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QQI Level 5 Anatomy and Physiology 5N0749 – Unit 7: The Reproductive System Assignment Example

The reproductive system is made up of the male and female sex organs. The male sex organs are the penis and scrotum, while the female sex organs are the vagina, uterus, and ovaries. The primary function of the reproductive system is to produce new life.

The reproductive system is an essential part of the human body. This unit looks at the anatomy and physiology of the male and female reproductive systems. The module will evaluate sexual differentiation in both sexes, pregnancy, contraception, and the menstrual cycle.

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Learning Outcomes of The Reproductive System

When you have studied this unit, you will be able to:

Understand the male and female reproductive systems

The male and female reproductive systems are very different in structure and function, but they work together to produce new life.

The male reproductive system consists of the penis and scrotum. The penis is used for sexual intercourse and the scrotum houses the testes. The testes produce sperm and testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for the development of male sex characteristics, such as the beard and deep voice.

The female reproductive system consists of the vagina, uterus, and ovaries. The vagina is used for sexual intercourse and the uterus houses the baby during pregnancy. The ovaries produce eggs, which are fertilized by sperm to create a new life.

State the functions of each organ of the male and female reproductive systems

The male reproductive system has the following functions:

  • To produce sperm, which is used to fertilize eggs to create new life
  • To produce testosterone, which is responsible for the development of male sex characteristics
  • To house and protect the testes

The female reproductive system has the following functions:

  • To produce eggs, which are fertilized by sperm to create new life
  • To house and protect the uterus and fetus
  • To produce estrogen, which is responsible for female sex characteristics

Describe the structure of the uterus

The uterus is a muscular organ that is about the size and shape of a pear. It is located in the female pelvis between the bladder and rectum. The uterus has three sections: the fundus, corpus, and cervix.

  • The upper part of the uterus is called the fundus. It’s located in front of a woman’s vagina (a canal that leads from inside us all out).
  • The lower part of the uterus, where it joins with the vagina, is called the cervix. It’s at its lowest point and forms an opening into the uterus during menstruation or pregnancy when eggs are released from the ovaries (ovulation).
  • In between these two points is a section that can expand when needed called the middle myometrium or corpus.

Describe the stages of the menstrual cycle and the role hormones play in it

The menstrual cycle is a natural, female phenomenon that occurs every month. There are four stages to the menstrual cycle. First is menses, second is ovulation, third is the luteal phase, and the fourth stage of the menstrual cycle is premenstrual syndrome or PMS.

  • The first stage of the menstrual cycle is menses. This is when the body sheds the lining of the uterus. Menses usually last for 3-5 days.
  • The second stage of the menstrual cycle is ovulation. This is when an egg is released from one of the ovaries. Ovulation usually occurs 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period.
  • The third stage of the menstrual cycle is the luteal phase. This is when the egg begins to travel down the fallopian tube to the uterus. The luteal phase lasts for about 14 days.
  • The fourth stage of the menstrual cycle is a premenstrual syndrome or PMS. This is when a woman experiences physical and emotional symptoms in preparation for her period. Symptoms can include bloating, cramps, mood swings, and headaches.

Hormones play a very important role in the menstrual cycle by regulating the activities of the ovaries and uterus. There are three hormones that are essential for the menstrual cycle: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These hormones work together to control the different stages of the menstrual cycle.

  • Estrogen is responsible for the first half of the menstrual cycle and it stimulates the development of the ovarian follicle.
  • Progesterone is responsible for the second half of the menstrual cycle and it helps to prepare the uterus for pregnancy.
  • Testosterone is responsible for maintaining the health of the ovaries and uterus.

The menstrual cycle is regulated by a hormone called prolactin. Prolactin is produced by the pituitary gland, which is located in the brain. Prolactin inhibits the production of estrogen and progesterone, which causes menstruation to occur.

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Explain the following terms: insemination, fertilization, implantation

  • Insemination is when sperm enters a woman’s vagina and travels up to her cervix. It is the process of depositing sperm into a woman’s uterus. This can be done manually or with the help of a medical device such as a syringe.
  • Fertilization occurs in the oviducts or fallopian tubes, where a mature egg cell meets a man’s sperm cell. It is the process where the sperm and egg join together to form a zygote. Fertilization usually occurs in the fallopian tubes.
  • Implantation is when the embryo attaches itself to the uterine lining for nourishment. It is when the zygote attaches to the wall of the uterus. Implantation usually occurs about 6-10 days after fertilization.

The fertilized egg will implant itself in the uterine wall and start to grow. The placenta will develop and attach to the uterine wall to provide nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. The placenta is a temporary organ that will detach from the uterine wall after childbirth.

Outline briefly the development of the embryo in the first trimester

The first trimester is the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. The developing baby will be extremely sensitive and vulnerable to anything that might harm him or her.

During the first four weeks, the zygote takes shape and establishes itself in the uterus. It becomes implanted into the uterine lining through implantation. After implantation occurs, the placenta begins to develop along with an umbilical cord that connects it to the fetus. During this period, all of a person’s major organs begin to form. The head, arms, legs, kidneys, lungs, nervous system are also developed during this time period. By week six, for example, each side of the embryo has five tiny digits where will eventually develop. At around week nine, the embryo starts to look more human-like and the nervous system becomes better developed.

During the first trimester, a woman should avoid all types of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. These can be very harmful to the developing baby. She should also eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest. It is also important to see a doctor regularly for prenatal checkups.

State the functions of each of the following: placenta, amniotic sac, umbilical cord, mammary glands

  • Placenta – The placenta is an organ attached to the uterus that provides nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. It is a temporary organ that is responsible for providing the fetus with nutrients and oxygen. It also removes waste products from the baby’s blood.
  • Amniotic sac – The amniotic fluid protects and cushions the baby while he or she develops. This protectant cushion keeps the baby safe throughout development. The amniotic sac also helps to regulate temperature and releases waste.
  • Umbilical cord – The umbilical cord is a cord that connects the embryo or fetus to the placenta. This cord allows nutrients, oxygen, and other essential materials from the mother to travel to the baby and it carries wastes products from the baby back to the placenta.
  • Mammary glands – Mammary glands are what produce milk in females after pregnancy. Each mammary gland consists of a milk-producing section called the alveolus and a duct, which carries milk to the nipple. Mammary glands are usually inactive during pregnancy.

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