Ovary: Introduction – Female Reproductive System

by Geoffrey Meyer, PhD

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    00:02 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.

    01:41 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.

    02:28 Try and identify the bladder. In this diagram on the right-hand side, you can see the vagina labelled.

    02:35 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.

    02:58 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.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Ovary: Introduction – Female Reproductive System by Geoffrey Meyer, PhD is from the course Reproductive Histology.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Estrogen
    2. Luteinizing Hormone
    3. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
    4. Follicle-stimulating hormone
    5. Cortisol
    1. Vas deference
    2. Uterus
    3. Fallopian tube
    4. Ovary
    5. Cervix

    Author of lecture Ovary: Introduction – Female Reproductive System

     Geoffrey Meyer, PhD

    Geoffrey Meyer, PhD

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