THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
BY INDERJIT SINGH
KV SECTOR 31 D CHANDIGARH
The Female Reproductive System
Female reproductive system consists of: -
i) The primary sex organs i.e. is pair of ovaries
ii) The secondary sex organs i.e. the duct system consisting of pair of
fallopian tubes, a uterus, cervix and vagina
iii) External genitalia and
iv) Mammary glands
# Ovaries: - produce female gametes ( called ova) and secrete ovarian/ sex hormones.
Located in the abdominal cavity.
Each ovary is about 2 to 4 cm in length and is connected to the pelvic wall and uterus by
ligaments. Each ovary is covered by a thin epithelium which encloses the ovarian stroma.
The stroma is divided into two zones – a peripheral cortex and an inner medulla.
# Fallopian tube: - is about 10-12 cm long and extends from the periphery of each
ovary to the uterus.
a) Infundibulum : - the part closer to the ovary is the funnel-shaped infundibulum. The
edges of the infundibulum possess finger-like projections called fimbriae, which help in
collection of the ovum after ovulation.
b) Ampulla: - infundibulum leads into wider part of the oviduct called ampulla.
c) Isthmus: - the last part of the fallopian tube, that joins the uterus is narrow and it is
# Uterus: - The uterus is single and it is also called womb. The shape of the uterus is like
an inverted pear. It is supported by ligaments attached to the pelvic wall.
uterus has three layers of tissues: -
a) perimetrium: - outermost layer is thin membranous perimetrium.
b) myometrium: - middle thick layer of smooth muscle called myometrium. The
myometrium exhibits strong contraction during delivery of the baby.
c) endometrium: - inner glandular layer called endometrium that lines the uterine cavity.
The endometrium undergoes cyclical changes during menstrual cycle.
The uterus opens into vagina through a narrow cervix.
# Vagina: -muscular tube like structure that opens to the outside.
Partially covered by a membrane called hymen.
The cavity of the cervix is called cervical canal which along with vagina forms the birth
Functions of vagina are to: -
a) receive the male gametes during insemination.
b) serve as birth canal during parturition.
# External genitalia: - The female external genitalia include mons pubis, labia majora,
labia minora, hymen and clitoris.
Mons pubis is a cushion of fatty tissue covered by skin and pubic hair.
The labia majora are fleshy folds of tissue, which extend down from the mons pubis and
surround the vaginal opening.
The labia minora are paired folds of tissue under the labia majora.
The opening of the vagina is often covered partially by a membrane called hymen.
The clitoris is a tiny finger-like structure which lies at the upper junction of the two labia
minora above the urethral opening.
# Mammary glands: - Human female has pair of functional mammary glands.
contain glandular tissue and variable amount of fat.
The glandular tissue of each breast is divided into 15-20 mammary lobes containing
clusters of cells called alveoli.
The cells of alveoli secrete milk, which is stored in the cavities (lumens) of alveoli.
The alveoli open into mammary tubules. The tubules of each lobe join to form a
Several mammary ducts join to form a wider mammary ampulla which is connected to
lactiferous duct through which milk is sucked out.
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