The reproductive system or genital system is a system of organs within an organism which work together for the purpose of reproduction. Many non-living substances such as fluids, hormones, and pheromones are also important accessories to the reproductive system. Unlike most organ systems, the sexes of differentiated species often have significant differences. These differences allow for a combination of genetic material between two individuals, which allows for the possibility of greater genetic fitness of the offspring. The major organs of the reproductive system include the external genitalia (penis and vulva) as well as a number of internal organs including the gamete producing gonads (testicles and ovaries). Diseases of the human reproductive system are very common and widespread, particularly communicable sexually transmitted diseases.
Organs of the Reproductive System
The ovary is an ovum-producing reproductive organ, often found in pairs as part of the vertebrate female reproductive system. Ovaries in female individuals are analogous to testes in male individuals, in that they are both gonads and endocrine glands. Ovaries secrete both estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is responsible for the appearance of secondary sex characteristics for females at puberty and for the maturation and maintenance of the reproductive organs in their mature functional state. Progesterone prepares uterus for pregnancy, and mammary gland for lactation. Progesterone functions with estrogen by promoting menstrual cycle changes in the endometrium. Fallopian tubes
The uterine or fallopian form the initial part of the duct system. They receive the ovulated oocyte and provide the site where fertilization can occur. Each of the uterine tubes is about 10 cm long and extends medially from an ovary to empty into the superior region of the uterus. Like the ovaries, the uterine tubes are enclosed and supported by the broad ligament. The...