Female Reproductive System

  1. Functions of the Female Reproductive System
    • Produce and release gametes
    • Provide nutrition and safety for fetus
    • Allow for giving birth
  2. Sexual Differentiation Review
    • Female reproductive tract develops from paramesonephric ducts due to no anti-mullerian hormone which causes fallopian tube, uterus, and vagina development
    • No testosterone causes mesonephric duct degeneration, clitoris and labia development
  3. Internal Genitalia
    Ovaries, fallopian tubes, and vagina
  4. External Genitalia
    • Vulva
    • Clitoris, labia minora, labia majora
  5. Ovaries
    • Female gonads that produce ova (egg cells) and sex hormones
    • Surrounded by tunica albuginea capsule
    • Cortex: site of ova development
    • Medulla: site of major arteries and veins
  6. Ligaments of the Ovaries
    • Ovarian ligament: attaches ovaries to uterus
    • Suspensory ligament: attaches ovaries to pelvic wall. It contains ovarian artery, ovarian vein, and nerves
    • Anchored to broad ligament by mesovarium
  7. Infundibulum
    Flared distal end of fallopian tube
  8. Fimbriae
    Projections off of infundibulum
  9. Ampulla
    Middle and longest part of fallopian tube
  10. Isthmus
    Narrow end toward uterus of Fallopian tube
  11. Fallopian Tube Layers
    • Mucosa layer consists of epithelial cells and connective tissue
    • Muscularis layer provides muscle contractions necessary to propel the ovum
  12. Epithelial Lining of Fallopian Tube
    • Beating cilia help move ovum towards uterus
    • Secretory cells secrete a fluid that provides nutrients for ova, sperm, and zygotes
  13. Uterus
    Muscular chamber that harbors the fetus, provides nutrition, and expels fetus
  14. Fundus
    Superior curve of uterus (base of upside down pear)
  15. Body
  16. Cervix
    Inferior end
  17. Internal Os
    Superior opening of cervix into uterine body
  18. External Os
    Inferior opening of cervix into vagina
  19. Cervical Glands
    Secrete mucus that prevents spread of bacteria from vagina to uterus
  20. Cervical Cancer
    • Common among women 30-50
    • Almost always caused by human papillomavirus
    • Usually begins in epithelial cells in lower cervix
    • PAP smears removes cells from external os to analyze for signs of cervical cancer
  21. Perimetrium
    External layer of uterine wall
  22. Myometrium
    • Middle layer of smooth muscle of uterine wall
    • Spirals around fundus and body
    • Produces labor contractions
  23. Endometrium
    • Inner mucosa layer of uterine walls
    • Site of attachment of embryo and forms maternal part of placenta
    • Functional layer: superficial half that sheds during menstrual period
    • Basal layer: deep layer that stays behind and generates a new functional layer
  24. Uterine Ligaments
    Supported by muscles of pelvic floor, broad ligament (mesosalpinx and mesometrium), cardinal ligaments, uterosacral ligaments, and round ligaments
  25. Vagina
    • Distensible muscular tube
    • Allows menstrual fluid to exit body, receives penis and semen during intercourse, and allows for birth of baby
    • Walls consist of outer adventitia, muscularis, and inner mucosa
    • Has rugae at lower end
    • Mucosa forms folds that cover vaginal opening (Hympen)
  26. Transduction
    Lubrication of the vagina by mucus from cervical gland
  27. Vaginal Bacteria
    • Normally vagina has lots of good bacteria
    • Without proper good bacteria, fungus takes over and results in candidiasis (yeast infection: itching, burning, discharge)
    • Low pH of vagina prevents growth of "bad" bacteria
    • Buildup of harmful bacteria results in bacterial vaginosis (abnormal vaginal discharge)
  28. Arteries of the Female Reproductive System
    • Ovarian Artery and ovarian branch of uterine artery
    • Uterine artery from internal iliac
    • Vaginal artery
  29. Uterine Artery Branches
    • Uterine artery branches enter myometrium to form arcuate arteries that circle uterus
    • Spiral arteries branch off and enter endometrium
  30. Vulva
    Term for all of the female external genitalia
  31. Mons Pubis
    Mound of fat covered in pubic hair that lies over pubic symphysis
  32. Labia Majora
    Outer folds of hairy skin that runs down both sides of the vulva, lots of sensory neurons
  33. Labia Minora
    • Thin hairless folds medial to labia majora, lots of sensory neurons
    • Forms prepuce (hood) over clitoris
    • Vestibule between labia minor contains clitoris, urethral and vaginal openings
  34. Clitoris
    Erectile organ with lots of sensory innervation
  35. Vestibular and Paraurethral Glands
    Provides lubrication
  36. Clitoris
    • Consists of glans, shaft, and 2 crura
    • Crura wrap around vaginal walls
    • Most of clitoris is not externally visible
    • Shaft and crura contain corpora cavernosa to allow for clitoral erection
    • Glans contains corpus spongiosum
  37. Female Circumcision
    • 80-120 million women have had some sort of female circumcision
    • Sunnah: prepuce removed
    • Clitoridectomy: entire clitoral glans and shaft are removed
    • Infibulation: clitoridectomy plus removal of entire labia minora; labia majora stitched together to leave only a small opening
  38. Vestibular Glands
    • Secrete small amounts of mucus to moisten vaginal opening
    • Analogous to bulbourethral gland
  39. Paraurethral Glands
    • Highly variable among women, on anterior vaginal wall, and open into urethra
    • Likely the site of production of female ejaculate
  40. The Grafenberg Spot
    • Does the G spot exist?
    • On posterior vaginal wall
    • Orgasm from supposed G-spot stimulation is more likely to result in female ejaculation
  41. Breasts
    • Mound of adipose and connective tissue, and sometimes mammary glands, over pectoralis major
    • Estrogen at puberty causes an enlargement of female breasts
    • Mammary glands develop within breasts during pregnancy, and atrophy when nursing stops
  42. Nipple
    Allows milk delivery to young
  43. Areola
    Circular colored region around nipple
  44. Body
    Main part of breast that contains areola and nipple
  45. Tail
    • Extension of breast towards armpit
    • Common site of breast cancer development
  46. Areola
    • Capillaries and nerves closer to surface of skin
    • Darker color and very sensitive
    • Activation of sensory neurons trigger milk letdown reflex during nursing
    • Areolar glands secrete mucus to protect nipple from cracking
    • Muscle fibers contract in response to cold, touch, and sexual arousal to wrinkle skin and erect nipple
  47. Mammary Glands
    • Consists of 15-20 lobes around nipple
    • Lactiferous duct drains each lobe
    • Lactiferous sinus from each duct opens into nipple
  48. Puberty
    • Triggered by rising levels of GnRH
    • Begins at 8-10 for most girls in US
    • FSH stimulates developing ovarian follicles and they secrete estrogens, progesterone, inhibin
  49. Thelarche
    • Onset of breast development
    • Earliest sign of puberty
    • Due to estradiol, progesterone, prolactin, glucocorticoids, and growth hormone
  50. Pubarche
    • Appearance of pubic and axillary hair, sebaceous glands
    • Stimulated by androgens from ovaries and adrenal cortex
  51. Menarche
    • First menstrual period
    • Requires at least 17-22% body fat
    • Leptin stimulates GnRH
    • first few cycles are anovulatory (no ovulation)
  52. Role of Estradiol in Puberty
    • Stimulates growth of ovaries and secondary sex organs
    • Stimulates growth hormone secretion for increase in height and widening of pelvis
    • Stimulates fat accumulation
  53. Climacteric
    Midlife change in hormone secretion
  54. Menopause
    • Cessation of menstruation
    • Follicles become less responsive to LH and FSH, thus less estradiol and progesterone secreted
    • Uterus, vagina, and breast atrophy
    • Vagina becomes thinner and drier
    • Intercourse can be uncomfortable
    • Cholesterol levels rise
    • Bone mass decline
    • Hot flashes
  55. Hormone Replacement Therapy
    • Sometimes used in perimenopausal women to reduce side effects
    • Consists of low doses of estrogens, progestin, and androgen
    • Very Controversial
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Female Reproductive System