2. Describe the two compartments of the testes with respect to (a) structure, (b) function, and (c) response to gonadotropin stimulation. Describe two ways in which these compartments interact.
Infundibulum of uterine tube
Fimbriae Egg cell Follicle
Posterior portion of vaginal fornix
Cervix of uterus
Cervix of uterus
■ Figure 20.26 The organs of the female reproductive system. These are shown in sagittal section.
nonkeratinized epithelium that consists of a stratum basale and a more superficial stratum functionale. The stratum functionale, which cyclically grows thicker as a result of estrogen and progesterone stimulation, is shed at menstruation.
The uterus narrows to form the cervix (= neck), which opens to the tubular vagina. The only physical barrier between the vagina and uterus is a plug of cervical mucus. These structures— the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes—constitute the accessory sex organs of the female (fig. 20.26). Like the accessory sex organs of the male, the female reproductive tract is affected by gonadal steroid hormones. Cyclic changes in ovarian secretion, as will be described in the next section, cause cyclic changes in the epithelial lining of the tract.
The vaginal opening is located immediately posterior to the opening of the urethra. Both openings are covered by longitudinal folds—the inner labia minora and outer labia majora (fig. 20.27). The clitoris, a small structure composed largely of erectile tissue, is located at the anterior margin of the labia minora.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.