Female Reproductive System: Other

by Geoffrey Meyer, PhD

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    In this lecture, I’m going to describe the organs of the female reproductive system, except the ovary which I’ll cover in another lecture. You are going to learn the histological structures associated with the uterine tube, the uterus, cervix, vagina, and the mammary gland. And also, I’m going to stress the functions of each of these organs. When I describe all these features, I’d like you to understand firstly, the structure and function of the uterine tube. I’d like you to understand all the phases of the menstrual cycle and the changes that occur in the uterus during the menstrual cycle. And I want you to recall that both the ovarian cycle and the menstrual cycle are regulated by hormones secreted by various tissues both within the female reproductive system, the ovary, the uterus, and also from the pituitary gland. And then I want you to have a very clear understanding of the structure of the cervix and vagina, and also the lactating and non-lactating breast. I will also briefly describe the external genitalia in the female reproductive system. There are a number of very important functions carried out by all the organs that I’m going to talk about. The uterine tube is really specialized for transport of the sperm and the oocyte to create a possible location for fertilization where the environment is very nutritious as well. It’s very important that the endometrium, the functional part of the uterus goes through cyclical changes under the influence of the hormones, estrogens, and progesterone, to prepare the endometrium for the possible implantation of a fertilized egg. The cervix acts as a very important transport, conduit, or passageway for sperm. And at the time of ovulation, that cervix changes the nature of secretion to try and optimize the transport of sperm. Normally,...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Female Reproductive System: Other by Geoffrey Meyer, PhD is from the course Human Organ Systems. It contains the following chapters:

    • Female Reproductive System: Other
    • Uterine tube
    • Uterus
    • The proliferative phase
    • Cervix
    • Vagina
    • Mammary gland

    Quiz for lecture

    Test your knowledge with our quiz for lecture Female Reproductive System: Other.

    1. The rectum lies posterior to the vagina
    2. The uterus is anterior to the vagina
    3. The bladder is superior to the vagina
    4. The lumen of the cervix leads directly into the lumen of the uterine tube
    5. The uterus is inferior to the bladder
    1. The ampulla of the uterine tube is the largest segment of the uterine tube and is the usual site for fertilization
    2. Mucosal folds called fimbrae extend from the isthmus part of the uterine tube
    3. The infundibulum is the segment of the uterine tube that attaches to the uterus
    4. Meiosis is completed at ovulation
    5. The isthmus part of the uterine tube is about 7 to 8 cms long
    1. The epithelial surface lining the uterine tube contains two cell types and is usually about 15 micrometres in height around the time of ovulation
    2. Estrogen stimulates ciliogenesis (formation of cilia) on epithelial cells in the uterine tube
    3. Progesterone stimulates secretions from the peg cells
    4. A mucosa is an epithelial surface supported by its lamina propria (underlying connective tissue) within any tube that eventually opens exterior to the body
    5. Size of cilia and the secretions from the pegs cells lining the uterine tube are optimal around the time of ovulation
    1. The myometrium undergoes dramatic changes during pregnancy
    2. The myometrium of the uterus changes with each menstrual cycle
    3. The proliferative and secretory endometrium contains smooth muscle cells joined by gap junctions
    4. Smooth muscle cells in the endometrium can grow from 50 micrometres in length to about 500 micrometres during pregnancy
    5. Skeletal muscle makes up the bulk of the myometrium
    1. Estrogen is responsible for the repair of the basal layer of the endometrium that is shed during menstruation
    2. Progesterone is responsible for the endometrial glands adopting a coiled appearance and their secretion of glycogen
    3. The endometrium has a functional layer which is lost during menstruation and a basal layer which remains after menstruation and has the ability to proliferate
    4. Thickness of the endometrium changes after menstruation from about 1 millimetre to about 6 millimetres at the secretory phase
    5. Branches of the uterine artery and uterine vein run within the smooth muscle layers of the myometrium
    1. Decidual cells formed under the influence of progesterone during the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle form a barrier between the functional layer and the basal layer of the endometrium
    2. Estrogen secreted by the follicle in the ovary is responsible for the changes occurring during the proliferative stage of the menstrual cycle
    3. Progesterone secreted by the corpus luteum in the ovary is responsible for the changes occurring during the secretory stage of the menstrual cycle
    4. The basal layer of the endometrium is retained after menstruation because it receives a separate blood supply to the functional layer
    5. Withdrawal of LH support for the corpus luteum ceases progesterone production by the corpus luteum
    1. Throughout the menstrual cycle the cervical glands secrete a watery mucus secretion that impairs the penetration of bacteria
    2. The ectocervix is that part of the cervix that projects into the vagina
    3. The cervix does not have a spiral artery so does not undergo changes during the menstrual cycle typical of the endometrium
    4. The cervix is lined by columnar epithelium
    5. At the transition zone the epithelium changes to the stratified squamous epithelium of the vagina
    1. The clitoris contains numerous sensory nerve endings and has erectile tissue similar to the male penis but the female urethra lies within the corpus cavernosum rather than within the corpus spongiosum as is the case in the penile urethra
    2. An acidic environment in the vagina is due to bacterial breakdown of glycogen (released from desquamated epithelial cells lining the vagina) to lactic acid
    3. The labia majora in the female are homologous to the scrotum in the male
    4. The labia minora in the female are homologous to the skin of the penis in the male
    5. Smooth muscle in the labia majora is homologous to the dartos muscle in the male

    Author of lecture Female Reproductive System: Other

     Geoffrey Meyer, PhD

    Geoffrey Meyer, PhD

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