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REPRODUCTION

Definition:
Reproduction is a process of production of new generations of ones own kind.
It is one of the basic characteristics of all living things. However it is not
essential for the survival of an individual i.e. an individual can live with out even
this process. The process of reproduction involves the transmission of genetic
material from one generation to the next. It enables a species to survive for
longer periods. Reproduction may occur asexually or sexually. A sexual
reproduction is different from sexual in a way that it does not involve the fusion
of male and female gametes. Unicellular organisms and simple multicellular
organisms reproduce asexually where as higher animals like fishes, mammals
etc reproduce by sexual means.
REPRODUCTION IN HUMANS
Humans reproduce sexually. In humans male and female sex organs are present
in different individuals. Male has sex organs that can produce and transfer male
gametes called sperms and the females reproductive organs are meant to
produce eggs, conceive male gametes and hold the foetus during gestation
period of 9 months. Reproduction in humans involve gamete production,
copulation, fertilization, implantation, gestation, birth and growth. HUMAN
REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS
The visible parts of the reproductive system are called genitalia. The organs that
produce reproductive cells are called gonads. In addition to these structures the
reproductive system consists of glands and ducts adapted for successful
reproduction

Male reproductive organs

Testis
A pair of testis lie outside the abdominal cavity in a man, which are contained in a sac-like scrotum
hanged dowqn between the legs. This position proteccts the testis from injurious. It also keeps the
about 2 to 3 C lower than the body temperature. The lower temperature of the testes favours the
development of the sperms in the testes.
Structure of testis
Each testis consists of upto 900 coiled
seminiferous tubules. Each tube is half a meter
long. The sperm formation takes place here.

Epidydimids
It is a coiled tube about six meters in lenghth. The sperms produced in the testes are passed into the
epidydimis where they are stored. The sperms that pass from testis to epidydimis are non motile and
non-fertile. After passing a day in the epidydimis they become capable to move and fertilize but they
remain inactive in the male reproductive system. They become active after they are ejaculated. The
secretions of the prostate and seminal vessicles activate them.
Seminal vesicles

The seminal vessicles lie at the posterior wall of the urinary bladder close to the terminal of sperm
duct. The seminal vessiicles secrete mucus and a watery alkaline fluids that contains nutrients i.e.
fructoose and prostaglandins
Eachseminalvessicleemptiesitscontentsintotheejaculatorydictduringthesexualintercourse.The
secretionsoftheseminalvessiclesaddtothebulkofthesemen.Thefructoseprovidenutritiontop
thespermsandtheprostaglandinshelpspermtopenetratethecervicalmucusandcausesreverse
peristalsisinthewallsoftheuterusandfallopiantubestocarryspermstowardstheegg.
Prostate glands
The prostate gland encircles the urethra just inferior to the urinary bladder. It secretes mucus and
slighltly alkaline fluid, which is released during ejaculation. The acidity of the vagina can greatly
reduce the activity of sperms and even kill them. The alkaline secretions neutralize the acidity of the
vagina and greatky enhance the motility and fertility of the sperms.

Penis

The penis is a part of the genitalia. It is a copuilatory organ of the male and is desighned to transfer
semen into the female reproductive system.
Apenisconsistsofalongshaft.Thetipofthepenisissmoothandenlargedcalledglans.Thepenisis
coveredwithamembranousskinthatcontinuesovertheglansiscalledprepuceorforeskin.The
shaftofthepeniscontainsspongytissue.Itbecomeserectwhenthespongytissueisengorgedwith
bloodduringsexualexcitement.Therigid,erectandenlargedpeniscanbeinsertedintovagina
duringcopulation.Itcanadequatelydepositthesemenintovaginaclosertocervix.

Cowpers gland
There are tiny, pea shaped glands inferior to the prostate. They produce a thick, clear, alkaline mucus
that passes into the urethra. It washes remains of the urine out of the urethra. It also neutralize the
acidity in the urethra.Semen Semen, which is ejaculated during the male sexual mact, is composed of
the following componbents. a. Fluid medium b. Sperms The sperms make up about 10% and the
secretions of the seminal vessicles are about 60%. About 30% of the fluid is added by the prostate
gland. 15 to 30 minutes after the semen is ejaculated the sperms beco0me active.

Female reproductive
organs

Internal female organs


The internal organ include vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes also called oviducts or uterine tubes,
ovaries and the structures that hold them in the abdominal cavity.
Vagina
It is about 10 cm in length and extends from vulva to the cervix. It serves as copulatory organ and
birth canal. It also permits passage of the menstrual flow.
Uterus
It is an inverted pear shaped organ. Its narrower end, cervix is situated downward that open into the
vagina. It is located between the urinary bladder and the rectum. Uterus is the site for the
implantation of the fertilized egg and also holds the embryo or foertus during its development and
growth.
External organs
The external oregans are called external genitalia. It includes vulva.
Vulva
Vulva consists of pubis, labium, clitoris, opening of urethra and vagina and the vaginal gland
Pubis
Pubis bears the pubic hairs after puberty. Labium
The vulva has two pairs of lip like folds of the skin. The outer ones are pigmented and hairy called
labium majora. It is comparable to scrotum in males. They enclose the labium minora, which is hair
free fold of skin.
Clitoris
It is a small structure, homologous to the male penis. It consists of highly sensitive erectile tissue.

During sexual intercourse it erects and when rubbed by the penis produces feelings of pleasure and
stimulates to reach a woman at sexual climax
Opening of the urethra
Posterior to the clitoris and opening of the urinary system is present. It does not play any role in
reproduction. In a male however there is a single opening of urethra meant for passing urine as well
as realeasin semen
Opening of the vagina
The opening of the vagina is partially closed by a membrane called hymen. This opening is meant to
recveive penis during sexual intercourse and releases the blood, dead egg and shredded lining of the
uterus during menses. It is an opening that also allows the release of baby during birth and release of
placenta, membranes, umblical cord etc after birth.

Gametes
The reproductive cells produced by a male and a female are called gametes.
Male gametes
Male gametes are the single celled reproductive structures called sperms.
Structure of a sperm
A sperm is a tiny cell. It is about eight times smaller than an average animal cell. It can be
distinguished into three regions, head, neck and tail. The head contains a nucleus surrounded by
cytoplasm which extends to make a tail. The structure of a normal sperm is shown in fig 1. Their
function is to fuse with a female egg to make a zygote.
Sperm foramtion
Sperm production starts in humans at the age of 11 to 13 years. The sperms are
produced by actively dividing cells of the seminiferous tubules of the testes. The
inactive sperms produced in the testes are stored in the epidydimis. During
sexual intercourse the peristalsis in the sperm duct passes them out. The
sperms not ejaculated are broken down and reabsorbed. Secretions of the
prostate gland and seminal vesicles produce a fluid medium for the movement
and nutrients for the sperm. The secretions also contain enzymes, which
activate the sperms after they are deposited in the vagina. In the female body
the sperms can survive for 1 to 3 days however they are highly fertile for 12 to
24 hrs.
Female gametes

The female ovaries contain potential egg cells. These cells are produced during
the development of a female foetus. However they mature one every month
from the alternative ovaries between age of 11 to 14 years. The egg cells
released from the ovary is called secondary oocyte. It travells down the oviduct
and when nfuses with the sperm the second meiotic division completes and the
secondary oocyte divides into a large cell, ovum and a smaller one second polar
body. Gamete formationThe male gametes, called sperms are produced in the
testes and the female gametes, called ova( ovum: singular) are produced by the
ovaries. Both the formation of sperms and eggs involve meiosis. The meiosis
reduces the number of chromosomes to half. An egg cell released from an ovary
is shown below. The secondary oocyte differes from an ovum that the secondary
oocyte divides to produce another polar body. A sperm cell has the half the
number of chromosomes so that it restores the diploid number of chromosomes
i.e. 46 in humans after fusion with the female egg cell that also has the half the
number of chromosomes. The pointed head of a sperm helps to penetrate the
membrane of the egg cell. The propelling movements of the tail move the sperm
clo9ser to the egg cell. The energy needed for the movement of the tail is
provided in the form of ATP by oxidation of glucose. Large number of
mitochondri produce more ATP.
Sperm formation
Formation of sperms takes about 70 days and 120 million sperms are produced
in a day. Their production starts between the ages of 14 to 17 years in boys. The
lining of the semineferous tubules contain actively dividing cells. This layer of
cells called germinal layer divides repeatedly by mitosis to produce many layers
of cells. Each cell enlarges in size and undergoes meiosis. The first meiotic
division produces secondary spermatocytes, which divide by second meiotic
division to produce immature sperms, spermatids. The spermatids move
towards the lumen of the seminiferous tubules and are moulded into sperms
between the infoldings of the sertoli cells. The sperms produced are passed into
and storen in the epidydimis.

Egg formation

Asitisstatedearlierthatthepotentialeggcellsareproducedinfemalesevenbeforetheirbirth.
Thesepotentialeggcellsdivideintoprimaryoocytesbymitosis.Theprimaryoocytesundergoe
meiosisandremainatprophaseoffirstmeioticdivisionthroughoutthechildhoodandoneofthem
maturesingraffianfollicleeverymonthafterpuberty.Itburststoreleaseasecondaryoocyte.

EMALE MENSTRUAL CYCLE(animation)

click to view animations


menstruation calculator
menstruation calender
day -by- day animation of a
womans monthly cycle
day-by-day animation of a
womans monthly cycle when
fertilization occurs
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dd

Females produce eggs regularly during a menstrual cycle or oestrous cycles. It completes in about 28
days. The lenghth of menstrual cycle is h9ighly variable. It may be of 21 day or 38 days.
Thesignsofsexualmaturityingirlsisthedischargeofbloodormensesfromtheuterusviathe
vagina.Itistheonsetofthepuberty.Inthebeginningthemenstrualcyclesmaybeirregularbut
becomesregularafteronetotwoyears.Themenstrualcyclescontinueregularlyeverymonthfrom
about12to45yearsofageexcepttheperiodsof pregnency.Aftertheageof45themensesstopand
thisistheagewhenawomancannotbecomemother.Thisendofmenstrualcyclesiscalled
menopause.Themenstrualcyclecanbedividedintothreestages.
Menstrualstage
From1to5daysofthecycletheblood,deadunfertilizedeggandthesloughedoffliningoftheuterus
thatwasthickenedtoreceiveafertilizedeggforimplantation,isdischargedviathevagina.
Proliferative stage
The thickening of the uterus lining takes place during this stage. The endometrium is prepaired to
receive a fertilized egg. The changes in the uterus lining occur under the 9influence of oestrogen.
This stage can be distinguished from 6 to 14 days. It starts with the end of the bleeding and ends with
the ovulation.
Secretory stage
After the ovulation to the end of the menstrual cycle. Approximately 15 to 28 days. During this
period the progesteron produced from the corpus luteum increases the blood supply to the
endometrium. It caus4es the glands in the endometrium to develop. The glands increase in size and
secrete nutrients to sustain a developing emryo, untill the implantation occurs.
Ovulation(animation)
Another very important event occurs from days 13 to 15 is the ovulation. The ovulation is the release
of a single egg cell, the secondary oocyte from the graffian follicle into the peritonial cavity. The
graffian follicle increases in size under the influence of LH (leutinizing hormone). As the LH reaches
its maximum concentration in the blood on the 13 day, it causes the graffian follicle to increase

further in size. The graffian follicle bursts on 14th day, releasing the secondary oocyte.
Hormonal changes during menstrual cycle
hormonal changes during menstrual cycle

with out pills


with pills

After the menstrual stage ( menstration) lasts from first 4 to 5 days, the pituitary gland secretes a
hormene, FSH ( follicle stimulating hormone). It stimulates the ovaries to develop an egg and to
release certain hormones. The various hormones released during the menstrual cycle and the changes
taking place in the uterus and the ovary at the same time are briefly explained below.
1. The FSH released, stimulate the development of the graffian follicle.
2. The developing graffian follicle secretes a female sex hormone oestrogen. Its concentration
increases in the first half of the menstrual cycle graduallly. It reaches at maximum during the
menstrual cycle from day 11 to day 13. The oestrogen effects the uterus and pituitary gland.
a. in the uterus it stimulates repair and development of the lining of the uterus so it prepares it for the
possible implantation after the fertilization has occurred.
b. The secretion of oestrogen also inhibits the secretion of FSH so it prevents the development of any
other follicle and ensures the release of one egg only at a time.
c. The higher concentration of oestrogen triggeres the release of LH.
3. The concentration of LH reaches at maximum from day 11 to day 13. It causes the ripening of the
graffian follicle. At day 14 it bursts to release a secondary oocyte into the funnel of the oviduct
whose ciliated cells waft it into the tube. The LH stimulate the development of the remainintg part of
the graffian follicle to an endocrine gland called carpus luteum, yellow body.
4. The corpus luteum produces anothe hormone progesterone along with oestrogen. The progesterone
maintains the thickening of the endometrium. It alsoinhibitsthesecretionofLHandFSH.If
fertilizationdoesnotoccur,byunknownmeans,however,thecorpusluteumdegenerates.The
declineoftheovarianhormonesinthebloodcausesthebloodvesselsintheendometriumtokink
andbecomespastic.Itcausesthemensestobeginby28thday

SEXUAL REPRODUCTION IN HUMANS


The sexual reproduction in humans involves
1. The sexual intercourse
2. Fertilization
3. Implantation
4. Gestation
5. Birth
Sexual intercourse(Copulation)
The erect penis is the first sign of the sexual excitement in males. The sexual excitement may be due
to an inborn stimulus like filling up of the sexual organs with secretions or an out born stimulus like
messaging on the glans penis or the scrotum. The psychic factor of the sexual excitement can not be

ignored. Just thinking or dreaming may even drive the sexual act to occur and culminate in
ejaculation. The sexual stimulus causes the dilation of arterioles in the penis. The arterial blood flows
into the spongy tisssue in the shaft of the penis. The flow of blood into the erectile tissue and the
higher presuure inside causes the penis to become hard and elonngated. The erect penis can easily be
inserted into the vagina. thE movements of the penis during the sexual intercourse stimulate the
muscles in the scrotum and around the epididymis and sperm duct to contract, the peristaltic wave
pushes the sperms from the testis along the sperm ducts to the urethra. The secretions from the
seminal vessicles and prostate gland are also released. The sperms are mixed with these secretions
making the semen. The filling of the urethra stimulates the penile muscles to contract and the
continuing peristalsis in the urethra pushes the semen out through the urethra. This process is called
ejaculation. And is the climax of the male sexual act called orgasm or sexual orgasm. After sexual
orgasm the sexual excitement diminishes and the erection ceases. The elongated, hard penis and the
forceful ejacualtion help to deposit the semen into the deepest recess of the vagina closer to the
cervix.
Journey of sperms
Passage of sperms from testis to vagina
Thesexualstimulusproducesareflexthatcausesthesmoothmusclesintheepidydimis,spermduct
andurethratocontractandproduceaperistalticwavethatpushesthespermsfromtestistothe
epididymis,spermductandurethraandthenoutoftheurethracalledejaculation.
Passage of sperms in the female body to the egg
Approximately 3 cubic cm of semen is deposited in the vagina close to the cervix. The semen
contains hundreds million of sperms. The sperms must travel a distance from cervix to the fallopian
tube, as shown in the diagram, to fertilize an egg. This travel in the female body is aceived by these
ways.
1. Uterine contractions
2. Movement of the cilia lining the uterus and fallopian tube.
3. Movements of the sperm by its tail.
Thechemicalsinthesemenstimulatecontractionsinthewallsofthevaginaanduterus.These
contractionspossiblysqueezethespermsupward.Thecilialiningtheuterusandoviductalsopropels
thespermstomeettheeggpassingdownthroughthefallopiantube.oNlyafewthousanofthe
spermssucceedtoreachattheopeningoftheoviduct.Thetailofthespermspropelsthemcloserto
theegg.Ifthesecondaryoocyteispresentintheoviduct,thespermssurroundit.Thgespermsspend
severalhoursinthegenitaltracttobecomeactive.Unlesstheypassalmostsevenhoursinthegenital
tract,theycannotfertilizeanovum.
Fertilization (animation)
Although several thousands of sperms may reach an egg but only one them enters it. The sperms get
closer to the egg by lashing their tails and reach the outer surface of the zona pellucida. The head of
the sperms produces an enzyme that makes an entry through bthe zona pellucida. Once a sperm
makes its entry through the zona pellucida, the cytoplasm of the secondary oocytwe secretes a
substance that hardens the zona pelloucida making a protective layer that prevents entry of any other
sperm. Second meiotic division completes and secondary oocyte divides to make an ovum. The
nucleus of the sperm fuses with the nucleus of the ovum to form a zygote. The fusion of male and a
female nuclei to make a diploid cell known as zygote is called fertilization. After fertilization the
zygote undergoes a successive mitototic division. The zygote turns into a ball of cells and continues
to pass down the oviduct.
Transport in the oviduct
After fertilization has occurred, it takes 3 to 4 days to a fertilized ovum to reach the uterus. This

transpoprt is brought about by the beating movements of the cilia lining the oviduct. The weak
muscular contractions in the walls of the fallopian tube also help the egg/zygote to pass down.
Fig. Showing the process of fusion of male and female gametes.
1 the sperms are bumping Into the jelly coat round the egg.
2 One of them penetrates into the jelly.
3Theheadofonespermonlyentersintothecytoplasm.Thetailremainsoutside.
Implantation
The delay during the passage of zygote down the oviduct enables few successive cell divisions to
occur and divide it into a ball of cells. This ball of cells(embryo) emeds itself with in the
endometrium on seventh day after fertoilization. This process is called implantation.
DEVELOPMENT OF EMBRYO
Early nutrition of the embryo
Before fertilization the sperms obtain their nutrition from the seminal fluid that contains
carbohydrates, i.e fructose in it. The cytoplasm of the egg contains reserve glycogen used for it. After
fertilization, before implantation, the embryo obtains its nutrition from the endometrial secretions
called uterine milk. After implantation the finger like projections called chorionic villi embedded
in the wall of the uterus absorb nutrition from the endometrium. It continues for at least 8 weeks
untill the placenta develops.Pregnancy and placentaThe period of development between fertilization
and birth is called pregnency. Human pregnancy lasts for about nine months. During that time the
hormones released from the corpus luteum in the beginig and from the placenta later on prevent the
monthly occurrence of menstruation and ovulation. The implantation ensures the presence of these
hormones in the blood. Thus implntation in its true sense, the origin of new life, called conception. If
the implantation fails pregnency can not be held.

SEXUAL REPRODUCTION IN HUMANS


The sexual reproduction in humans involves
1. The sexual intercourse
2. Fertilization
3. Implantation
4. Gestation
5. Birth
Sexual intercourse(Copulation)
The erect penis is the first sign of the sexual excitement in males. The sexual excitement may be due
to an inborn stimulus like filling up of the sexual organs with secretions or an out born stimulus like
messaging on the glans penis or the scrotum. The psychic factor of the sexual excitement can not be
ignored. Just thinking or dreaming may even drive the sexual act to occur and culminate in
ejaculation. The sexual stimulus causes the dilation of arterioles in the penis. The arterial blood flows
into the spongy tisssue in the shaft of the penis. The flow of blood into the erectile tissue and the

higher presuure inside causes the penis to become hard and elonngated. The erect penis can easily be
inserted into the vagina. thE movements of the penis during the sexual intercourse stimulate the
muscles in the scrotum and around the epididymis and sperm duct to contract, the peristaltic wave
pushes the sperms from the testis along the sperm ducts to the urethra. The secretions from the
seminal vessicles and prostate gland are also released. The sperms are mixed with these secretions
making the semen. The filling of the urethra stimulates the penile muscles to contract and the
continuing peristalsis in the urethra pushes the semen out through the urethra. This process is called
ejaculation. And is the climax of the male sexual act called orgasm or sexual orgasm. After sexual
orgasm the sexual excitement diminishes and the erection ceases. The elongated, hard penis and the
forceful ejacualtion help to deposit the semen into the deepest recess of the vagina closer to the
cervix.
Journey of sperms
Passage of sperms from testis to vagina
Thesexualstimulusproducesareflexthatcausesthesmoothmusclesintheepidydimis,spermduct
andurethratocontractandproduceaperistalticwavethatpushesthespermsfromtestistothe
epididymis,spermductandurethraandthenoutoftheurethracalledejaculation.
Passage of sperms in the female body to the egg
Approximately 3 cubic cm of semen is deposited in the vagina close to the cervix. The semen
contains hundreds million of sperms. The sperms must travel a distance from cervix to the fallopian
tube, as shown in the diagram, to fertilize an egg. This travel in the female body is aceived by these
ways.
1. Uterine contractions
2. Movement of the cilia lining the uterus and fallopian tube.
3. Movements of the sperm by its tail.
Thechemicalsinthesemenstimulatecontractionsinthewallsofthevaginaanduterus.These
contractionspossiblysqueezethespermsupward.Thecilialiningtheuterusandoviductalsopropels
thespermstomeettheeggpassingdownthroughthefallopiantube.oNlyafewthousanofthe
spermssucceedtoreachattheopeningoftheoviduct.Thetailofthespermspropelsthemcloserto
theegg.Ifthesecondaryoocyteispresentintheoviduct,thespermssurroundit.Thgespermsspend
severalhoursinthegenitaltracttobecomeactive.Unlesstheypassalmostsevenhoursinthegenital
tract,theycannotfertilizeanovum.
Fertilization (animation)
Although several thousands of sperms may reach an egg but only one them enters it. The sperms get
closer to the egg by lashing their tails and reach the outer surface of the zona pellucida. The head of
the sperms produces an enzyme that makes an entry through bthe zona pellucida. Once a sperm
makes its entry through the zona pellucida, the cytoplasm of the secondary oocytwe secretes a
substance that hardens the zona pelloucida making a protective layer that prevents entry of any other
sperm. Second meiotic division completes and secondary oocyte divides to make an ovum. The
nucleus of the sperm fuses with the nucleus of the ovum to form a zygote. The fusion of male and a
female nuclei to make a diploid cell known as zygote is called fertilization. After fertilization the
zygote undergoes a successive mitototic division. The zygote turns into a ball of cells and continues
to pass down the oviduct.
Transport in the oviduct
After fertilization has occurred, it takes 3 to 4 days to a fertilized ovum to reach the uterus. This
transpoprt is brought about by the beating movements of the cilia lining the oviduct. The weak
muscular contractions in the walls of the fallopian tube also help the egg/zygote to pass down.

Fig. Showing the process of fusion of male and female gametes.


1 the sperms are bumping Into the jelly coat round the egg.
2 One of them penetrates into the jelly.
3Theheadofonespermonlyentersintothecytoplasm.Thetailremainsoutside.
Implantation
The delay during the passage of zygote down the oviduct enables few successive cell divisions to
occur and divide it into a ball of cells. This ball of cells(embryo) emeds itself with in the
endometrium on seventh day after fertoilization. This process is called implantation.
DEVELOPMENT OF EMBRYO
Early nutrition of the embryo
Before fertilization the sperms obtain their nutrition from the seminal fluid that contains
carbohydrates, i.e fructose in it. The cytoplasm of the egg contains reserve glycogen used for it. After
fertilization, before implantation, the embryo obtains its nutrition from the endometrial secretions
called uterine milk. After implantation the finger like projections called chorionic villi embedded
in the wall of the uterus absorb nutrition from the endometrium. It continues for at least 8 weeks
untill the placenta develops.Pregnancy and placentaThe period of development between fertilization
and birth is called pregnency. Human pregnancy lasts for about nine months. During that time the
hormones released from the corpus luteum in the beginig and from the placenta later on prevent the
monthly occurrence of menstruation and ovulation. The implantation ensures the presence of these
hormones in the blood. Thus implntation in its true sense, the origin of new life, called conception. If
the implantation fails pregnency can not be held.

are during pregnancy


A pregnant woman should rgularly be examined by the doctors. She should eat
the right kinds of food and avoid the activities that may harm her baby. She
should also take some kinds of exercises to keep herself fit and prepare herself
for the birth of her baby.
Nutrition during pregnancy
Harmful substances that a pregnant woman should avoid
AlcoholSmoking
BIRTH
Approximately nine mon5ths after conception the baby is ready to be born.
During the last months of pregnancy, the uterus walls develop a thick layer of
muscles. A baby usually turn its body with in the uterus untill its head is directed
downwards towards the cervix. The downward head facilitates the delivery. Once
the head is pushed out through the vagina, the rest of the body follows it
quickly. The normal delivery becomes very difficult if the baby is positioned with
head other than downwards. Birth takes place in three stages. The entire
process of the birth is ub\nder the controll of the changes in concentration of

hormones in the blood of mothers towards the end of the term. The level of
progesteron falls as culmination of pregnancy occurs. Conversly the oestrogen
level rises in the blood. Another hormone that stimulates the contractions of
uterine muscles is the oxytocin. The contractions come every 20 minutes at
first, but as the birth approaches the become more frequent and powerful. This
is the onset of the labour.
First stage
The forceful contractions in the uterine muscles cause the amnion to break and
release the amniotic fluid. This is called the show. First a pinkish mucousy
substance that had closed the cervix during the pregnancy comes out. The
amniotic fluid then gushes or runs out slowly through the vagina. It lubricates
the vagina or birh canal. The opening of the cervix dilates about 10cm wide. This
first stage is extremly painful.
Second stage
The muscular contractions continue and become more forceful. These
contractions run from upside downwards pushing the baby outward. The
contractions in the walls of the vagina and the abdominal muscles also assist to
expel the baby out of the uterus and down the vagina, usually head first. Once
the head is born the hard work is almost over because rest of the body follows
much more easily. The lack of bony structure in the head helps the head to be
squeezed through the birth canal and facilitate the birth. The sequence of
events described above that lead to the birth of a baby is called labour. After
leaving the mother, a baby takes its first braeth and usually begins crying. The
cryinmg of the baby establishes the regular breathing. When the baby is
breathing regularly the umblical cord is clamped at the two places and cut from
inbetween. In a few days, the remains of the umblical cord attached to the
babies abdomen shrivel and falls away, leaving in the abdominal wall a scar
called the navel.
Third stage
Few minutes later the baby is born, placenta breaks from the walls of the uterus
and is pushed out of the uterus along with the extra embryonic membranes,
blood and umbilical cord. It is called after birth. The blood vessels supplying to
placenta constrict and limit the blood loss to 350cm.
Fetal circulation
In a developing fetus, the lungs and digestive system do not function. Instead all
the nutrients, excretory and gases exchange occurs through the placenta.
Nutrients and oxygen diffuse across the placenta barriers from mothers blood
into fetal blood, and carbondioxide and other excretory waste substances diffuse
from foetal blood to the mothers blood. Foetal blood travels through the
umbilical cord, which contains three blood vessels; two smaller umbilical arteries
and one larger ubilical vein.
The umbilical vein

It carries oxygenated blood, rich in nutrients from placenta to the foetus.


The umbilical arteries
They carry carbondioxide and metabolic wastes from the foetus to the placenta.
They transport blood away from the foetal heart. The two umbilical arteries wrap
around umbilical vein from naval of the foetus to their attachement at placenta.
The circulatory system of a foetus is shown below in the figure. As the lungs are
non-functional in a foetus, so the blood by passes them in a foetus. There are
two shunting mechanisms that ensure the blood bypasses the lungs.
1. Foramen ovale
2. Ductus arteriosus

Foramenovaleandductusarteriosus
Foramenovaleisaflaplikeopeningpresentinthewallseparatingthetwoatria.Theblood
enteringintotherightatriumpassestotheleftatriumviathishole.Someofthebloodfromthe
rightatriumthatflowsinrotherightventricleispumpedoutthroughpulmonaryartery.Butitis
returnedtotheatriaviaductusarteriosusbypassingthelungs.Asthelungsarenonfunctional
andcollaps4ed,theyprovidehighresistancetotheflowofbloodinpulmonaryartery,sothe
bloodentersreadilytotheaortaviaductusarteriosus.
Changesinthefoetalcirculationatbirth
At birth the umbilical cord is tied and cut off. The constriction of the umbilical
arteries rises the blood pressure inside the right side of the heart. This change in
the pressure insisde the right atrium closes the small valve guarding the
foramen ovale. It prevents the short circulating of the blood from right atrium to
the left atrium. The inflation of the lungs also reduces the resistance to the
blood flow through pulmonary arteries, so blood does not return through ductus
arteriosus. These changes in the foetal circulation bring about the normal
pulmonary circulation occur in addition to the normal systemic circulation.
Care for the new born
The normal birth usually produces, healthy babies. The normal weight for the
new born is on average 8lbs. However, it greatly varies due to various factors.
Some of the factors are given below.
Mothers on poor diet during pregnancy
Physical health of the mother during pregnancy
Life style of the mother
The age of the mother
Placental development
Genetic predisposition
Multiple births

The hormones like, prolactin and oxytocin are released into the blood. Towards
the end of the term oestrogen stimulates development of breasts. Mammary
bglands in the breasts are prepared to secrete milk. Soon after the birth the
baby sucks its mothers nipples. This sets the release of prolactin from the
pituitary gland that causes the mammary glands to rlease milk.Milk is the babys
only food for the first few months of life. Human milk contains the right
proportion of various nutrients for human babies. However it does not contain
iron in it. It is an essential mineral needed for the formation of haemoglobin. The
foetus uses the iron stored in its own body during the gestation period. Breast
milk is the balanced diet for early months of life. The baby can not take solid
food at this stage due to the various reasons. i. has no teeth, so can not chew
solid food ii. the gut is unable to digest it
Advantages of breast feeding
the milk produced for the first few days after birth is called clostrum. It is
particularly rich in antibodies and low in fat. It protects the baby against certain
diseases, the mother has already recovered.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

The breast milk is available all the times and is


at the normal body temperature.
It is usually free from bacteria, provided the breasts and nipples are
properly washed and air dried.
Mothers milk is more easily dig4ested by the baby.
It is cheaper than the bottle feeding and readily available.
It also allows close contact between the mother and a baby, which is good
for both of them, physically and emotionally.
It provides the right proportion of minerals for a baby.
Growth

Contraception
Contraception can be defined as deliberately preventing pregnancy. There are various reasons for
the contraception
Reasons for contraception
...
Use of contraceptive methods
Using methods of contraception enables people to choose when they want children and how many
children do they want. This choice is called family planning or borth control. The choice of the use of
the contraceptive method depends upon various factors. They are listed below. The method used
should be reliable acceptible to both of the parteners comfortable and easy to use harmless or
lwess likely to cause harm. In keeping with ones religious and ethecal beleifsThe age of the
couples and whether they require a short term, long term or permanent contraception are other

criteria for making a choice of the use of a contraceptive method. However any of the contraceptive
method used ensures that Either the sperms do not reach to the egg or Eggs are not produced
or Fertilized eggs are prevented from developing inside the uterus.
Methods of contraception
Methods of contraception can broadly be grouped into
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Natural contraception
Physical contraception
Chemical contraception
Hormonal contraception
Surgical contraception
Natural contraception
There are two of natural contraception
a. abstinence
b. rhythmic method
Abstinence
It is possible for some of the couples or individuals not to have a sexual intercourse at all. Avoiding
the sexual intercourse at all is called abstinence. It is common for nuns, monks and preists of certain
religions. It is hundred percent reliable.
Rhythm method
In this method the couples only avoid sexual intercourse during the fertile period. The sexual
intercourse in the safe periods is less likely to result into pregnency. The risk of pregnency depends
upon, how accurately the fertile and safe periods are judged. Some of the ways for working out the
fertile and safe periods are given below.
Calender method
Ovulation normally occurs about half way between one menstrual cycle and the next, usually
between days 12 and 16 in a menstrual cycle. By keeping the record of, when the last six or more
periods started, the time of ovulation can be calculated

Temperature method
Just after ovulation the body temperature rises slightly. By recording the body temperature every day
over several months, the woman can work out , when the ovulation occurred and when is likely to
occur in future.

Recommendations
The time of ovulation and the time between menstrual periods may vary, particularly in the teenagers.
And it is difficult to keep record of the temperature for very long periods. So this makes the natural
method difficult to use.
Withdrawal
The penis is withdrawn from vagina before ejaculation
Recommendation
This method is unreliable as small amounts of semen may leak before ejaculation. It also requires

much self discipline. It has higher failure rate.


Physical methods
Use of condoms
A condom is a thin rubber sheeth. It is unrolled over erect penis before sexual intercourse. It prevents
the release of semen into the vagina, so stops the sperms entering into the vagina.
Recommendations
It is cheap and easily available. It is also easy to use and also protects from STDs. it disrupts the act
of love making and may slip off or tear during sexual climax. It is less reliable and the failure rate
reduces with the experienced use.
Diaphragm
It is a flexible rubber cap, which fits over the cervix. It prevents the entry of sperms into the uterus. It
is available in various sizes and is inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse and should be
left in place for 6 to 8 hrs after sexual intercourse.
Recommendations
If the diaphragm is not of the right size, its use may be risky. It needs to be regularly checked by the
doctors whether it is of the right size. It can be fit into place by the doctor or a training is needed to
use it. It becomes very reliable if combined with a chemical method.
IUD ( Intra uterine device)
It is a small copper or plastic wire that is inserted into the uterus by a doctor.