The female reproductive system includes the
ovary. During this lecture, I would like you
to understand that, first of all, there are
different organs that make up the female
reproductive system. And I’m only going to describe
the ovary in this lecture. In other lectures,
I’m going to talk about the other organs. So during this lecture,
I want you to understand what goes on in the ovary during the
ovarian cycle. That during the follicular
phase of the cycle, follicles are recruited
and go through various stages of growth until
they get to the ovulatory phase where only
a selected one or two, perhaps, ovulate. So please
understand all the changes, the structural
changes going on leading to the time of ovulation.
And then after ovulation, the ruptured follicle
forms the corpus luteum. Understand the structure
of the corpus luteum, how it forms, and then
what it secretes during the luteal phase of the
ovarian cycle. Also, as well as understanding
all the structural changes going on through
both the follicular, the ovulatory, and the
luteal phase, make sure you’re aware of the
hormonal changes as well. The ovary is
very important because it performs two functions.
It produces the mature gamete, the ovum, and it
also participates in steroidogenesis, the
production of estrogens and progestins.
And they have very important functions in different
organs of the female body. So it’s important
to understand that the hormones produced, regulate
various cells, tissues, and organs throughout
the body. And we will mention this as we go through
this lecture, and also the effects of these
hormones on other organ systems in other lectures.
I’m going to now briefly summarize the major
organs of the female reproductive system.
In this diagram, just orientate yourself a
little. It’s a little bit too difficult when
you first look at this diagram and try
and understand all the structures shown without,
first of all, orientating yourself.
Try and identify the bladder. In this diagram on the
right-hand side, you can see the vagina labelled.
And that leads to the cervix, the uterus, and
then you have continuity between the lumen
of vagina and the cervix into the uterus,
shown in dark red, and then continuity between
the uterus and also the uterine tube, a long
tube that goes out towards the ovary.
The ovary is shown here in blue with various structures
I’m going to talk about, labelled. The bladder
is anterior to the vagina. And so the left-hand
side is the anterior part of the body, and
the right-hand side is the posterior part
of the body. Right next to the vagina, and
not illustrated here, would be the rectum.
So in this lecture, I’m going to concentrate
mainly on the ovary, but also summarize the
uterine tube. In another lecture, I’m going
to talk about the uterus, the cervix and vagina,
and also the breast or mammary gland, and
the external genitalia.