Read from foundation 1 ! Here are some of the important things to know about the female reproductive system. However, the notes are not complete. Will be updated on a later date.

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Ovaries

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  • Functions
    • produce ovum
    • produce hormones (oestrogen & progesterone)
  • 3 ligaments attached to it
    • ovarian ligament
    • suspensory ligament
    • mesovarium (broad ligament)
      • function: anchor the ovary, blood vessels travel thru the mesovarium
  • Outer to tunica: germinal epithelium (cuboidal cells)
    • continuous with peritoneum
    • do not produce germ cells
  • Covered with tunica albugenia
    • outer cortex: ova develop here
    • inner medulla: blood vessel ramify here

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Development of the ovarian follicles

  • primordial follicle
    • simple epithelium
  • primary follicle
    • squamous
  • secondary follicle
    • stratified squamous
  • versicular follicle/ Graafian follicle
    • multilayer thick
  • rupture –> ovulation

Corpus luteum

  • of menstruation
  • of pregnancy

Corpus albicans

  • regressed corpus luterum
    • as corpus luteum broken down by macrophages, fibroblasts lay down type 1 collagen
  • may persist as a scar on surface of the ovary

Uterine tubes

  • lateral to uterus
  • opens to peritoneal cavity near the ovaries
  • lie in the free edge of broad ligament
    • mesosalpinx: cover the uterine tubes
  • 4 parts:
    • infundibulum
      • funnel shaped
      • distal end
      • fimbriae catches ova
    • ampulla
      • widest & longest part
      • fertilization
    • isthmus
      • narrow part
    • Uterine part
      • passes thru the uterine wall
  • Wall consists of
    • circular smooth muscles
    • highly folded mucosa
      • ciliated cells: move oocyte
      • non ciliated cells: produce secretions
  • Functions:
    • capture oocyte
    • transport oocyte to uterus
    • fertilization site

Uterus

  • located in the pelvis, anterior to rectum, posterior to urinary bladder
  • thick walled, hollow, muscular, lined by mucosa
  • Parts
    • body
    • fundus
      • above opening of uterine tube
    • cervix
      • narrow inferior 1/3 separated from the body by the isthmus
      • projects into vagina
      • narrow cervical canal
        • internal os (project into uterine body)
        • external os (project into vagina)
  • Position of the uterus
    • Anteverted
      • angle between vagina axis & cervical axis
    • Antiflexed
      • angle between cervical axis & axis of the uterus
    • Abnormal: retroverted, retroflexed
  • Supports:
    • muscles
      • pelvic diaphragm (levator ani msucle)
      • urogenital diaphragm
    • ligaments
      • broad ligament
      • round ligament
      • lateral cervical ligament (cardinal ligament)
      • uterosacral ligament
  • Uterine wall composed of 3 layers
    • Perimetrium (visceral layer of peritoneum)
    • Myometrium
      • hypertrophy & hyperplasia during pregnancy
    • Endometrium (epithelium with simple tubular glands)
      • cyclic changes in response to hormones
      • shed during menstruation
      • 3 layers:
        • stratum functionalis
          • spiral arteries
        • stratum basalis
          • straight arteries
          • contains tips of tubular glands
          • do not respond to ovarian hormones
          • not shed during menstruation
          • formes new functional layer after menstruation
      • menstruation: spasm of spiral arteries, ischaemia, shed off.

 

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Endometrial cycle

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  • menstrual phase
    • shedding of stratum functionalis
  • proliferative phase
    • stimulated by oestrogen
    • epithelium starts to grow
    • glands formed, straight tubules (not secretory yet)
  • secretory phase
    • stimulated by progesterone
    • epithelium become secretory
    • glands become coiled

Cervix

  • less smooth muscles than body of uterus
  • more of dense connective tissue
  • supra vaginal part: lined by columnar epithelium with mucous glands
    • mucus: acts as barrier for bacteria & lubrication of vagina

Vagina

  • lined by stratified squamous epithelium
    • protection
  • from uterine cervix to vestibule
  • direction: upwards, backwards
  • vaginal fornix: recess of the upper end of vagina around the uterine cervix
    • anterior
    • posterior
      • much deeper
      • related to pouch of douglas/recto-uterine pouch
  • 3 layers
    • outer fibroelastic adventitia
      • can expand
    • muscular layer
      • longitudinal smooth muscle
    • mucosa
      • stratified squamous epithelium
      • no glands (lubricated by cervical glands)
      • glycogen: metabolized by lactic acid by vaginal bacteria
        • acidity prevents infection

External genitalia

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  • Mons pubis
    • fatty rounded area
  • labia majora
    • elongated fatty skin folds
  • labia minora
    • fat free folds of skin
    • contain erectile tissue
  • vestibule
    • area between labia minora
    • urethra & vagina open here
    • vaginal orifice covered by hymen
    • greater vestibular glands are at either side of vaginal orifice in the superficial perineal space
      • secretions lubricate the vulva
  • clitoris
    • erectile tisse
    • sensitive
    • hooded by prepuce

Mammary gland

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  • compund tubuloalveolar gland
  • located in superficial fascia
    • over pectoral region
  • Areola: ring of pigmented skin
    • with modified sebaceous gland
  • nipple
    • smooth muscles
    • divided into 15-20 lobes by connective tissue septa
      • each lobe has lobules containing secretory alveoli
    • glands open to summit of nipple
      • by lactiferous ducts
      • secretes milk during lactation
  • more ducts & fat after puberty
  • more secretory unit during pregnancy & lactation
  • atrophy of ducts & fat after menopause

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