound, is the fleshy area on the pelvic bone where females typically grow pubic hair. The areolar region is characterized by small, raised areolar glands that secrete lubricating fluid during lactation to protect the nipple from chafing. The vagina is home to a normal population of microorganisms that help to protect against infection by pathogenic bacteria, yeast, or other organisms that can enter the vagina. Others may think they do not…, Summary description Female sex hormones, or sex steroids, play crucial roles in sexual development, sexual desire, and reproduction. The superior, anterior portions of the labia minora come together to encircle the clitoris (or glans clitoris), an organ that originates from the same cells as the glans penis and has abundant nerves that make it important in sexual sensation and orgasm. FSH stimulates the growth of a tertiary follicle, and LH stimulates the production of estrogen by granulosa and theca cells. Meiosis of a secondary oocyte is completed only if a sperm succeeds in penetrating its barriers. Some birth control pills contain 21 active pills containing hormones, and 7 inactive pills (placebos). If pregnancy does not occur within 10 to 12 days, the corpus luteum will stop secreting progesterone and degrade into the corpus albicans, a nonfunctional “whitish body” that will disintegrate in the ovary over a period of several months. Although it averages approximately five days, the menses phase can last from 2 to 7 days, or longer. From here, the baby can draw milk through the lactiferous ducts by suckling. Without progesterone, the endometrium thins and, under the influence of prostaglandins, the spiral arteries of the endometrium constrict and rupture, preventing oxygenated blood from reaching the endometrial tissue. The smaller cell, called the first polar body, may or may not complete meiosis and produce second polar bodies; in either case, it eventually disintegrates. Back. When the ovaries release an egg, the egg travels down the fallopian tube toward the uterus for potential fertilization. Each ovary is roughly the size of an almond. 3. Oocytes develop within the outer layer of this stroma, each surrounded by supporting cells. During birth, the cervix dilates to allow the baby to move through the vagina. Uterine tubes: Oviducts or fallopian tubes are the other names given for uterus tubes. This muscular sac will house the fetus during pregnancy. Follicles in which the antrum has become large and fully formed are considered tertiary follicles (or antral follicles). At the same time, the spiral arteries develop to provide blood to the thickened stratum functionalis. After menopause, lower amounts of estrogens can lead to other changes. The following sections discuss these in more detail. While 28 % of the students did not give negative opinion on the other hand, 16 % of the students did not give any opinion for evaluating this slides. A. This anterior view shows the relationship of the ovaries, uterine tubes (oviducts), and uterus. The external female anatomy includes the pubis and the vulva. It also serves as the exit from the uterus during menses and childbirth. Following ovulation, the granulosa cells of the empty follicle luteinize and transform into the progesterone-producing corpus luteum. Anatomy being the subject of structures is one of the toughest subject. An intact hymen cannot be used as an indication of “virginity”; even at birth, this is only a partial membrane, as menstrual fluid and other secretions must be able to exit the body, regardless of penile–vaginal intercourse. Instead, the cytoplasm is divided unequally, and one daughter cell is much larger than the other. It produces so much estrogen that the normal negative feedback doesn’t occur. Typically they work by providing a constant level of both estrogen and progesterone, which negatively feeds back onto the hypothalamus and pituitary, thus preventing the release of FSH and LH. Two harmless conditions that can develop during the transition are uterine fibroids, which are benign masses of cells, and irregular bleeding. After that time, fertility declines more rapidly, until it ends completely at the end of menopause. The fertilized egg then moves to the uterus, where the uterine lining has thickened in response to the normal hormones of the reproductive cycle. The back is the dorsal part of the bird between the bases of the wings and from the neck to the tail. The breasts are accessory sexual organs that are utilized after the birth of a child to produce milk in a process called lactation. Our system has been based typically on the idea that a particular kind of anatomy comes with a particular identity. The isthmus is the narrow medial end of each uterine tube that is connected to the uterus. Although the levels of estrogen are still nearly the same as before the transition, the level of progesterone produced by the corpus luteum is reduced. If pregnancy occurs, the increase in hormones leads to further development of the mammary tissue and enlargement of the breasts. Anatomy of the Digestive System Facts. The high estrogen concentrations will eventually lead to a decrease in FSH because of negative feedback, resulting in atresia of all but one of the developing tertiary follicles. Low progesterone levels also reduce the negative feedback that had been occurring at the hypothalamus and pituitary, and result in the release of GnRH and, subsequently, FSH and LH. Special senses are more specialized in structure and are bounded and confined to specific parts of the body. Fonder than Frye was of Hermetic tradition, I once compared him in print to the neo-Platonists Proclus and Iamblichus. During this time of reduced progesterone secretion, FSH and LH are once again stimulated, and the follicular phase begins again with a new cohort of early tertiary follicles beginning to grow and secrete estrogen. You will learn more about the overall anatomy of the female reproductive system at the end of this section. It is the stratum functionalis that grows and thickens in response to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. Just prior to ovulation, a surge of luteinizing hormone triggers the resumption of meiosis in a primary oocyte. Watch this series of videos to look at the movement of the oocyte through the ovary. Without FSH, the follicles do not mature, and without the LH surge, ovulation does not occur. If this is left unchecked, a bacterial infection (sepsis) could quickly become life-threatening. In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative began a study to observe women for the long-term outcomes of hormone replacement therapy over 8.5 years. 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