The female reproductive system
is responsible for the production of the female gamete (ovum
) and the production of sex hormones
. The female reproductive tract
also receives the male gamete during copulation (mating).
Endocrine control of the female reproductive system
There are two female reproductive cycles: the ovarian
cycle and uterine
cycle. The two cycles occur simultaneously but control different aspects of female reproduction. The ovarian
cycle controls the maturation and release of an ovum
, whereas the uterine
cycle controls the preparation of the uterus
for a potential fetus.
The ovarian cycle consists of two phases:
The uterine cycle consists of three phases:
Figure 10.4.1 - Female reproductive cycles showing blood hormone concentrations. The ovarian cycle phases (follicular and luteal) control the uterine cycle phases (menstrual, proliferative and secretory) through hormones secreted by the follicle and corpus luteum.