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Human Body. Male and Female Reproductive Systems

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Introduction

The male or female reproductive systems form the human body’s reproductive system. During reproduction, the male sperms (gametes) are synthesized by the male reproductive system for the eventual fertilization of the female ova (oocytes). On the other hand, the female reproduction system plays an important role in conception, gestation, and birth once the oocytes are fertilized by the male gametes.

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Reproductive Organ System (Male and Female Organ Systems)

A human body organ is a structure that has a combination of at least two different tissue types working together for a common purpose. For example, the reproductive system has male and female reproductive organs such as; ovaries, oviducts, uterus, vagina, and mammary glands for the female reproductive system, and testes, seminal vesicles, and penis for the male reproductive organ system. These body systems work together to provide for the proper functioning of the human body.

Normal Functioning of the Human Organism and its Contribution to Maintenance of Homeostasis

The human body consists of different types of cells. These cells work together as part of the larger organism. This paper discusses the male and female organs’ reproductive systems and their contribution to the maintenance of homeostasis. The role of the male reproductive system is to produce millions of sperms which are delivered in the female body where one sperm unites with a single ovum to create a new life. On the other hand, the role of the female reproductive system is to undergo conception, gestation, and delivery (birth) once fertilization has taken place, that is, male sperm fertilizes the oocyte. The reproductive system does not contribute much to the maintenance of homeostasis of the human organism; rather it contributes to the maintenance of the species. However, human sex hormones affect other human body systems. The occurrence of imbalance in sex hormones may result in various disorders.

Anatomical, Physiological and Cellular Mechanisms behind the Structure or Performance Parameter

The male and female reproductive systems perform several functions: female reproductive systems produce eggs, receive sperms during copulation, provides a favorable environment for fertilization, and shelter and nourish the growing fetus; and the male reproductive organ system produces millions of sperms to be delivered sexually into female anatomy where one sperm unites with a single ovum to create a new life.

How Reproductive Structures Uniquely Suit their Functions

The male and female reproductive structures are uniquely suited in their functions of producing sex cells, promoting their union, and giving the fertilized egg an environment in which it can develop from an embryo to a fetus mature enough to be delivered. This section explains reproductive structures of male and female which consists of; the gonads for production of germ cells and sex hormones, reproductive passages for transportation of reproductive products, reproductive glands for secretions that promote the union of the male and female gametes, and the external sex organs that allow a sexual union to happen (Scot, 2009).

Basic Science Research currently taking Place

This section explores the basic research currently taking place on reproductions. Specifically, research on the creation of human embryo’s through somatic–cell nuclear transfer is not for reproductive purposes but use as a scientific tool. From the research, we learn that embryonic stem cells have the potential for regenerative medicine. We also learn that embryos from which embryonic stem cells are extracted are destroyed in the process. However, studies on how well embryonic stem cells or differentiated tissues perform physiological functions in humans are still unclear.

Discussion

Reproduction in human beings occurs sexually, just like most animals. A human offspring is made by the reproductive system organs when male and female sex cells combine or unite (Alcamo, 2004). The male and female sex cells or genes are referred to as gametes: male gametes are referred to as sperms, and female gametes are referred to as ova. The reproductive system organs assist to develop a cellular fetus. The male and female reproductive systems are not similar in appearance and function. During sexual intercourse, the male releases the sperm cell that fertilizes the female ova, from which the fetus develops. The growth of the fertilized ova is referred to as pregnancy which lasts for nine months (Scot, 2009).

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When male and female gametes unite, fertilization does occur. At the time of fertilization, the female ovum is tiny or smaller than the head of a pin. The fertilized ova will then grow into a group of cells referred to as an embryo. The resultant cells then form tissues, and then organs develop. The organs work together to form body systems. At this stage, the embryo is referred to as a fetus. The fetus then continues to grow and develop during the rest of the pregnancy. This fetus is fully developed after approximately nine months and can survive outside the mother’s body (Alcamo, 2004).

Normal Functioning of the Human Organism and its Contribution to Maintenance of Homeostasis

To understand the normal functioning of the human body, it’s necessary to understand human anatomy and human physiology. Human anatomy looks at the form and structure of an organism, and physiology looks at the processes of living organisms (Scot, 2009). A cell is a structural unit that is basic to the human body. When these cells join together, they form tissues. Subsequently, the tissues combine to form organs, which work together to form body systems (Alcamo, 2004).

These body systems work together to provide for the proper functioning of the human body. For instance: the skin system provides a protective covering for the body; skeleton and muscular systems provide structure and movement; oxygen and other nutrients are transported to all body cells by the circulatory system. The circulatory system also carbon dioxide and other metabolic materials away from the cells; the lymphatic system aids the circulatory system in expelling wastes and excess fluid from the cells and tissues. The nervous system coordinates the many activities that occur in the body and allows the body to respond and adapt to changes; Special senses provided by organs such as the eyes and ears also allow the body to react to the environment; the respiratory system takes in oxygen for use by the body and eliminates carbon dioxide, a waste product produced by the body cells; digestive system is responsible for the physical and chemical breakdown of food so it can be used by body cells; urinary system expels certain waste and excess water from the body; endocrine system, composed of a group of glands, controls many body functions; and the reproductive system allows the human body to create new life (Scot, 2009).

Anatomical, Physiological and Cellular Mechanisms behind the Structure or Performance Parameter

The anatomical and physiological study is necessary to understand the body of a human being. Both anatomy and physiology are concerned with the structural frameworks and functions of the human body. The male and female reproductive systems are designed to enable the union of gametes from the two sexual partners, and the female systems are equipped to accommodate and nourish the offspring to the development point at which it can survive independently in the external environment (Scot, 2009). The primary reproductive organs consist of a pair of testis in males and a pair of ovaries in females. In both males and females, the mature organs exercise the dual function of producing gametes, that is, sperms in males and ova in females; and secreting sex hormones, specifically, testosterone in males and estrogen and progesterone in females Alcamo, 2004). In addition to the organs, the reproductive system in males and females has a reproductive duct encompassing a system of ducts that are specialized to transport or house the gametes after they are produced, plus accessory sex glands that empty their supportive secretions into these passageways. Breasts are considered accessory reproductive organs in females (Alcamo, 2004).

How Reproductive Structures Uniquely Suit their Functions

Reproductive organs have the function of producing sex cells, promoting their union, and giving the fertilized egg an environment in which it can develop from an embryo to a fetus mature enough to be delivered. Additionally, reproductive organs are involved in developing the body shape specific to each sex by the hormones they form. The reproductive organs of male and female consist of; the gonads for production of germ cells and sex hormones, reproductive passages for transportation of reproductive products, reproductive glands for secretions that promote the union of the male and female gametes, and the external sex organs that allow a sexual union to happen (Scot, 2009).

The internal male reproductive system is composed of the testes, the epididymis, the vas deferens, the seminal vesicles, and the prostate. The penis and the scrotum make up the male reproductive organ. Males have two essential reproductive functions; the production of millions of sperms, and delivery of these to the female body, where one sperm unites with a single ovum to create a new life. The organs that produce sperms are called the testes. They are suspended outside the abdominal cavity, the scrotum, which lies within the angle between the legs. The male reproductive system is designed to deliver the sperm to the female reproductive tract in a liquid vehicle, semen, which is conducive to sperm viability (Alcamo, 2004).

Production of sex cells and male reproductive hormones occurs in the testes. From the testes, sperm cells pass through a system of small tubules into the epididymis, which stores them. The sperm cells then reach the urethra at the level of the prostate through the vas deferens, which run through the inguinal canal. Before they open into the urethra, they receive the ducts of the seminal vesicles. The ducts of the prostate and Cowper’s glands open directly into the urethra. The sperm cells achieve mobility under the influence of secretions from these glands. The further transport of semen is taken over by the urethra, the corpora cavernosa of which generates the erection of the penis and so allows it to penetrate the vagina (Scot, 2009).

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The two testes are the male gonads. They lie in a skin pocket known as the scrotum. The testes develop on the posterior abdominal wall, and at the end of fetal development, they leave a peritoneal pocket and descend along the posterior wall of the abdominal cavity through the inguinal canal into the scrotum. This mechanism withdraws them from experiencing the internal body temperature, which would impede the maturation of the sperm (Alcamo, 2004).

The penis and the scrotum are from the external male reproductive organs; and are developed from the abdominal wall. The testes are located in the abdominal wall in the scrotum. In the abdominal cavity, the ambient temperature is about 3 degrees Celsius lower than the body temperature. Optimal development of sperms requires this temperature difference. The skin of the scrotum is provided with many smooth muscle cells, that can smooth the skin surface, hence, assists in temperature regulation. The position of the scrotum in relation to the abdominal cavity can be varied by a spinal reflex mechanism that plays an important role in regulating testicular temperature. Reflex contraction of scrotal muscles on exposure to cold environment raises the scrotal sac to draw the testes closer to the warmer abdomen. Conversely, relaxation of the muscles on exposure to heat allows the scrotal sac to become more pendulous, moving the testes further from the warm core of the body (Scot, 2009).

The design of the female reproductive system is meant to perform numerous functions. It produces ova needed for reproduction. The female reproductive system consists of internal and external structures. Internal structures consist of the vagina, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. The external system consists of labia majora, labia minora, Bartholin’s glands, and the clitoris. The internal female reproductive organs play different functions. For instance, the ovaries produce female eggs that are sent from the ovaries through the uterine tubes to the cavity of the uterus and also produce steroid hormones. Each ovulated egg is released into the peritoneal cavity of the pelvis; one of the uterine tubes captures the ova by the fimbriae, where it begins to move towards the uterus. The uterine tubes transport the sperm cells in the opposite direction, and fertilization of an egg happens within the expanded ampullae of the uterine tube. A fertilized egg becomes embedded in the wall of the uterus, where it develops and grows into a fetus, which passes through the uterus and vagina. The vagina allows a passage for delivery of the offspring; it also functions as a receptor of the penis and semen during sexual intercourse (Alcamo, 2004).

Female reproductive physiology is complicated compared to male reproductive physiology. Males experience continuous sperm production and essentially constant testosterone secretion. In females, however, there is an intermittent release of ova, and secretion of female sex hormones indicates wide cyclic swings, for instance, the menstrual cycle. During each cycle, the reproductive tract is ready for fertilization and implantation of an ovum released from the ovary at ovulation. The cycle repeats if fertilization does not occur. If it does occur, the cycles are interrupted while the female system adapts to nurture and protect the newly conceived offspring until it matures capable of living outside the maternal environment. In addition, the female continues her reproductive functions after delivery by producing milk for the baby’s nourishment (Scot, 2009).

The primary female reproductive structures are the ovaries. They execute the dual function of producing female cells and secreting the female sex hormones; estrogen and progesterone. These hormones perform together to promote fertilization of the ova and to ready the female reproductive system for pregnancy. Estrogen hormone governs functions such as maturation and maintenance of the entire female reproductive system and establishment of female secondary sexual characteristics. Estrogen is necessary for ova maturation and release, development of physical characteristics that are sexually attractive to males, and transport of sperms from the vagina to the site of fertilization in the oviduct (Alcamo, 2004).

Basic Science Research currently taking Place

There is ongoing basic scientific research on reproductions. Research on the creation of human embryo’s through somatic–cell nuclear transfer not for reproductive purposes but use as a scientific tool. Basic scientific research on cloning peaked up momentum due to the need to create stem cells from human embryos for scientific study and therapy. Republic of Korea scientists created a stem cell from a cloned human embryo in 2004. About 242 female eggs were enucleated from 16 donors. They then transferred the DNA of ovarian cells. About 30 embryos reached the blastocyst stage. The scientists then extracted the inner cell mass from these embryos for the cultivation of stem cell lines, one of which was successfully established. Later, Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority in the UK licensed researchers to adopt cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer for embryonic stem cell research (World Health Organization, 2004).

Research involving embryonic stem cells is at the center of the ethical debate about stem cell use and the potential for regenerative medicine. Embryos from which embryonic stem cells are extracted are destroyed in the process. However, embryonic stem cell research has the potential of providing an unlimited source of cells, differentiated into vitro, for transportation therapies involving the nervous system, liver, and pancreas (National Research Council, 2002).

Human embryonic stem cells have only recently become available for scientific research, and because public funding for such research has been limited. Studies on how well embryonic stem cells or differentiated tissues perform physiological functions in humans are still unclear to me (National Research Council, 2002).

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Conclusion

In sum, this paper addressed: the anatomical physiological, and chemical basis of the reproductive structure; the role of the reproductive system in the normal functioning of the human organism and its contribution to the maintenance of homeostasis; how the specific structures are uniquely suited to its functions and how it affects other body systems; and basic science research taking place and what it has taught us.

Reference

Alcamo, E., & Krumhardt, B. (2004). Anatomy and Physiology the Easy Way. Sydney: Baron’s Online Bookshop.

National Research Council. (2002). Stem Cells and the Future of Regenerative Medicine. New York: National Academies Press.

Scot, A., Fong, E. (2009). Body Structure and Function. Sydney: iChapter.com

World Health Organization. (2004). Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings. http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/EB115/B115_ID2-en.pdf

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 31). Human Body. Male and Female Reproductive Systems. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/human-body-male-and-female-reproductive-systems/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 31). Human Body. Male and Female Reproductive Systems. https://studycorgi.com/human-body-male-and-female-reproductive-systems/

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