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Flashcards in Female reproductive Deck (80):


site of female gamete production



- Surrounding developing ova in the outer region of the ovary
- House oocytes
- Secrete estrogen – levels increase as the follicles grow larger


primordial follicle

1. Present at birth, oocytes within are arrested in the first meiotic division
2. Single layer of epithelial cells
3. small


primary follicle

1. At puberty, some follicles and their oocytes begin to grow during each monthly cycle
2. Consists of several cell layers
3. Layers are zona granulosa and secrete mainly estrogen


secondary follicle

1. As oocytes reaches max size, follicle develops central, fluid-filled cavity called antrum
2. Theca interna has formed around the follicle – layer of fibrous tissue
3. Outer fibrous layer – theca externa also present.


theca interna of the secondary follicle

a. Secretes estrogen
b. Provides estrogen precursors to the zona granulosa


theca externa of the secondary follicle

doesn't secrete hormones


Graafian follicle

1. When follicle and antrum reach their greatest size
2. Oocytes completes first meiotic division but remains arrested in second meiotic division until fertilization
3. Contains antrum surrounded by several layers of cells comprising the zona ganulosa which are surrounded by the theca interna
4. Estrogen at height
5. Ovulation about to occur


When do oogonia divide by mitosis?

during the sixth week of embryonic development


When do oogonia enter meiosis and become oocytes?

by birth, oogonia stop dividing and are surrounded by a follicle. they are now oocytes


When is the first meiotic division of oocytes complete?

- during puberty
- after developed into Graafian follicle


When is the second meiotic division of oocytes complete?

after fertilization


When is the nucleus of the oocyte no longer present?

after the first meiotic division when in the Graafian follicle


zona pellucida

1. A glycoprotein covering around the oocytes constructed by secretions from the oocyte and follicle cells
2. Forms protecting covering
3. Bears molecular sites on surface where sperm attach to penetrate the ovum


coronoa radiata

1. Follicle cells surrounding the oocyte in a Graafian follicle
2. Thin cellular processes extend from this to the zona pellucida
3. Remains attached to oocyte after ovulation


what is the fate of the follicle after ovulation

the follicle is converted into a corpus luteum
this is endocrine and secretes product into nearby capillaries


How does the corpus luteum of menstruation form?

- antrum is invaded by connective tissue
- zona granulosa forms folds and is transformed into granulosa lutein
- blood vessels and cells from the theca interna invade the transforming region and become the lutein cells
- the fully formed copus luteum of menstruation contains connective tissue and a blood clot within its shrunken lumen


what causes the follicle to transform into the corpus luteum

high LH levels


What does the granulosa lutein do?

secretes progesterone which prepares the endometrium of the uterus to receive a fertilized ovum


What does the theca lutein do?

secretes estrogen to maintain thickness of the uterine lining


what happens to the corpus luteum of menstruation if there is no pregnancy

12-14 days after ovulation it degenerates leading to the uterine lining sloughing off


What is the corpus luteum of pregnancy.

If an embryo embeds in the uterus lining, embryonic membranes secrete HCG which causes the corpus lutuem to grow much larger and secrete more progesterone and estrogen to maintain the uterine lining . After 3 months of pregnancy, the placenta takes over the role of hormone production


What causes the luteum of pregnancy to grow

HCG secreted by the embryonic membrane


when does the luteum of pregnancy degenerate

after 3 months of pregnancy when the placenta takes over production of progesterone and estrogen


corpus albicans

- end products of both types of lumen
- mainly fibrous tissue with macrophages
- overtime will disappear with no trace except a small scar


hormones secreted by the pituitary gland



hormone secreted by follicle



hormone secreted by corpus luteum

estrogen, progesterone


How do the female hormones work together

Estrogen inhibits FSH secretion, so after 12-14 days, FSH levels fall and follicle growth ceases. It also promotes LH secretion which elicits ovulation.



1. Promotes growth of oocytes
2. Initiates thickening of the uterus lining
3. Stimulates sexual behavior



1. Maintains thickened uterus lining
2. prepares the endometrium of the uterus to receive a fertilized ovum


structure/hormone production of Graafian follicle

1. Oocyte surrounding by corona radiated. Antrum surrounded by zona granulosa. This is all surrounded by theca interna.
2. theca interna secretes estrogen


hormone production of corpus luteum

1. Granulosa lutein secretes progesterone
2. Theca lutein secretes estrogen


hormone production of corpus albicans



8. Indicate (in relative terms) the number of follicles/oocytes present at birth, puberty, and menopause

ii. Most at birth, decline with advancing years until almost all are atretic in menopause
iii. Most follicles will never mature but instead become atretic until none are left


atretic follicle

one that has died


follicular cyst

- ovarian cyst
- Occurs when Graafian follicle fails to release it oocytes but instead grows into a large fluid-filled cyst
- Can reach 2 inches in diameter
- Can rupture causing severe pain or produce no symptoms and disappear on own
- Large must be removed surgically



1. finger like extensions of the hood/infundibulum
2. surround the opening of the tube and sweep across the ovary surface to collect oocytes during ovulation



1. distal end f the fallopian tube
2. partially encloses the ovary



mid-region of the fallopian tube



1. proximal part of the fallopian tube,
2. narrows as it approaches the uterus


regions of the fallopian tube

- fimbria
- infundibulum
- ampulla
- isthmus


Histology of fallopian tubes

1. Both infundibulum and ampulla contain highly folded mucosa which penetrates the lumen to form a narrow labyrinth
a. Consist of columnar epithelium surrounding core supporting itssue surrounded by thin layers of smooth muscle
2. Mucosa of the isthmus is relatively smooth with small lumen and thicker muscle than in distal regions
3. The portion entering the uterus has very small lumen and thickest muscular wall
4. Microscopic cilia on fimbria
5. Columnar epithelium lines the oviduct mucosa
a. Contains two cell types
i. Ciliated
ii. Secretory
1. Provide fluid which is propelled through the oviduct by muscular contractions and the beating of cilia
2. This fluid moves the ovum into the uterus


How does the histology of the fallopian tube facilitate the entry of an ovulated ovum into the fallopian tube

1. microscopic cilia on the fimbria guide the ovum into the fallopian tube
2. smooth muscular contractions guide


how does the histology of the fallopian tube facilitated fertilization of the ovum

1. the folded mucosa of the infundibulum and upper region of the ampulla penetrates the lumen to form a narrow labyrinth which enhances the ability of sperm to contact an ovum
2. fertilization usually occurs in the upper ampulla within the mucosal labyrinth


how does the histology of a fallopian tube facilitate movement of the ovum/developing embryo towards the uterus

1. fluid secreted by secretory cells of the columnar epithelium is moved through the oviduct by gentle muscular contractions and the beating of cilia. This fluid carries the ovum or developing embryo into the uterus


ectopic pregnancy

i. Developing embryo becomes lodged within the fallopian tube instead of entering the uterus
ii. The embryo continues to grow and erodes the mucosa of the tube to form pools of blood
iii. Chorionic villi from the extraembryonic membrane protrude into the blood pools to acquire oxygen and nutrient forming a placenta like structure which allows the embryo to develop into a fetus
iv. This is dangerous and will eventually cause the fallopian tube to rupture


describe the uterine wall

1. Inner surface – endometrium – mucosa – epithelial lining and a supporting connective tissue stroma with exocrine glands
2. Remaining portion is myometrium – thicker, composed of smooth muscle and numerous large blood vessels



1. Thick muscular wall of the uterus
2. Lies beneath the endrometrium
3. Smooth muscle bundles running in several orientation – longitudinal, transverse, and oblique which allow strong contractions required to deliver baby and placenta
4. Increases in size during pregnancy to support growing fetus
a. Accomplished by enlargement of individual muscle fibers



1. Folded with narrow lumen between the folds
2. Tubular glands open on the endometrial surface
3. Glandular tissue in women of reproductive age
4. Changes in thickness during the monthly cycle


briefly describe changes in the thickness of the endometrium during the monthly cycle

a. Thickens in preparation for potential pregnancy in response to estrogen and progesterone
b. Is shed if no pregnancy results


histology of cervix

1. Formed by the tip of the uterus which projects into the vagina
2. Covered in stratified epithelium
3. Its lumen narrows as it gets closer to the vagina creating the endocervical canal
4. Bulk is composed of tough connective tissue stroma with a few smooth muscle fibers
5. Mucosa contains glands which open into the lumen of the endocervical canal


histology of endocervical canal

1. Simple columnar
2. Leads from the uterus lumen into the vagina


describe the changes in mucosa at the endocervical-vaginal junction

1. Epithelium changes from simple columnar of the endocervical canal to stratified squamous of the vagina


cervical polyps

i. Benign
ii. Endocervical canal into the vagina
iii. Large glandular structure with mucous
iv. Easily removed


describe the pap test

i. Screen for cervical cancer
ii. Junctionn of cervix with the vagina is most frequent site of malignancy
iii. Procedure
1. Cells are scraped from the endocervical-vaginal junction then stained and examined under microscope


histology of vagina

i. Folded surface
ii. Thick stratified squamous epithelium and supporting connective tissue with keratinized epithelial cells
1. Lamina propria lacks glands
iii. Mucosa contains elastin fibers which facilitate expansion and contraction
iv. Wall contains smooth muscle
v. Covered by thin layer of connective tissue – the adventitia


how does the histology of the vagina facilitate copulation and birthing

i. Folded surface to allow expansion
ii. smooth muscle contracts involuntarily after coitus trapping a pool of semen within the cervical region


Where do fluids come from that lubricate the vagina?

- tubular glands of the cervix which are endocervical glands
- vascular network of the lamina propria


endocervical glands

- tubular
- secrete a watery mucus during the time of ovulation. This become more viscous after ovulation inhibiting microorganism from entering the uterus forming the mucous plug


labia minor

Small skin folds enclosing the openings of the urethra and vagina


structure of the labia minor

- contains apocrine glands which secrete directly onto skins surface
- thin surface of keratin


function of glands of the labia minor

- moisten the inner vulva surfaces and lubricate the opening of the vagina


labia major

outer folds of the vulva


relationship between ovarian and uterine-menstrual cycle

- the proliferative phase of the uterine-menstrual cycle occurs in the part of the ovarian cycle when the follicles are growing
- following ovulation during the luteal phase of the ovarian cycle, the secretory phase begins
- the menstrual phase occurs when the luteum degenerates and the next oocyte begins to mature


which ovarian phase occurs during proliferative

follicles growing


which ovarian phase occurs during secretory

luteal phase


which ovarian phase occurs during mestrual

luteum degeneration
next oocyte maturing


proliferative phase

1. When follicles are growing
2. Estrogen causes the functional layer to proliferate


early proliferative phase

a. Begins to thicken due to division of stromal cells and growth of uterine glands


late proliferative phase

a. Functional region doubled in thickness
b. Glands reach the luminal surface and begin to coil


secretory phase

1. Following ovulation
2. Follicle is converted into corpus luteum
a. Secrete estrogen and progesterone
3. Estrogen maintains the thickened endometrium


early secretory phase

a. Endometrium reaches max thickness and glycogen synthesis begins
b. Glands become more coiled assuming corkscrew shape
c. Functional layer becomes more vascular and begins secretion of glycogen due to progesterone
d. Glycogen accumulates in vacuoles at the base of the epithelial cells


late secretory phase

a. Endometrial glands are distended with glycogen secretions
i. Have saw-tooth appearance
b. Liquid seeps from blood vessel network of the functional layer making the tissue moist and spongy
c. Increased from 1mm to 5mm in thickness
d. Ready to receive an embryo


menstrual phase

1. The corpus luteum degenerates
2. Hormone levels fall
3. Functional layer is sloughed off during menstruation


role of glycogen secretions by the uterine glands

i. Secretions serve as nutrients for developing embryo prior to formation of the placenta


spiral arteries

i. Enter the uterus within the myometrium and branch into the endometrium
ii. Within basal region, straight and unchanged throughout the uterine cycle


changes to spiral arteries

iii. During proliferative phase, grow to the endometrial surface where they rebranch and form capillaries within the functional layer
iv. Become leaky during the secretory phase and blood pools form within the lacunae of the endometrium
v. During menstruation, constrict and degenerate


placenta structure

i. the placenta consists of chorionic villi from the fetus surrounded by pools of blood within the endometrium.
ii. The endometrium remains thick and forms the materal portion of the placental
iii. Extraembryonic membrane surrounding the embryo forms finger-like villi that branch and protrude ino the blood pools within the endometrium
iv. Capillaries that originate from arteries within the umbilical cord extend into the villi bringing embryonic blood vessels in close contact with maternal blood


describe changes in uterine histology after menopause

i. Functional layer disappears
ii. Uterine glands are inactive and reduce in number – may become dilated and filled with fluid forming cysts
iii. Myometrium becomes atrophic
iv. Uterus shrinks to half its previous size