Female Physiology (First Midterm)

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What are the female parts?

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What are the female parts?


  • Muscular and elastic passageway

  • Extends from the uterus to the outside of the body (birth canal)

  • Has ridges/folds to extend

  • Self cleaning (female reproductive organ)


  • neck of the uterus

  • opens discharge during menstrual cycle

  • protects fetus + seals uterus during pregnancy

  • changes firmness

(Labia Majora)

  • the larger outer folds of the vulva

(Labia Minora)

  • the smaller inner folds of the vulva


  • Glands that produce the egg cells and hormones


  • the hairs growing over the pubic region


  • duct through which urine is discharged


  • female organ of reproduction used to house the developing fetus


  • clusters of cells surrounding a single egg


  • finger-like projection at the free end of the uterine tube

(Corpus luteum)

  • empty ovarian follicle that secretes progesterone after release of the egg cell

(Fallopian tubes)

  • tubes which carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus


  • inner, mucous membrane lining of the uterus


  • Muscle layer of the uterus

(Bartholin's Glands)

  • produce a mucus secretion to lubricate the vagina


  • female erectile tissue between the labia

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1 in 5 women have what?

Retroverted uterus (tilted towards spine)

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ph balance of the vagina


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What are the 1st + 2nd inch of the vagina?

Most nerve endings/pleasure receptive

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Travel path of an egg

Follicle -> Ovary -> Fallopian Tube -> Uterus -> Vagina

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What is Latin for vagina and penis?

  • Latin for vagina = Sheath for sword

  • Latin for penis = Tail

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What are the parts of the male anatomy?


  • Male reproductive organ

  • develops from same embryonic origin as clitoris


  • Bone in penis

  • bony and non-bony penises can break!

(Seminal vesicle)

  • male organ that produces seminal fluid/semen for sperm cells (fructose + prostaglandins)


  • Gland in males that controls the release of urine

  • Secretes fluid that enhances mobility and fertility of sperm

(Scrotum (male))

  • External sac that contains the testes

(Vas deferens (ductus deferens))

  • transports sperm from the epididymis (conduit to urethra)


  • common passageway for sperm + urine

(Corpus cavernosum + corpus spongiosum)

  • Erectile tissue (3 columns)


  • A long, coiled duct on the outside of the testis in which sperm mature and are stored

(Seminferous tubules)

  • Narrow, coiled tubules that produce sperm in the testes

(Glans penis)

  • the conical mass of erectile tissue that forms the head of the penis

(Bulbourethral glands)

  • A pair of exocrine glands near the male urethra

  • secrete fluid into the urethra

  • Cowper glands

(Ejaculatory duct)

  • tube through which semen enters the male urethra


  • lose foreskin casing that covers the glans penis

  • removed by circumcision

(Pubic bone)

  • protects male reproductive organs

(Glans penis)

  • bulging structure at the distal end of the penis (head)

(Erectile tissue of penis)

  • corpus cavernosum and corpus spongiosum


  • Stores feces

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Sperm production

1-2 degrees C BELOW body temperature

  • Impaired if warm

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Where are sperm and the eggs made?

(Sperm) - Seminiferous tubules of the testes (between Sertoli cells)

(Eggs) - In ovaries

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What is semen and where is it made?

  • Fluid made out of fructose and prostaglandins

  • Seminal vesicles

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travel path of sperm

Seminiferous tubules (in testes) -> epididymis -> vas deferens -> ejaculatory duct -> urethra

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travel path of semen/seminal fluid

Testis -> epididymis -> ductus deferens -> seminal vesicle -> ejaculatory duct -> prostate gland -> bulbourethral gland -> urethra

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A threadlike, gene-carrying structure found in the nucleus w/ DNA + proteins (46 total; 23 pairs from each parent)


  • Deoxyribonucleic acid

  • A complex molecule containing the genetic information that makes up the chromosomes (helix)

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What is a gene and sex chromosome?


  • A segment of DNA on a chromosome that codes for a specific trait (unit of heredity)

(Sex chromosome)

  • Specific chromosomes associated w/ male + female sex determination; XX-girl + XY-boy

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What is the difference between mitosis and meiosis


  • Cells replicate all chromosomes then divide; each cell gets FULL set of chromosomes (Meiosis)

  • Cells replicate all chromosomes then divide TWICE; each cell gets half a set of a chromosomes

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What is oogenesis and spermatogenesis?


  • Formation of eggs/female gametes


  • Formation of sperm/male gametes

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Chemical signal (molecule) secreted by cell + influences behaviors of other cells/itself

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What is the difference between the negative and positive feedback loops?


  • Brings body back to equilibrium if one of the processes go above/below the limit


  • Presence of something enhances the process of the body

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How to tell if a fetus is XX (girl) or XY (boy)?


  • MIS hormone NOT present

  • Testosterone NOT high in concentration

  • Mullerian ducts develop into female structures


  • Testosterone high in concentration

  • Wolffian ducts develop into male structures

  • MIS hormone present

*MIS hormone = Mullerian inhibiting substance hormone

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When do female and male glands form?

Female = 12 weeks

Male = 36 weeks

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SRY (sex determining region Y) gene

determines the sex of the offspring; if the y chromosome is not present, the baby develops into a girl; if present, a boy; found in Y chromosome

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When are primary oocytes made?

Before birth; development pauses; finishes during monthly cycle (puberty)

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What hormones are released during oogenesis?

  • Hypothalamus produce GnRH stimulating FSH+LH hormones

  • LH+FSH stimulate ovaries (granulosa cells) to make estrogen

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What does oogenesis produce?

1 egg and 3 polar bodies

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How long does oocytes stay in prophase for?

Until/after puberty

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How long do oocytes pause at metaphase II in meiosis II?

Till fertilization

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When and how long does sperm form?

Throughout the life of a male/ 64-74 days

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How much sperm is produced each ejaculation?

80-300 million

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How many sperm cells are formed in a lifetime?

More than 500 billion sperm cells

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When are spermatogonia formed?

Before birth/sperm made continuously after puberty

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What is produced per diploid spermatocyte?

4 sperms

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blood-testis barrier

prevents antibodies in the blood from getting to the germ cells (protects sperm cells)

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What chromosome does the egg have?

X chromosome

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Why do polar bodies die?

because of unequal division of cytoplasm (egg needs cytoplasm)

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When does mitosis occur?

throughout life/before birth

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Purpose of menstrual cycle

to prepare the body for pregnancy + carry a fetus

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Endocrine system

All of the tissues, adipose fat, + organs that secrete hormones

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What two cycles are in menstrual cycle?

Ovarian + uterine cycle

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How long does a normal and average cycle last?

Normal = 21-35 days Average = 28 days

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What if there is no pregnancy?

Uterine lining/endometrium sheds = period/bleeding

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What happens to egg and uterine lining in menstrual cycle?

Egg finishes development + uterine lining thickens

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Where is estrogen(estradiol) secreted and what is its function?

  • Ovary (follicles)

  • Thickens endometrium; stimulates LH; decreases FSH (pre-ovulatory)

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Where is luteinizing hormone (LH) secreted and what is its function?

  • Anterior pituitary gland

  • Ovulation + development of corpus luteum; causes testes to make testosterone for sperm production

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Where is gonadtropin secreted and what is its function?


  • Releases FSH + LH from pituitary gland; begins start of menstruation at puberty

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Where is follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) secreted and what is its function?

  • Anterior pituitary gland

  • Initiates follicular growth (egg maturation)

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Where is progesterone secreted and what is its function?

  • Corpus luteum of ovary

  • Maintains uterine lining for pregnancy/stimulates endometrial growth

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When does puberty start for girls?

Age 9-10 (gets earlier)

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What is thelarche and what hormones trigger it?

(First stage) beginning of breast development

  • Estrogen, progesterone, + prolactin

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What is pubarche and what hormones trigger it?

(Second stage) growth of pubic hair, axillary + sebaceous glands

  • Androgens (testosterone); F - 0.5 mg + M - 6-8 mg

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the first menstrual period

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Why is average age for menstruation lowering?

Weight, stress, more food + resources; BPA (Bisphenol A) + Endocrine disrupting chemicals (acts like estrogen)

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Order of puberty

Thelarche, Pubarche, Menarche, Perimenopause, Menopause

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What phases are in the uterine cycle?


  • The phase of the menstrual cycle during which the ovarian follicles mature (cells are multiplying + spreading)

  • Rebuilding of endometrium through cell division (rising estrogen)


  • Continued proliferation of endometrium through fluid secretion

(Premenstrual phases)

  • Endometrium breaks down (drop in progesterone)

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proliferative phase

the phase of the menstrual cycle during which the ovarian follicles mature (cells are multiplying + spreading)

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What happens in the ovarian cycle?

Maturing of the egg + ovulation (oogenesis) driven by anterior pituitary hormones

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What days are the follicular phase?

days 1-14 (also known as pre-ovulatory phase)

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What day is the menstrual phase?

Day one

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How many primary oocytes are stimulated in menstrual phase?

20-25 primary oocytes

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What rises in the end of previous menstrual cycle?

FSH hormone

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What happens to the follicles during the menstrual phase?

It beings to develop + thicken around the oocytes; becomes fibrous on the outside

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What happens to the granulosa cells during the menstrual phase?

It matures + begins making estrogen

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What are the cells of the follicle?

(Theca cells) - outer cells of the follicle (Granulosa cells) - inner cells of the follicle

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Why does the follicle rupture and what hormones causes it?

  • To release the egg at ovulation

  • Egg rupture caused by the LH + FSH hormones

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Why do the follicle cells secrete hormones?

To sustain uterine lining for pregnancy after ovulation

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What is the name of the dominant follicle and what size does it reach?

  • Graafian follicle

  • The size of a nickel

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What days are the pre-ovulatory phase and what happens?

  • Days 6-14

  • Follicles secrete more estrogen as they grow larger

  • Maturing of the egg + follicle

  • Ends when ovulation occurs

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What does the largest/dominant/mature follicle do, what does estrogen do to it and how many eggs would mature due to estrogen?

  • Reduces FSH to other follicles + becomes more sensitive to FSH

  • Makes it more sensitive to FSH

  • 20 or 25 eggs

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What does estrogen do to FSH?

Reduces amount of FSH secreted by the anterior pituitary gland

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What day is ovulation?

day 14

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pain between menstrual periods (German for middle pain)

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Fraternal twins

Release of two fertilized eggs

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How long does ovulation last and where does it happen?

  • 2-3 mins

  • One side at a time

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What hormones spike before ovulation?

FSH + LH hormones

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What does estrogen + FSH cause the follicle to do?

Make receptors for the LH hormone

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What hormone makes FSH + LH spike?


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What happens before ovulation?

High estrogen -> hypothalamus releases GnrH -> stimulates anterior pituitary to release FSH + LH

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What hormone causes moodswings?


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What happens with low levels and high levels of estrogen?


  • It inhibits the FSH + LH release


  • It stimulates the LH + FSH release

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What are the anterior pituitary and ovarian hormones?

(Anterior Pituitary)

  • LH + FSH hormones


  • Estrogen + progesterone

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What happens in the negative feedback loop and positive feedback loop?


  • Estrogen spikes in follicular phase (first)

  • LH + FSH decreases while progesterone spikes in luteal phase (second)


  • LH + FSH hormones spike from estrogen (between first + second)

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What happens in day 0?

  • Menstruation/growing follicle

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What goes on in the follicular phase?

  • Proliferative phase

  • Estrogen spike

  • Growing follicle

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What happens in day 14?

  • Ovulation

  • Egg ovulates

  • LH + FSH spikes

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What goes on in the luteal phase till day 28?

  • Secretory phase

  • Progesterone spikes

  • LH + FSH declines

  • Corpeus Luteum forms; then corpus albicana

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What causes the follicle to rupture?

LH hormone increase blood flow to follicle + causes it to swell w/ fluid + the outside gets thin

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How does the egg move?

Protrudes from one side till it bursts; swept into fallopian tube by current

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What surrounds the ovary?

Fimbria (tiny hairs) in a rhythmic fashion in time w/ the heartbeat

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What days are the post-ovulatory phase?

Days 15-28

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What happens to the corpus luteum if there is no pregnancy?

It withers + dies

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What happens after the follicle rupture and what hormones are secreted?

  • The follicle becomes the corpus luteum

  • Corpus luteum secretes progesterone + a little estrogen

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When does the luteal phase happen, for how long, and what hormones inhibit it?

  • Starts day 15

  • Lasts for 12 days

  • GnrH, FSH, + LH hormones

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What is the purpose of the uterine cycle?

Development of the endometrium in preparation for a pregnancy

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Why does the body temperature rise with ovulation?

The increase of progesterone causes the temp. to rise in ovulation

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When is the cervix fertile and what is the fertile window?

When it has thinner + watery mucus; 6 days before to one day after ovulation

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How long does sperm and egg live for?

(Sperm) = 3-5 days; 6-7 days under ideal condition (Egg) = 24 hours

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When is the best time to do sex?

  • Before body temp. rises

  • After ovulating, it can depend on when spikes/running. a day late

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Hormones that cause contraction of smooth muscle in uterus to discharge endometrium; affects smooth muscle in the bowel

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What is a disease and a disorder?

(Disease) - Pathophysiological response to internal/external factors

(Disorder) - Disruption to regular bodily structure + function

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abnormal condition/state

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