Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7

Anatomy and Physiology The Female Reproductive System

The female reproductive system is designed to carry out several functions. It produces the female egg cells necessary for reproduction, called the ova or oocytes. The system is designed to transport the ova to the site of fertilization. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes. The next step for the fertilized egg is to implant into the walls of the uterus, beginning the initial stages of pregnancy. If fertilization and/or implantation does not take place, the system is designed to menstruate the monthly shedding of the uterine lining!. In addition, the female reproductive system produces female sex hormones that maintain the reproductive cycle. The function of the external female reproductive structures the genitals! is twofold" To enable sperm to enter the body and to protect the internal genital organs from infectious organisms. The main external structures of the female reproductive system include" Labia majora: The labia ma#ora enclose and protect the other external reproductive organs. $iterally translated as %large lips,% the labia ma#ora are relatively large and fleshy, and are comparable to the scrotum in males. The labia ma#ora contain sweat and oil&secreting glands. 'fter puberty, the labia ma#ora are covered with hair. Labia minora: $iterally translated as %small lips,% the labia minora can be very small or up to ( inches wide. They lie #ust inside the labia ma#ora, and surround the openings to the vagina the canal that #oins the lower part of the uterus to the outside of the body! and urethra the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body!. Bartholin's glands: These glands are located beside the vaginal opening and produce a fluid mucus! secretion. litoris: The two labia minora meet at the clitoris, a small, sensitive protrusion that is comparable to the penis in males. The clitoris is covered by a fold of skin, called the prepuce, which is similar to the foreskin at the end of the penis. $ike the penis, the clitoris is very sensitive to stimulation and can become erect.

The main internal structures of the female reproductive system include" !agina: The vagina is a canal that #oins the cervix the lower part of uterus! to the outside of the body. It also is known as the birth canal. "terus #$omb%: The uterus is a hollow, pear&shaped organ that is the home to adeveloping fetus. The uterus is divided into two parts" the cervix, which is the lower part that opens into the vagina, and the main body of the uterus, called the corpus. The corpus can easily expand to hold a developing baby. ' channel through the cervix allows sperm to enter and menstrual blood to exit. &varies: The ovaries are small, oval&shaped glands that are located on either side of the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs and hormones. Fallopian tubes: These are narrow tubes that are attached to the upper part of the uterus and serve as tunnels for the ova egg cells! to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg then moves to the uterus, where it implants into the lining of the uterine wall.

The "terus The uterus is a hollow, muscular organ that is shaped like an inverted pear. The uterus receives a fertilized egg ovum! and protects the fetus baby! while it grows and develops. The uterus contracts to push the baby out of the body during birth.

)very month * except when a woman is pregnant or has reached menopause * the lining of the uterus is shed through the cervix, into the vagina and out of the body. This is called menstruation. It has + parts" fundus top! body the main parts of the uterus, including the uterine cavity! cervix lower, narrow part!

The uterus is located above the vagina, above and behind the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about , cm long and - cm wide at the widest point!. The wall of the uterus is thick and has + layers" endometrium * The inner layer that lines the uterus. It is made up of glandular cells that produce secretions. myometrium * The middle layer, which is made up mostly of smooth muscle.

perimetrium * The outer serous layer that covers the body of the uterus and part of the cervix.

BL&&' S"PPL( The blood supply is derived from the uterine and ovarian arteries that extend from the internal iliac arteries and the aorta. The increased demands of pregnancy necessitate a rich supply of blood to the uterus. .ew, larger blood vessels develop to accommodate the need of the growing uterus. The venous circulation is accomplished via the internal iliac and common iliac vein. )&R*&+,S ,strogen )strogens are a group of steroid compounds functioning as the primary female sex hormone. $ike all steroid hormones, estrogens readily diffuse across the cell membrane. /nce inside the cell, they bind to and activate estrogen receptors which in turn up&regulate the expression of many genes. The three ma#or naturally occurring estrogens in women are estrone )0!, estradiol )(!, and estriol )+!. )stradiol )(! is the predominate form in nonpregnant females, estrone is produced during menopause, and estriol is the primary estrogen of pregnancy. )strogens are produced primarily by developing follicles 1raafian follicles! in the ovaries, the corpus luteum, and the placenta. 2ollicle&stimulating hormone 234! and

luteinizing hormone $4! stimulate the production of estrogen in the ovaries. 3ome estrogens are also produced in smaller amounts by other tissues such as the liver, adrenal glands, and the breasts. These secondary sources of estrogens are especially important in postmenopausal women. 5hile estrogens are present in both men and women, they are usually present at significantly higher levels in women of reproductive age. They promote the development of female secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts, and are also involved in the thickening of the endometrium and other aspects of regulating the menstrual cycle. 6 6 6 6 3tructural promote formation of female secondary sex characteristics decelerate height growth accelerate metabolism burn fat! reduce muscle mass stimulate endometrial growth increase uterine growth increase vaginal lubrication thicken the vaginal wall maintenance of vessel and skin reduce bone resorption, increase bone formation morphic change endomorphic &7 mesomorphic &7 ectomorphic! protein synthesis increase hepatic production of binding proteins coagulation increase circulating level of factors (, ,, 8, 09, plasminogen decrease antithrombin III increase platelet adhesiveness $ipid increase 4:$, triglyceride decrease $:$, fat deposition 2luid balance

6 6 6 6

salt sodium! and water retention 4ormones increase cortisol, 34;1 1astrointestinal tract reduce bowel motility increase cholesterol in bile Cancer support hormone&sensitive breast cancers $ung function promotes lung function by supporting alveoli in rodents but probably in humans!.

Progesterone <rogesterone acts with estrogen to bring about the menstrual cycle. :uring pregnancy, it =uiets the muscles of the uterus so that an implanted embryo will not be aborted and helps prepare breast tissue for lactation. <rogesterone is produced by another glandular structure in the ovaries, the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum produces both estrogen and progesterone, but progesterone is secreted in larger amounts /varies are stimulated to release their estrogens and progesterone in a cyclic way by the anterior pituitary gonadotropic hormones. <rogesterone is sometimes called the %hormone of pregnancy%, and it has many roles relating to the development of the fetus" <rogesterone converts the endometrium to its secretory stage to prepare the uterus for implantation. 't the same time progesterone affects the vaginal epithelium and cervical mucus, making it thick and impermeable to sperm. If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels will decrease, leading, in the human, to menstruation. .ormal menstrual bleeding is progesterone& withdrawal bleeding. :uring implantation and gestation, progesterone appears to decrease the maternal immune response to allow for the acceptance of the pregnancy. <rogesterone decreases contractility of the uterine smooth muscle. In addition progesterone inhibits lactation during pregnancy. The fall in progesterone levels following delivery is one of the triggers for milk production. ' drop in progesterone levels is possibly one step that facilitates the onset of labor. It raises epidermal growth factor&0 levels, a factor often used to induce proliferation, and used to sustain cultures, of stem cells.

It increases core temperature thermogenic function! during ovulation. It reduces spasm and relaxes smooth muscle. ;ronchi are widened and mucus regulated. <rogesterone receptors are widely present in submucosal tissue.!

It acts as an antiinflammatory agent and regulates the immune response. It reduces gall&bladder activity. It normalizes blood clotting and vascular tone, zinc and copper levels, cell oxygen levels, and use of fat stores for energy.

It may affect gum health, increasing risk of gingivitis gum inflammation! and tooth decay.

It appears to prevent endometrial cancer involving the uterine lining! by regulating the effects of estrogen.