Reproductive System

By Kayla Holst

The reproductive system or genital system is a system of sex organs within an organism which work together for the purpose of sexual reproduction. Many non-living substances such as fluids, hormones, and pheromones are also important accessories to the reproductive system.

                                                                   Female

  • The vulva is the external part of the female reproductive system. The vulva covers the opening to the vagina and other parts of the reproductive system inside the body. The fleshy area just above the top of vaginal opening is called the mons pubis.
  • The clitoris is a small sensory organ located towards the front of the vulva. The clitoris is covered by a fold of skin called the prepuce, which is similar to the foreskin at the end of the penis. Like the penis, the clitoris is sensitive to stimulation and can become erect.
  • The vagina is a muscular canal that connects the lower parts of the uterus or womb at the cervix, to the outside part of the body, also known as birth canal.
  • The structure that covers the opening of the vagina is a thin sheet of tissue with one or more holes in it called the hymen. Hymen are often different from one female to another.
  • The uterus is the most important organ in the female reproductive system. It is a small organ, measuring about 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. During pregnancy the uterus greatly increases in size as the baby develops up to 20 times the normal size.
  • The ovaries are the first reproductive system organs to develop in a female body. They are located on either side of the uterus. The ovaries are small, oval-shaped glands that store, produce and release eggs into the fallopian tubes in the process called ovulation. The ovum or the egg present in the ovaries is the largest cell in the female human body. The ovaries are also part of the endocrine where the women produce eggs and hormones such as estrogens and progesterone.
  • Fallopian tubes are narrow tubes about 12 centimeters long that are attached to the upper part of the uterus. It serves as a tunnel for the eggs that are produced in the ovaries  during the female reproductive system.
  • In the womb, the baby's body is covered by a thin layer of hair but as soon as the baby is born it disappears.The female human body is capable of giving birth to 35 children in one lifetime.
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                                                            Menstrual Cycle


    During your period, you shed the thickened uterine lining and extra blood through the vagina. Your period may not be the same every month. It may also be different than other women's periods. Periods can be light, moderate, or heavy in terms of how much blood comes out of the vagina. This is called menstrual flow. The length of the period also varies. Most periods last from 3 to 5 days. But, anywhere from 2 to 7 days is normal.

    For the first few years after menstruation begins, longer cycles are common. A woman's cycle tends to shorten and become more regular with age. Most of the time, periods will be in the range of 21 to 35 days apart.

                                                                                 

                                                                       Male


  • The penis is the external structure in the male reproductive system. It is a tubular muscular organ, and it is made up of three parts: the root, which attaches to the wall of abdomen, the shaft and the glands, a cone-shape at the tip of the penis.
  • The scrotum is a loose pouch-sac like of skin that hangs behind and below the penis. It contains the testicles (also called testes), as well as many nerves and blood vessels. The scrotum acts as a protective layer around the testes.
  • The testicles (testes) are oval organs that lie in the scrotum. The organ is about the size of large olive. Within the testes are coiled masses of tubes called seminiferous tubules. These testes are responsible for producing sperm cells. The testes are also responsible for making the testosterone, the primary male sex hormone and for generating sperm
  • The epididymis is a long, coiled tube that rests on the backside of each testicle. Its function is to carry and store sperm cells that are produced in the testes. The epididymis also brings the sperm to maturity, since the sperm that emerge from the testes are immature and incapable of fertilization.
  • The vas deferens is a long muscular tube that connects from the epididymis into the pelvic cavity, to just behind the bladder. The vas deferens transports mature sperm to the urethra in preparation for ejaculation.
  • The urethra is a tube that carries urine or sperm to outside of the body. In males, its function is ejaculation of semen when the man reaches orgasm. During sex when the penis is erect, the flow of urine is blocked from the urethra and allows only semen to be ejaculated at orgasm.
  • Other internal structures that are responsible for providing fluids that lubricate the duct in the system and nourish the sperm cells are the prostate glands, seminal vesicles and bulbourethral gland or Cowper’s gland.

  • • About 500 million sperm mature every day in a normal male adult. The average life span of a sperm is about 36 hours.


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