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The Reproductive System. Endocrine Glands and Hormones

The reproductive system is formed by organs in an organism. These organs function together for the reason of reproduction. It is found in both sexual and asexual organisms. The reproductive system of human beings is similar to that of many animals. A male and female come together during sex and if the male sperm and the female egg meet then fertilization take place. After fertilization the fertilised egg is implanted into the female’s uterus for a gestation of nine months; a period called pregnancy. At the end of the gestation period birth takes place. This paper will explain the reproductive system in sexual organisms, the major endocrine glands and the most important hormones they produce.

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Both males and females have different reproductive systems. On the one hand is the male reproductive system contains a number of organs that are located outside the body. The male reproductive system provides sperms or male gamete for fertilisation. The male gametes are produced in the testes that are found in sac called the scrotum that hangs outside the body. The reason for the reproductive system being outside the body is to provide the right temperate for the gamete formation. After the gametes are produced in the testes they move to the epididymis for maturation as well as storage. The male reproductive system contains glands that produce ejaculatory fluids; the semen. The organs involved are the prostrate gland, vas deferens and seminal vesicles. The Cowper gland, vas deferens, urethra and the penis are used to transfer the sperm to the female body during copulation (Pillitteri, 69).

On the other is the female reproductive system. It contains organs located within the body. The system has three major parts. There are the ovaries that produce the female gamete and also act as the storage. The vagina is an organ that receives the male gamete during copulation for fertilization. The other part is the uterus that acts as a house for the fertilized egg where it develops until birth (Pillitteri, 73).

The endocrine glands produce hormones that are useful in many processes in the human body for example: reproduction, metabolism, growth and so on. The pituitary gland produces some of the hormones used in reproduction. It produces hormones like the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which stimulate the production of the oestrogen hormone that is involved in the development of secondary sexual characteristics in females. This hormone also prepares the body to be able to hold a pregnancy in case fertilization occurs. When a pregnancy occurs these hormones play a major role in it. In the males FSH is involved in spermatogenesis (Endocrine Glands, 1). The luteinizing hormone (LH) is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. It stimulates ovulation in females so that fertilization can occur with the release of an egg from the ovaries to the fallopian tubes where fertilization takes place. It is also involved in secretion of progesterone a hormone that prepares the endomentruim in case of a pregnancy by thickening the walls of the uterus ready for implantation of the fertilized egg. LH aids in testosterone synthesis in the males. On the other hand the posterior pituitary gland produces the hormone oxytocin which facilities in the transportation of sperms through myometrical contractions during copulation as well as milk ejection during nursing (Pillitteri, 73,)

If a baby is born the pituitary gland secrete a hormone called prolactin that stimulates milk formation and releases. It also influences the maternal instincts of the females to enable them take care of their young one (Endocrine Glands, 1).

The other endocrine gland is the hypothalamus. It helps in the secretion of Gonodotropic Releasing Hormone (GnRH) which stimulates the release of LH and FSH by the anterior pituitary.

The ability to reproduce offspring is a characteristic that is common among all living organisms. Through reproduction there is continued supply of organisms which ensures continuity of living organisms. Therefore the importance of the reproductive system cannot be overemphasized it is the only way that protects organisms against extinction.

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Endocrine Glands and Hormones. 1999. Oklahoma State University. Web.

Pillitteri, Adele.Maternal & child health nursing: care of the childbearing & childrearing family Ed.5. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006.

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