Section 2

Female Reproductive System

• The female reproductive structures include two ovaries, two fallopian tubes, the uterus, the cervix, the vagina, two labia, and the vulva.

• Eggs form in ovaries. Meiosis reduces the chromosome number in eggs to 23. Eggs are about 75,000 times larger than sperm are.

• Starting at puberty, the ovarian and menstrual cycles occur approximately every 28 days.

• The ovarian cycle consists of three phases: follicular phase, ovulation, and luteal phase.

Vocabulary ovary (p. 1052) fallopian tube (p. 1052) uterus (p. 1052) cervix (p. 1053) vagina (p. 1053)

vulva (p. 1053) labium (p. 1053) ovum (p. 1053) ovarian cycle (p. 1054) menstrual cycle (p. 1054)

• In the follicular phase, FSH causes a follicle to grow. Estrogen produced by the follicle causes an egg to mature and the uterine lining to build up.

• Ovulation occurs midway through the ovarian cycle, when LH causes the follicle to rupture and release its egg.

• In the luteal phase, the follicle becomes a corpus luteum. The corpus luteum secretes progesterone, which stimulates further buildup of the uterine lining.

• Menstruation occurs at the end of the menstrual cycle, when a corpus luteum stops secreting hormones.

follicular phase (p. 1054) follicle (p. 1054) ovulation (p. 1054) corpus luteum (p. 1055) luteal phase (p. 1055)

menstruation (p. 1055) menopause (p. 1055)

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