Explain how the structure and function of the following organs link together.

  • FEMALE: vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovaries
  • MALE: testes, epididymis, vas deferens, ejaculatory duct, urethra, penis, accessory glands
  • The structure and function of the female and male reproductive organs link together by producing and protecting gametes that will then be used during sexual reproduction.

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    Let's start with the female reproductive system, and let's start from the inside and work toward the outside. The ovaries are where the female gametes (eggs) are produced. Each ovary holds thousands of eggs. An egg is called an ovum, and sometime around day 14 of the female menstrual cycle,...

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    Let's start with the female reproductive system, and let's start from the inside and work toward the outside. The ovaries are where the female gametes (eggs) are produced. Each ovary holds thousands of eggs. An egg is called an ovum, and sometime around day 14 of the female menstrual cycle, an ovum will be released. That ovum will move down the fallopian tube (oviduct) toward the uterus. This is generally where the sperm will meet and fertilize the egg. A fertilized egg will implant itself into the lining of the uterus which is sometimes called the womb. The walls of the uterus are both elastic and muscular and have a great many blood vessels. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg and the lining of uterus will be shed and expelled out through the vagina. As for the cervix, it is a ring-like structure at the base of the uterus that opens to the vagina. During sexual intercourse, it will secrete an alkaline mucus that protects the sperm.

    The male reproductive system exists to produce sperm and deliver the sperm as close to the ovulated egg as possible. The testicles are made of tightly coiled tubes, and this is where meiotic divisions occur to produce sperm cells. Unfortunately, the testicles can't store sperm forever, so sperm make their way through a system of tubes into the epididymis. This is a coiled tube within the scrotum where the sperm will complete their maturation. The mature sperm are then moved into a tube called the vas deferens that takes the sperm toward the ejaculatory ducts and urethra. The urethra is the final tube that runs through the penis and leads to the body's exit. Before that happens, the seminal vesicles produce a liquid that allows the sperm to swim better. The prostate will do the same thing. The sperm with related liquid is called semen.

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