Reproductive System Study Guide WITH ANSWERS To use this

Reproductive System Study Guide WITH ANSWERS
To use this answer key you will need to find the specific question you are looking for. There are
extra questions with answers mixed in but they are still in the same relative order of your
question. Some of these answers are very specific. Focus on the big ideas and don’t get lost on the
super specific details.
SET A with answers
1) Where are the sperm cells produced? seminiferous tubules
The testes are connected to the vas deferens by the ______.
In males, what is the name of the diploid cell that undergoes meiosis? primary spermatocyte
What procedure eliminates an area containing mucous membranes, and in the process changes the
bacterial ecosystem of the penis? circumcision
What physical changes in the penis cause an erection? The tissue within the penis engorges with blood
Sperm is mixed with ______ to produce semen.
seminal fluid
7) Recall that sperm need an energy source to keep them moving. What is the energy source in the
seminal fluid use to generate ATP? fructose
8) When sperm-producing tissues can not mature, what happens?
9) WHY and HOW is the temperature of the testes regulated? 9) WHY? Because sperm can only be
formed successfully at a narrow range of temperatures. HOW? The relaxation or contraction of the scrotal
muscles moves the testes further away or closer to the body, which is giving off heat.
10) TRUE or FALSE: The SRY gene is on the X chromosome, and tells the body to produce ovaries. FALSE.
The SRY gene is on the Y chromosome and tells the body to produce testes.
11) TRUE or FALSE: Meiosis produces 4 haploid cells, and mitosis produces 2 diploid cells. TRUE
TRUE or FALSE: A pseudohermaphrodite has a functional set of testes and ovaries. FALSE. A
pseudohermaphrodite has either testes OR ovaries. They are a pseudohermaphrodite because their
external genitalia does not correspond to their internal gonads. (e.g. A person with ovaries AND a penis,
or a person with testes and a vagina)
How does meiosis in males differ from females? Males produce 4 functional sperm. Females produce 1
functional egg, and 3 polar bodies--which do not have any function other than getting rid of excess
WHY do females produce 1 egg and 3 polar bodies, as compared with males who produce 4 functional
sperm cells? All the cytoplasm from all 4 potential eggs is diverted to the one egg so that it can be used
to nourish the developing embryo before the umbilical connection to the mother is formed.
Before our functional, internal genitalia is fully formed, we have undeveloped "duct" systems. Which duct
system develops in males, and which in females? Mullerian ducts develop into the upper vagina, cervix,
uterus and oviducts (fallopian tubes) in women.
The Wolffian ducts become the vas deferens, seminal vesicles and epididymis in males.
Besides reproduction, what is another function of the male reproduction system? To produce
androgens (like testosterone) that control the development of male physical characteristics.
Where are mature sperm stored? the epididymus
What are the different steps in the sexual response cycle (there are 4)?
Excitement phase
Plateau phase
Orgasmic phase
In males, what is the SEXUAL function of the urethra? It carries the gametes through the penis.
What physical changes occur in males as the sexual response cycle is activated?
Thickening of scrotal
tissue, lifting of testes, increase in breathing rate, erection of nipples.
What procedure performed on males can lower the risk of HIV? circumcision
In the womb, at how many weeks post-conception do male sexual characteristics start to develop? About
8 weeks.
What are the 2 types of gonads? Ovaries in females, testes in males.
Name the structures of the male reproductive system in the order in which sperm passes through them.
Start with the structure in which the sperm are made. Seminiferous tubules (sperm creation),
epididymus (sperm storage), vas deferens, seminal vessicle, prostate, urethra
What are the main parts of the sperm, and the function of each?1) An ovoid head - contains genetic
2) Acrosome - interacts with egg membrane to initiate events of fertilization
3) Midpiece - contains mitochondria that generate ATP so sperm can have energy to move around
4) Tail - the whip-like tail beats back and forth to move the sperm.
Through what structure do the testes descend (drop) into the scrotum?
inguinal canal
What is the cap-like structure of a mature sperm called? acrosome
What are some causes of sterility? castration, impotence, sexually transmitted disesase, high production
of abnormal sperm
What is the technical term for the inability to sustain an erection (HINT: it is an alternate term to erectile
dysfunction). impotence
SET B with answers
How is the scrotum affected by temperature?
When it is cold, testes are pulled closer to the pelvic
floor and the warmth of the body wall, and the scrotum becomes shorter and heavily wrinkled, reducing
surface area and increasing its thickness to reduce heat loss.
When warm, the scrotal skin is flaccid and loose to increase the surface area for cooling (sweating) and
the testes hang lower, away from body trunk.
What is the path of the sperm from the testes to penis? Made in the seminiferous tubules, straight
tubule, rete testis, efferent ductules, epididymis (head, body, tail), ductus deferens (through spermatic
cord), ampulla of ductus deferens joins with duct of seminal vesicle to form short ejaculatory duct, then
enters prostate emptying into urethra (preprostatic, prostatic, membranous, spongy - receives secretions
from bulbourethral glands)
What are the two tunics of the testes?
Outer tunic is two-layered tunica vaginalis derived from out
pocketing of peritoneum. Deep to this serous layer is tunica albuginea which is the fibrous capsule of the
What structure helps in moving the sperm out of the testes?
Smooth muscle-like myoid cells which are
found in surrounding in each seminiferous tubules in three to five layers. They contract rhythmically,
helping to squeeze sperm and testicular fluids through tubules and out of testes
What is the spermatic cord? Nerve fibres, blood vessels and lymphatics enclosed in connective tissue
sheath connecting testes to abdominal wall and passes through inguinal canal
What is the function of the epididymis? Immature, nearly nonmotile sperm leave the testis are moved
slowly along duct of the epididymis through fluid that contains a number of antimicrobial proteins (ex.
beta-defensins). As they move (bout 20 days) they gain ability to swim. Some pseudostratified epithelial
cells have microvilli allowing the absorption of excess testicular fluid and pass nutrients to many sperm.
What epithelia makes the epididymis and ductus deferens?
Pseudostratified epithelial: single layer of
cell of varying heights thats main function is secretion
What are the four structures of the urethra?
Preprostatic urethra: approx. 1cm and extends form
base of bladder to prostate
Prostatic urethra: 3-4 cm long and surrounded by prostate gland
Membraneous urethra: narrow and passes through deep perineal pouch
Spongy urethra: longest portion and surrounded by erectile tissue
What is the function of seminal vesicles, prostate and bulbourethral glands? Seminal vesicles: yellowish
alkaline fluid containing fructose, ascorbic acid, coagulating enzyme and protaglandins which enhance
sperm motility/ fertilising ability
Prostatic gland: role in activating sperm and accounts for 1/3 of semen volume. Milky, slightly acidic fluid
that contains citrate, several enzymes and prostate-specific antigen
Bulbourethral glands: thick clear mucus. Acts to drain into spongy urethra and provide lubrication for
glans penis during sexual excitement and to neutralise traces of acidic urine in urethra before ejaculation
What is occurring in spermatogenesis before puberty? Before puberty, spermatogonia is being
continuously being divided by mitosis and their daughter cells become spermatogonia
Name the stages of spermatogenesis?
1. Mitosis of Spermatogonia to form type A (remain at germ
cell line) and type B cells (pushed towards lumen, where it becomes primary spermatocyte. (Diploid)
2. Primary spermatocyte undergo meiosis I to form secondary spermatocyte (haploid)
3. Secondary spermatocyte undergo meiosis II to form early spermatids (haploid)
4. Early spermatids - late spermatids undergo spermiogensis where the small round cells, with large
spherical nuclei elongates, shed excess cytoplasmic baggage and forms tail to end result in spermatozoon
What are the four parts of the uterine tubes?
isthmus, ampulla, infundibulum, fimbriae
What are sertoli cells?
Throughout spermatogenesis, descendants of same spermatogonium remain
closely attached to another by cytoplasmic bridges. Surrounded by non-replicating supporting cells called
sertoli cells which extend from basal lamina to lumen of tubule. They help developing sperm through
What do FSH and LH bind to and what are their functions in male?
FSH binds to sterol cells to release
ABP to keep conc. of testosterone in vicinity of spermatogenic cells high. LH binds to interstitial cells in
soft connective tissue surrounding seminiferous tubules, prodding them to secrete testosterone.
What are the several ligaments that the ovary is supported by? Ovarian ligament anchors the ovary
medially to uterus.
Suspensory ligament anchors it laterally to pelvic wall
Mesovarium suspends it in between
Suspensory ligament and mesovarium are part of broad ligament, a peritoneal fold that tents over uterus
and supports uterine tubes, uterus, vagina. Ovarian ligaments are enclosed by broad ligament.
What is happening to the uterine tubes at time of ovulation? Uterine tubes perform complex
movements to capture oocytes. It bends to drape over ovary while fimbraie stiffen and sweep the ovarian
surface. The beating cilia on fimbriae then create currents in peritoneal fluid that tend to carry an oocyte
into uterine tubes. Uterine tubes have sheets of smooth muscle, and this, highly folded mucosa contains
both ciliated and conciliated cells which oocyte is carried by combination of muscular peristalsis and
beating of cilia.
Which ligaments support the uterus?
Supported laterally by mesometrium portion of broad ligament
Lateral cervical ligaments extend from cervix and vagina to lateral walls of pelvis, and paired uterosacral
ligaments secure uterus to sacrum posteriorly
Round ligaments bound uterus to interior body wall
Ligaments allow uterus a good deal of mobility, and its position changes as rectum and bladder fill and
What are the two layers in the endometrium and what function do they have?Two chief strata:
statum functionalis: undergoes cyclic changes in response to blood levels of ovarian hormones and is
shed during menstruation
stratum basalis: forms new functionalis after menstruation ends. Unresponsive to ovarian hormones
What are the three layers of the uterine wall?
Perimetrium: outermost serous layer
Myometrium: bulky middle layer, composed of interlacing bundles of smooth muscle
Endometrium: mucosal lining of uterine cavity
What are the arteries in the uterine wall? uterine arteries arise from internal iliacs in pelvis, ascend
alongside of uterus, and send branches into uterine wall. These branches break up into several arcuate
arteries within myometrium then send radial branches where straight arteries in status basalis is and
spiral arteries in stratum functionalis
Before ovulation, what phase is the oocyte in and what phase is it after ovulation before fertilisation?
Propase I and then Metaphase II
What are the two phases in oogensis?
Follicular Phase: growth of follicle cells
Luteal Phase: activity of corpus luteum
Brief overview of oogensis primordial follicles, primary follicles, secondary follicles, late secondary
follicles, mature vesicular follicle, corpus luteum, ovulation, gransulosa cells, theca cells, zona pellucida,
antrum, prophase 1, metaphase 2, polar body
What is secondary follicle? Early secondary follicle: follicular cells proliferate forming stratified
epithelium around oocyte and cells called granusola cells which there are gap junctions from cells to
oocyte for nutrients etc.
Late secondary follicle: connective tissue condense around follicle forming theca folliculi. Theca folliculi
and granusola cells communicate to produce estrogen.
Oocyte secretes glycoprotein-rich substance that forms thick transparent extracellular layer called zona
How is oestrogen produced in the secondary follicle?
Inner theca cells produce androgens, which the
granulosa cells convert to oestrogen
What is the function of the corpus luteum?
To produce progesteron and some oestrogen.
Progesterone is used to maintain stratum functionalis and thus is essential during pregnancy
What events happen after the LH surge? Stimulates primary oocyte of dominant follicle to complete first
meiotic division, forming secondary oocyte that continues to metaphase II.
It increases local vascular permeability, stimulates release of prostaglandins, and triggers an
inflammatory response that promotes the release of metalloproteinase enzymes that help weaken the
ovary wall. It results in blood restriction and then ovulation.
Where is inhibin released from in the ovarian cycle?
Inhibin is released by the granusola cells during
the rising estrogen levels and it is also released by the corpus luteum
Wen are progesterone levels at their highest?
In the secretory phase where it is produced by the
corpus luteum which maintains the stratum functionalis
What causes the rapid oestrogen decline after ovulation?
LIkely because of the damage to the
dominant estrogen-secreting follicle during ovulation (gransuloa cells)
What is the menstrual cycle?
A series of cyclic changes that the uterine endometrium goes through
each month as it responds to the waxing and waning of ovarian hormones in the blood
When are oestrogen levels highest?
Estrogen levels are at the highest around before ovulation
where it creates negative feedback to hypothalamus but intensifying the effect of FSH on follicle
maturation. High levels of oestrogen triggers LH surge.
What is the correlation between ovarian cycle, ovarian hormone levels and uterine cycle? Menstrual
and proliferative phase occurs before ovulation and secretory phase is after. Progesterone levels are
highest in secretory phase as it is produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation where LH and FSH are
inhibited. However, LH and FSH are highest at ovulation where it is triggered by the the high oestrogen
levels right before ovulation.
What is the bulbospongisosus muscle?
It assists in helping expel last drop of urine, assist in erection
by pushing blood into the body of penis and compressing outflowing veins.
Forms a sphincter that compresses the bulb of penis and corpus spongiosum thereby aiding in emptying
the spongy urethra of urine and sperm.
Helps in erection - anterior fibres encircle the most proximal part of body of pens is and increase
pressure on the erectile tissue in root of pens is, impeding venous damage
What is the ischiocavernosus muscle in male?
It maintains erection of penis by compressing
outflowing veins and pushing blood into the body of penis. they surround the crura (proximal ends of the
corpus caverosus at root of penis). Each muscle forces blood from the cavernous spaces in the crura into
the penis. Deep dorsal vein also compressed by these muscles.
Where is the uterus located?
It is positioned between rectum and bladder. The bladder is anterior
and the rectum is posterior. It often tilts forward (anteverted/anteflexed)
What is recto-uterine pouch?
It part of peritoneal cavity that lies between the rectum and the
posterior wall of the uterus
What is the vesico-uterine pouch? It is part of the peritoneal cavity that lies between the bladder and the
anterior wall of uterus.
What are the two main ligaments suspended by the ovaries? Suspensory ligament: connects to the
lateral wall of pelvis. It also conveys the ovarian vessels and lymphatics and nerves and constitutes the
lateral part of the mesovarium of the broad ligament
Ovarian ligament: attaches the ovary to the uterus which also runs into the mesovarium of the broad
What is anteverted and ante flexed?
Anterverted: when the inferior part of uterus inclines
anteriorly (tips forward towards the bladder). This is most the most common position however some
women have a retroverted uterus which is tipped towards the posterior
Anteflexed: fundus is pointing forward relative to the cervix
What musculature and ligaments support the uterus? A. passive support from bladder: uterus is
anteverted and so rests over bladder
B. Ligaments:
Broad ligament (peritoneum): support the uterus laterally; peritoneal folds over the uterus and holds it
to the lateral wall and floor of pelvis.
Lateral cervical ligaments: connects the cervix of the vagina to the lateral pelvic wall
Uterosacral ligaments: extends from sides of cervix to the middle of sacrum
Round ligament: binds to uterus to the anterior abdominal wall, runs through the inguinal canal to fuse
with fibres in labia majora
C. pelvic floor: pelvic diaphragm is dynamic support
What are the two compartments in the testis?
Seminiferous tubules (produce sperm)
Interlobular tissue (synthesis and secrete androgens)
What epithelia makes up the epididymis and uterus?
Tall columnar
What epithelia makes up the vas deferens?
Pseudostratified columnar cell
What structures of that pathway and how it aids the sperm movement?
Ciliated epithelium - aids
movement and directional flow (plus steriocilia of vas deferens)
Ducts supported by smooth muscle (movement)
Pseudostratification (efferent ductules, Vas deferenes/ ejaculatory duct) for absorption of fluid and
phagocytic processes
How long does it take for one cycle of meiosis take to produce sperm? 70 days
What makes up the myometrium? They have three indistinct layer of smooth muscle, collagen and
elastic fibres
What is the endometrium? Inner, thick mucosa
Consists of tubular glands extending from surface into stroma
Stratum functionalis: responsive to hormones and undergoes monthly style of proliferation, secretion,
necrosis and shedding
Stratum basalis: not shed during menstruation - provides a cellular reserve from which a new functional
layer develops
Hormone sensitive
What are the four layers to the
1. stratified squamous epithelial mucosa (non-keratinising)
2. lamina propria - rich in elastic fibres and blood vessels
3. fibromuscular layer - ill defined bundles of smooth muscle
4. adventitia - fibrocollagenous tissue with thick elastic fibres, nerves, large blood vessels and clumps of
ganglion cells
What are the bones that make up the walls of the pelvic cavity? pubic symphysis
pubic tubercle
ischiopubic ramus
ischial tuberosity
obturator foramen
ischial spine
What muscles make up the pelvic wall? obturator internus
What are the three muscles that make up the levator ani?
What muscles make up the pelvic floor? pelvic diaphragm and anteriorly the perineal membrane and
deep perineal pouch
What is the function of the levator ani muscles? ...
The cervial canal has two means of communicating with the vagina and the uterus. What are they? It
communicates with the vagina via the external os and the cavity of the uterine body through the internal
What are the different structure reflects the different functions in the reproductive process?
Spermatozoa: compact, streamlined, highly-motile
Oocytes: large, nutrient/protein-rich cells
What is the ploidy and DNA copy number?
ploidy: number of sets of chromosomes within a cell or
DNA copy number: no. of strands of homologous strands
What are the differences between male and female gametogenesis? Male (spermatogenesis):
- puberty to death
- spermatogonia replenished via mitosis
- continuous meiosis
- continuous production
symmetrical division:
- 4 functional gametes
Female (oogensis):
limited: puberty to menopause and oogonia is not replenished
discontinuous: interrupted meiosis and monthly production
asymmetric division: 1 functional gamete
Which gametes determine sex?
The male gametes will bear either X or Y where as in female gametes
they will only have X
Describe the different stages of follicle development.
Primordial follicle: one layer of squamous-like
follicle cells surround oocyte
Primary Follicle: one layer of cuboidal or columnar-type follicle cells surround oocyte
Secondary follicle: two or more layers of granulosa cells surround the oocyte
Late secondary follicle: small fluid filled spaces appear between granulosa cells. Theca and zone visible
Vesicular/tertiary follicle: a central fluid filled cavity(antrum) and corona radiata form
Corpus luteum: post ovulatory luteinized follicle
What hormones are involved in the ovarian cycle?
GnRH: stimulates secretion of LH and FSH
Luteinizing hormone (LH): stimulates secretions of androgens
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): supports conversion of androgens to oestrogens
- negatively/positively regulates LH and FSH release
- stimulates endometrium as well as primary and secondary sex characteristics
- inhibits FSH
- negatively regulates LH and FSH release
- stimaultes endometrium as well as primary and secondary sex characteristics
What is occurring the follicular phase?
After puberty, primordial follicles spontaneously activate
Growth of a small cohort of these follicles is accelerated during the follicular phase by FSH and LH
Growing follicles secrete oestrogen which inhibit FSH
Follicle selection and atresia results in the maturation of one dominant follicle per cycle
At ovulation, this dominant pre-ovulatory (graafian) follicle reaches diameter of 2.5cm
What happens during ovulation? -Ovulation occurs 14 days after the onset of menstruation
- sustained, elevated oestrogen from the dominant follicle triggers an LH surge:
- resumption of meiosis I in oocyte and then arrest in metaphase II
- final follicle growth, weakening of follicle wall and ovulation
- follicle wall rapidly swells, ruptures and releases the oocyte surrounded by corona radiata
- shortly after ovulation, oestrogen levels decline
What happens in the luteal phase? - after ovulation, LH stimulates granulosa and theca cells of ruptured
follicle to rapidly differentiate into lutein cells to form corpus luteum
- CL: secretes large amounts of oestrogen and progesterone
- in non-pregnant cycle, CL degenerates after 10 days after ovulation
- CL regression = decrease in oestrogen and progesterone while an increase in folliculogenesis
- eventually forms residual scar on ovary called corpus albicans
What are the three phases of the uterine cycle? menstrual: day 1-5
(shedding of the functional endometrium layer)
proliferative: day 6-14
(rebuilding of functional layer)
secretory: day 15-28
(enrichment of blood supply and nutrient secretion by endometrial glands)
What arteries are found in the myometrium layer of the uterus?
arcuate arteries
Which follicles can be classified histologically as pre-antral and antral?
Preantral: primordial,
primary, secondary, late secondary
Antral: vesicular - tertiary, mature vesicular = graafian = preovulatory
How long does it take for a primordial follicle to mature into a mature ovulatory follicle?
100-110 days
What causes the peak of LH on about day 14 of the cycle?
What is the possible function of the FSH peak about day 5 of the cycle? recruitment of follicle growth
(cells and fluid accumulation)
responsible for follicle growth and maturation targeting granulosa cells
The function of the FSH peak on about day 14 is not entirely clear. What causes this peak and what do you
think possible functions might be? - surge of GnRH
- burst of follicle growth/expansion
Is the primary oocyte haploid or diploid? diploid
Is the secondary oocyte haploid or diploid?
What hormone largely influences the proliferative phase of the cycle? estrogen
What is the major constituent of the uterine secretions during the secretory phase? glycogen
How is the acidic vaginal environment maintained?
lactobacillus produces lactic acid to produce
natural defence against irritations, itching, soreness and infection
What are the two cell types involved in oestrogen production by the ovarian follicle? Granulosa cells and
thecal cells.
As follicle enlarges by FSH, LH prods theca cells to produce androgens where the hormones diffuse
through basement membrane where they are converted to oestrogen by granulosa cells.
What are the sources of inhibit during the cycle? grandulosa cells and corpus leutum to exert a negative
feedback on FSH
What is the zona pellucida, when is it formed and where is it found? It is a glycoprotein-rich substance
forming transparent extracellular layer which accumulates between granulosa cells. It is formed early
secondary follicle.
What is atresia?
It is the degeneration and reabsorption of ovarian follicle before it reaches maturity
and ruptures
What is the chromosome status of the following:
1. spermatozoa
2. Type A spermatogonia
3. Type B spermatogonia
4. spermatids
5. primary spermatocytes
6. secondary spermatocytes 1. haploid
2. diploid
3. diploid
4. haploid
5. diploid
6. hapoid
What is the blood-testis barrier? It is formed by the tight intracellular junctions between the sertoli
cells in the seminiferous tubules. The barrier separates basal and adluminal compartments of
seminiferous tubules.
It enables seminiferous tubules to maintain somewhat different composition of fluid inside lumen.
It protects spermatocytes, spermatids and spermatozoa from blood-borne toxic substances and
circulating antibodies. Prevents byproducts of gametogensis from entering circulation lest they should
stimulate an autoimmune reaction
Which hormones are steroid and peptide?
(GnRH, FSH and LH) Steroid Hormones (FSH and LH): nonpolar and can cross membranes to reach
intracellular receptors
Peptide Hormones (GnRH): water soluble, polar, cannot cross cell membrane and attacks to cell surface
Which hormone stimulates sertoli cells in the testis?
FSH where it stimulates sertoli cells to release
ABP and keep concentration of testosterone in vicinity high to simulate spermatogenesis
Which hormone stimulates interstitial cells?
LH where it stimulates interstitial cells to secrete
What is the role of androgen binding protein?
To keep the conc. of testosterone level high
What is the function of inhibin in males? It is a barometer of normalcy of spermatogenesis
What is the ischiocavernosus muscle and bulbospongiosus muscle?
(corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum)
Corpora Cavernosa: erectile bodies that make up the
majority of the penis. Their attached ends form the crura of the penis. These crura are anchored to the
pelvic arch by ischiocavernosus muscle. These tissue columns surround central artery which allows the
tissues to become engorged with blood producing enlargement and stiffening of the penis.
Corpus spongiosum: surround penile urethra. Tissue extends proximally to form the root and bulb of the
penis. The bulb is anchored to perineal membrane by sheet-like muscle called bulbospongiosus muscle.
The corpus spongiosum tissue functions to maintain the urethral opening during ejaculation.