The Reproductive System - by Sam Malcom
The reproductive system varies greatly from any other system in not just that it is not equal In male and female as any other system, but also that it is not perform from birth until death such as the respiratory system. The organs of the reproductive system don’t even start to function until puberty.However, in both male and female, two organs not part of the reproductive system are important for sexual function.
  • The hypothalamus- secretes the hormone gonatotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) into the anterior pituitary gland.
  • The anterior pituitary gland- located just beneath the brain; rreleases two hormones, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), into the blood. LH and FSH trigger the making of mature sex cells
The relationship between the hypothalamus, anterior pituitary gland and the testes/ovaries is important for sexual development, reproduction, and maintaining sexual function. An error in this may be a cause of infertility in either male or female.

Female reproductive system
Female reproductive organs
  • Ovaries – female gland that produce eggs and female sex hormones.
  • Fallopian tubes- transport ovum from the ovaries to the uterus.
  • Vagina- provides the passageway for childbirth and menstrual flow.
  • Uterus- receives and nourishes fertilized ovum until childbirth.
  • Cervix- direct sperm into the uterus

The female reproductive system is designed for many functions such as production of eggs, transportation of ova to implantation site, shed unfertilized eggs through menstruation, produces sex hormones that maintain the reproductive system, and carry fertilized eggs. The average age of a female when her reproductive system kicks into gear is 8-15. There are many physical changes that happen to a girl when she hits puberty such as:
  • Breasts enlarge
  • Hips widen
  • Hair begins to grow
  • Ovaries produce eggs

These changes are all caused by reactions to the hormone estrogen produced in the ovaries. The ovaries also produce and release eggs through a process called ovulation. A female carries all the potential eggs she will have from birth and typically is born with 400,000. However, only a few hundred of these will actually be released during the reproductive years. These potential eggs are called oocytes and rest in the ovaries, surrounded by specialized cells called follicles that nourish and protect them until they are ready to divide into an egg. When a ooctye undergoes meiosis, unlike a man who ends up with four sperm cells, the result is only one viable egg, or ova, and three remaining useless cells called polar bodies that are later used to prepare the uterus for implantation of the one egg cell.

Hormonal process of how an egg is produced and released
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FHS) causes the ooctye to mature into an egg
  • leutenizing hormone (LH) stimulate useless polar body cells to turn into corpus lutetium
  • Corpus lutetium secretes progesterone for implantation.
Once the egg is released through a process called ovulation it travels through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized in the fallopian tubes then the egg will dissolve into the tubes and the walls of the uterus that have been preparing to nourish an implanted egg will break down and be shed from the body. This process is repeated every 28 days.

Male Reproductive System
Male reproductive organs
  • Testes- make sperm; produce testosterone
  • Penis- male organ for sexual intercourse
  • Vas deferens- tube that carries mature sperm cells
  • Cowper's glands - secretes fluid that neutralizes acetic urine in the urethra
  • Epididymis- stores mature sperm cells
  • Prostate gland- secrete milky fluid that helps balance acitic environment of vagina; nourishes sperm

Besides the secretion of hormones that regulate the sexual function of a male, the male reproductive system has one primary function and that is reproduction. When a males body starts producing testosterone, he hits puberty and starts producing sperm at the average age of 9-16. The outward signs of a male hitting puberty are:
  • Voice deepens
  • Hair grows
  • Muscle mass doubles
  • Testes produce sperm

A female egg cell is not a true egg and cannot develop into a life form unless first fertilized by the male sperm. The testes are the male organs responsible for releasing testosterone as well as making sperm. Each testicle produces more than 4 million sperm per hour. However, the sperm is not yet fully developed. The sperm cells are moved to the epididymis where It takes about 4-6 weeks for them to develop. The sperm heads contain the genetic information of the zygote, while the tail is used like a propeller for movement.

The developed sperm cells may then be expelled from the penis organ into the vagina during sexual intercourse for fertilization of the ovum. The penis may expand or contract to make this easier. This happens when the spongy tissue of the penis becomes flooded with blood, causing the tissue to stiffen. During sexual intercourse, many of the male organs are at work to equip the sperm with assistance. Mature sperm is propelled from the epididymis via the vas deferens with the help of smooth muscles. Then the sperm is immediately mixed with a nutrient-rich mixture secreted from the prostate gland. This new liquid combination is called semen. The last reproductive organ, the cowper’s glands, springs to life right before ejaculation. It secretes a fluid that neutralizes any uric acid that may be in the urethra before the semen passes through and exists the penis.