Glossary of Female Reproductive physiology
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- What are the primary female reproductive organs?
- the ovaries (gonads)
-Produce germ cells (ova)
-Produce steroid hormones
- What steroid hormones are produced by the ovaries?
- What are the 4 female accesory reproductive organs?
What are their functions collectively?
- -Fallopian tubes
All function to transport ovum, unite sperm/egg, and maintain the embryo/fetus.
- How are the ovaries built structurally?
- with an outer medulla and inner cortex; about 1 in. long
- In the ovaries, what resides in
- Medulla: blood vessels, lymphatics and connective tissue
- What is a follile?
- where the eggs exist as they develop in prep for ovulation.
- How are the ovaries regulated hormonally?
- -Higher brain centers stimulated by age/environment/emotion.
-Stimulates GnRH from hypothal
-Stimulates LH and FSH release from the anterior pituitary
-FSH/LH stimulate ovary release of Estradiol/progest
- What is the feedback of Estradiol and Progesterone like?
- Negative on hypothal/pituitary and higher brain at low conc.
Estradiol is positive feedback at high concentrations.
- What extra hormone causes negative feedback on FSH release from the pituitary?
- Inhibin - it is a peptide hormone.
- In what type of pattern is GnRH released?
- In pulses; so it's not constant or continuous, therefore FSH and LH can be released.
- What happens to LH and FSH release when GnRH is released CONTINUOUSLY instead of in pulses?
- They are inhibited and not released.
- What are the 2 functions of FSH?
- 1. Stimulation of follicle growth and development
2. Regulation of steroid synthesis (estradiol)
- What is LH responsible for? (3)
- 1. Ovulation induction
2. Synthesis of steroids (all of them - estradiol/progest/testos)
3. Maintaining corpus luteum.
- When does oogenesis occur?
- ONLY in fetal development in utero!
- What type of oocytes are present at birth in a female baby?
- all PRIMARY oocytes - they have 46 chromosomes/cell because stuck in the first step of mitosis.
- what happens to the oocytes at birth?
- the first meiotic division into a 2ndary oocyte.
- What type of oocyte gets ovulated?
How many chromosomes/cell does it have?
- a 2ndary oocyte.
23 - half the amt in a primary.
- What type of oocytes does a
- Fetus - in uteru - has primary oocytes only.
Baby - after birth - has 2ndary oocytes only.
- What are POLAR bodies?
- small oocytes with no cytoplasm and no function; they degenerate.
- When do polar bodies develop?
- After puberty, when 2ndary oocytes undergo a 2nd meitoci division to produce ova.
- How does the resting pool of oocytes in a woman change over her lifetime?
- about 1 million at birth
200,000 at puberty
none left at menopause.
- What are the steps in follicular development?
- 1. Oocyte develops into primordial follicle.
2. Primordial -> primary foll.
3. Primary -> Preantral
4. Preantral -> Mature
A mature follicle is also called a Graafian follicle.
- What is the primordial follicle made up of?
- the Oocyte, surrounded by granulosa cells.
- What is the primary follicle made of?
- Grown oocyte, surrounded by a
- What are Theca?
When do they first show up?
- layers that surround the granulosa cells; important in their estrogen secretion.
-First seen in PREANTRAL follicle.
- What develops in the Early antral follicle?
- a fluid filled cavity, the ANTRUM.
- What happens as the antral cavity gets really big?
- the mature oocyte undergoes its 2nd meiotic division into the 2ndary oocyte; gets ovulated.
- What hormone causes ovulation?
- Estradiol - in high concentrations, it causes an LH surge.
- What makes one follicle become dominant over the others, chosen to be ovulated?
- Whichever one has the most receptors for FSH; b/c FSH causes follicular development.
- How do fraternal twins get fertilized?
- When 2 oocytes develop and neither is dominant to the other.
- What happens to the follicle after ovulation?
- It becomes corpus luteum.
- What is corpus luteum for?
- maintaining pregnancy by secreting hormones.
- What happens to the corpus luteum if there is no pregnancy?
- It shrivels up into Corpus albicans (no, not Candida albicans)
- How do you know how many menstrual cycles an old woman has had in her life?
- by counting the corpus albicans in her ovaries
- So in the Grafian(mature) follicle, before ovulation, what happens to the oocyte within the Antral cavity?
- It seperates from the follicle wall (along with the cumulus oophorus it is sitting on top of) and floats inside the antral fluid.
- based on how the follicle and corpus luteum develop then, what are the two phases of the menstrual cycle?
- Follicular - during its development;
Luteal - after ovulation until corpus luteum dies.
- what is the starting building block for the synthesis of ovarian steroids?
What is the source of it?
Source is LDLs in the blood.
- What cells in the ovaries synthesize the ovarian steroids?
- Theca and granulosa cells, in the follicle (actually in the corpus luteum)
- What hormones cause sex steroid synthesis and regulate the process?
- Luteinizing hormone
Follicle stimulating hormone
- In the Theca and Granulosa cells, where are estradiol and Progesterone mainly produced?
- In the granulosa cells.
- What sex steroid is mainly produced in Theca cells?
- How do Theca and Granulosa cells interact during steroid synthesis?
- Theca cells produce Androstenedione and Testosterone which are needed to produce estradiol; Granulosa cells don't HAVE these precursors, so they cross the basement membrane from THECA -> Granulosa and THEN estradiol is made.
- Which pituitary hormone acts on theca cells? Which act on granulosa cells?
- only LH acts on Theca cells.
Both FSH and LH act on granulosa cells.
- Why is progesterone produced later in the menstrual cycle?
- Because its LH receptors on Granulosa cells don't appear until later, when MORE estrogen and progesterone are NEEDED.
- Why are more estrogen/progesterone needed later?
- to inhibit LH and FSH during the luteal phase.
- What are the 7 actions of Estradiol?
- 1. Stimulates ovary/follicle growth
2. Thickens endometrium and myometrium.
3. Upregulates progesterone receptors
4. Stimulates extern. genitalia growth
5. Stimulates breast growth
6. Stim 2ndary sex characteristics to develop.
- What are the 4 roles of Progesterone?
- 1. Converts the endometrium for implantation and pregancy.
2. Decreases contractions and cilia activity in the reproductive tract.
3. Downregulates estrogen receptors.
4. Stimulates breast developm.
- What 2 roles does Testosterone fill in women?
- 1. Sexual drive
2. Axillary and pubic hair.
- What is the myomtrium?
What is the endometrium?
- the smooth muscle of the uterus.
the epithelial layer that thickens/is lost each month.
- About how many weeks is the
- Follic = about 2 wks.
Luteal = about 2 wks too.
- What types of hormones are secreted by the corpus luteum?
- Progestone, Estradiol, and Inhibin.
- What day in the menstrual cycle does one follicle become dominant?
- Day 7
- What day does ovulation occur?
- day 14 (2 wks)
- what day does the corpus luteum begin to degenerate?
- day 25
- Why does the corpus luteum degenerate during the luteal phase?
- because luteinizing hormone is decreased, because Estradiol and Progesterone are high, and they have negative feedback effects on LH.
- Why is menstruation triggered?
- Because the corpus luteum becomes so degraded it stops making progesterone.
- Knowing that Estradiol increases during the follicular phase, how does it affect the thickness of the Endometrium?
- Its thickness develops between the menses and ovulation.
- When is the endometrium the thickest
- at ovulation; it stays that way by progesterone/estrogen action.
- when does the thick endometrium then begin to decline again?
- When progest/estrogen decrease because the corpus luteum degenerates.
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