Anatomy of the Female Reproductive System Essay

10470 Words Oct 7th, 2009 42 Pages
Anatomy of the Female Reproductive System

The reproductive role of the female is far more complex than that of a male. Not only must she produce gametes, but her body must prepare to nurture a developing embryo for a period of approximately nine months. Ovaries, the female gonads, are the primary reproductive organs of a female, and like the male testes, ovaries serve a dual purpose: They produce the female gametes (ova) and sex hormones, the estrogens * and progesterone (pro-ges′tĕ-rōn). The accessory ducts (uterine tubes, uterus, and vagina) transport or otherwise serve the needs of the reproductive cells and a developing fetus. As illustrated in Figure 27.11, the ovaries and duct system, collectively known as the internal
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The Uterus
The uterus (Latin for “womb”) is located in the pelvis, anterior to the rectum and posterosuperior to the bladder. It is a hollow, thick-walled, muscular organ that functions to receive, retain, and nourish a fertilized ovum. In a premenopausal woman who has never been pregnant, the uterus is about the size and shape of an inverted pear, but it is usually somewhat larger in women who have borne children. Normally, the uterus flexes anteriorly where it joins the vagina, causing the uterus as a whole to be inclined forward, or anteverted. However, the organ is frequently turned backward, or retroverted, in older women. The major portion of the uterus is referred to as the body. The rounded region superior to the entrance of the uterine tubes is the fundus, and the slightly narrowed region between the body and the cervix is the isthmus. The cervix of the uterus is its narrow neck, or outlet, which projects into the vagina inferiorly. The cavity of the cervix, called the cervical canal, communicates with the vagina via the external os (os = mouth) and with the cavity of the uterine body via the internal os. The mucosa of the cervical canal contains cervical

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