Female Reproductive system

Female Reproductive


At the end of this
lecture, student will be able to

• List the parts of female reproductive system

• Describe the functions of female reproductive organs

• Describe the histology of ovaries and uterus

• List the functions of mammary glands


• Anatomy and physiology of female reproductive system

• Histology of ovaries and uterus


Female reproductive organs and their functions include-



The ovaries (gonads)                    

Produce secondary oocytes; hormones

Uterine (fallopian) tubes            

Transport a secondary oocyte to uterus


Site of implantation of a fertilized ovum, development of the fetus
during pregnancy, and labor


Receives the penis during sexual intercourse, passageway for



Mammary glands                         

Synthesize, secrete, and eject milk for nourishment of the newborn.

Anatomy of female reproductive system


• Female gonads; Paired glands; resemble unshelled almonds
in size and shape

• Homologous to the testes

• Ovaries produce

– Gametes, secondary oocytes 
develop into mature ova (eggs) after fertilization

– Hormones – Progesterone; Estrogens (the female sex hormones)



of the Ovary

Each ovary consists of

   Germinal epithelium (germen sprout or bud)

– A layer of simple epithelium (low cuboidal or squamous)

– Covers the surface of the ovary

   Tunica albuginea

– A whitish capsule of dense irregular connective tissue

– Located deep to the germinal epithelium

   Ovarian cortex

– A region just deep to the tunica albuginea

– Has ovarian follicles surrounded by dense irregular
connective tissue, contains stromal cells.

   Ovarian medulla

– Deep to the ovarian cortex

– Has more loosely arranged connective tissue, blood
vessels, lymphatic vessels, and nerves

• Ovarian follicles
(folliculus little bag)

  Present in the

  Consist of oocytes
in various stages of development

– Surrounding cells  
– form a single layer- follicular cells

                                    – Form
several layers- granulosa cells

                                    – secrete

• Mature (graafian) follicle

– A large, fluid-filled follicle

– Ready to rupture and expel its secondary oocyte by

• Corpus luteum (yellow body)

– Remnants of a mature follicle after ovulation

– Produces progesterone, estrogens, relaxin, and inhibin à until it degenerates
into fibro car tissue, corpus albicans (white body)

of the ovary

Arrows indicate the sequence of developmental stages that
occur as part of the maturation of an ovum during the ovarian cycle.


Uterine Tubes

• Females have two uterine (fallopian) tubes, or oviducts

• Extend laterally from the uterus

• Lie between the folds of the broad ligaments of the uterus

• Provide a route for sperm to reach an ovum

• Transport secondary oocytes and fertilized ova from the
ovaries to the uterus

Parts of uterine tube

Infundibulum –
Funnel-shaped portion of each tube

Fimbriae – A
fringe of fingerlike projections called

Ampulla – Widest,
longest portion

Isthmus – More
medial, short, narrow, thick-walled portion, joins the uterus

Relationship of the uterine (fallopian) tubes to the ovaries, uterus,
and associated structures

Histology of uterine tube

Composed of three layers:

• Mucosa –
Epithelium (ciliated columnar)- “ciliary conveyor belt” lamina propria (areolar
connective tissue)

• Muscularis –
Inner- thick, circular ring of smooth muscle, Outer- thin region of
longitudinal smooth muscle

• Serosa – Serous
membrane; outer membrane



• Pathway for sperm deposited in the vagina to reach the
uterine tubes

• Site of implantation of a fertilized ovum

• Development of the fetus during pregnancy, and labor

• Source of menstrual flow when no implantation

• Situated between the urinary bladder and the rectum

• It is the size and shape of an inverted pear

Anatomy of

• Subdivisions of uterus:

– A dome shaped portion superior to the uterine tubes, the

– A tapering central portion, the body

– An inferior narrow portion, the cervix that opens into the

• Between the body of the uterus and the cervix is the isthmus

• Interior of the body of the uterus is the uterine cavity

• Interior of the cervix is the cervical canal

of uterus

Uterus consists of three layers of tissue:

• Perimetrium- outer layer

• Myometrium- middle layer

• Endometrium- inner layer


Endometrium is divided into two layers

• Stratum
functionalis (functional layer)

– Lines the uterine cavity

– Sloughs off during menstruation

• Stratum basalis
(basal layer)

– Permanent

– gives rise to a new stratum functionalis after each


• Tubular, 10-cm long fibromuscular canal

• Lined with mucous membrane

• Extends from the exterior of the body to the uterine

• Receptacle for the penis during sexual intercourse

• Outlet for menstrual flow; Passageway for childbirth


   Collective term
for the external genitals of the female

Consists of –

• Mons pubis – An
elevation of adipose tissue covered by skin

– Coarse pubic hair, cushions the pubic symphysis

• Labia majora –
Two longitudinal folds of skin

– Covered by pubic hair

– Contain an abundance of adipose tissue, sebaceous (oil)
glands, and apocrine sudoriferous (sweat) glands

– Homologous to the scrotum

• Labia minora –
Two smaller folds of skin

– Devoid of pubic hair and fat

– Have sudoriferous and sebaceous glands

– Homologous to the spongy (penile) urethra

• Clitoris –
Small cylindrical mass

– Composed of two small erectile bodies

– Numerous nerves and blood vessels

– Homologous to the glans penis in male


• Region between the labia minora

Consists of

• Hymen (if still present)

• Vaginal orifice – opening of the vagina to the exterior

• External urethral orifice – opening of the urethra to the

– 3 sets of glands- The paraurethral (Skene’s)

                                Greater vestibular (Bartholin’s)



• Modified sudoriferous (sweat) gland that produces milk

• Lie superficial to the pectoralis major muscles

• Consists of 15 to 20 lobes, separated by adipose tissue

• Each lobe have several smaller compartments called lobules

• Each lobule have grapelike clusters of milk-secreting glands termed alveoli

• Synthesize, secrete and eject milk (lactation)

• Development depends on estrogens and progesterone

• Milk production is stimulated by prolactin, estrogens, and progesterone

• Milk ejection is stimulated by oxytocin


• Female organs of reproduction include the ovaries
(gonads), uterine (fallopian) tubes or oviducts, uterus, vagina, and vulva

• Mammary glands are part of the integumentary system and
also are considered part of the reproductive system in females

• Ovaries produce secondary oocytes, discharge secondary
oocytes (the process of ovulation), and secrete estrogens, progesterone,
relaxin, and inhibin

• Uterine (fallopian) tubes transport secondary oocytes from
the ovaries to the uterus and are the normal sites of fertilization

• Uterus helps in menstruation, implantation of a fertilized
ovum, development of a fetus during pregnancy, and labor

• Layers of the uterus are an outer perimetrium (serosa), a
middle myometrium, and an inner endometrium

• Vagina is a passageway for sperm and the menstrual flow,
the receptacle of the penis

• Vulva, a collective term for the external genitals of the

Reproductive cycle, Pregnancy and labor

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