Anatomy of the Reproductive System

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In a world run and controlled by men, it is hard for a man to accept and believe that they were once female and that their genitalia that hey are so proud to have was once the opposite. Once life begins to form within the womb the fetus is genderless, that also includes its internal and external reproductive organs. The differentiation doesn’t happen until about 6 weeks of maturation.

In women, normally around 2 weeks after implantation of semen into an egg does fertilization happen. During that time the fetus is going through tremendous changes. One large change is the development of the gender which happens around 7 weeks of gestation (Smith, 2013). An embryo at about 5 or 6 weeks has already developed reproductive structures such as the gonads, ducts, and other reproductive structures that evolve into male or female genitalia (Smith, 2013). The gonads which are responsible for producing gametes in male and females are located in the testes for men and for women the gonads are located in the ovaries (Institute of medicine 1970). Before the sex of the fetus is determined, the gonads are starting to develop in the mesothelial layer of the peritoneum and at this point the genital region is ambiguous (Mesothelium 2010).

The majority of the reproductive organs from both sexes develop from related embryonic tissue which means that the organs are homologous (Smith, 2013). These homologous organs don’t show any visible signs of either male or female sex. The undifferentiated homologous organs also included are the Mullerian ducts and the Wolffian ducts (OpenStax 2013). The Mullerian ducts develop into the fallopian tubes, the uterus and the upper part of the vagina in women. The Wolffian ducts develop into the epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, and ejaculatory ducts in men (Sexual Differentiation). In addition, the SRY gene is the important deciding factor if the embryo will be male or female. The SRY gene helps recruit other genes that assist in the development of the testes and suppresses genes that are beneficial to the development of the female embryo. Before this process the embryos reproductive organs are homologous and the outer reproductive organs has not differentiated into male or female.

Around 6 weeks when the genitals start to develop with the embryo. The genitals turn tubercle, which eventually will become the glans penis in men or the clitoris in women. The Urogenital fold which is the structure that becomes the labia minora in females and the spongy urethra in males. The Labioscrotal area which evolves into the scrotum in males and in females it evolves into the labia majora. There is also a mesoderm and ectoderm connected to the cloacal membrane that produces primordial tissues to the external genitalia in both males and females. The tissues include the genital folds, genital swellings and genital tubercle (Smith, 2013). Proliferation of the mesoderm and the ectoderm are needed in this process. These structures before mentioned are homologous during this gestation period (Smith, 2013).

At about 7 to 8 weeks the fetus has chosen whether to develop into a male or female. It does this by the addition of various hormones and the gene SRY (Sex-determining region Y) (OpenStax 2013) . Some of these important hormones are the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone, and the Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS) hormone. These changes in the structure of the DNA help change the internal and external genitalia of the fetus. WIthout the hormone DHT the genital bud would stay in the shape of a clitoris. The SRY gene helps with providing a set list of instructions that help develop the testes. Without the SRY gene the fetus expresses different genes. Oonga form also creating the ovaries (OpenStax 2013).

There are plenty similarities between the reproductive system of males and females even after birth and through puberty. One of those similarities are the gonads after birth. These gonads in men are located in the testes and in women they are located in the ovaries (OpenStax 2013). These gonads help assist with the production of sperm and the creation of ovum or eggs. Surrounding both the testes and ovaries is a connective tissue capsule called the tunica albuginea which develops into a membrane inside the penis that helps trap blood in the vessels to sustain an erection. In women it is the connective tissues that covers the ovaries. Another similarity is the gametes that are being produced, they both rely on meiosis and mitosis for production.

It is apparent that without the female chromosome structure men couldn’t exist. That is hard to accept. But with science we have be able to accomplish great understanding of the body before birth. Another understanding that is still hard to accept, is how the male penis is essentially the female vagina. All and all the Y chromosome have helped me understand the interconnectedness of the male and female anatomy and that I too was once female.

Cite this paper

Anatomy of the Reproductive System. (2021, Jul 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/anatomy-of-the-reproductive-system/

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