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Human Reproductive System

Last Updated : 17 Apr, 2024
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The human reproductive system female and male function to produce and transport gametes to facilitate fertilization. The human male reproductive system consists of the testes and the female reproductive system consists of the ovaries. Understanding the male and female reproductive systems is crucial for learning human anatomy, fertility, sexual health, and family planning. In this article, we will cover the human reproductive system in female and male in detail.

Reproductive System Male and Female

The reproductive process in the humans includes formation of gametes through the process of gametogenesis. In this process, sperms are formed in males and ovum in the females. The fusion of the male and female gamete results in the formation of zygote. This is followed by the formation of blastocyst and its attachment to the uterine wall is known as implantation. The process of embryo development inside the uterus is known as gestation and is last for 9 months. The human reproductive system consists of :

  • Female reproductive system
  • Male reproductive system

Human Reproductive system Diagram

The labeled diagram of Human Reproductive System are shown below:


What is the Female Reproductive System?

The female reproductive system consists of organs that facilitate reproduction and the nurturing of offspring. The key organs include the ovaries, which produce eggs and female sex hormones, the fallopian tubes, which transport eggs from the ovaries to the uterus, the uterus, where fertilized eggs implant and develop into embryos, and the vagina, which serves as a canal for intercourse and childbirth. Also, it includes cervix and the mammary glands.

Female Reproductive System

What are the Parts of the Female Reproductive System?

The different parts of the female reproductive system are as follows:

  • Ovaries: Ovaries are the primary female sex organs that produce the female gamete (ovum) and ovarian hormones. Each ovary is about 2 to 4 cm in length. The ovaries are located one on each side of the lower abdomen. The ovary consists of ovarian stroma, which is covered by a thin epithelium layer. The stroma is further divided into two parts – a peripheral cortex and an inner medulla.
  • Uterus: The uterus, also known as the womb is an inverted pear-shaped organ. It is supported by ligaments attached to the pelvic wall. The cavity of the cervix is called the cervical canal and forms the birth canal along with the vagina. The division of the uterus consists of three layers of tissue. The outer thin membranous layer is called the perimetrium, a middle thick layer of smooth muscle is known as themyometrium and inner most glandular layer is called endometrium which lines the uterine cavity.
  • Fallopian tubes: Also known as the oviducts, are approximately 10-12 cm long and extend from each ovary’s outer layer to the uterus. The part closer to the ovary is known as the infundibulum which is funnel-shaped. It possesses finger-like projections called fimbriae, which help collect the ovum after ovulation. In the fallopian tube, fertilisation takes place.
  • Mammary organs: The mammary glands contain glandular tissue and a variable amount of fat. The glandular tissue of each breast has mammary lobes that are made up of cells called alveoli. The alveoli cells secrete milk, which is stored in the cavities of alveoli that open up into mammary tubules. Milk is sucked out through the lactiferous duct.
  • External genitalia: It includes mons pubis, labia majora, labia minora, hymen and clitoris.

Also Read: Difference Between Estrogen And Progesterone


Oogenesis, the formation of mature female gametes, begins during embryonic development when millions of oogonia are generated within each fetal ovary. No additional oogonia are produced after birth.

  • These oogonia undergo division and the primary oocyte is surrounded by granulosa cells, forming a primary follicle.
  • Primary follicles are enclosed by layers of granulosa cells and a new theca, becoming secondary follicles, which subsequently transform into tertiary follicles with a fluid-filled antrum.
  • At this stage, the primary oocyte within the tertiary follicle grows and completes its first meiotic division, yielding a large haploid secondary oocyte and a small first polar body.
  • The secondary oocyte, retaining the nutrient-rich cytoplasm of the primary oocyte, is surrounded by a new membrane called the zona pellucida. The Graafian follicle ruptures through ovulation, releasing the secondary oocyte (ovum) from the ovary.

Also Read: Menstrual Cycle


What is the Male Reproductive System

The male reproductive system is responsible for producing and delivering sperm for fertilization. The male reproductive system consists of organs such as the testes, where sperm are produced, and the penis, which delivers sperm to the female reproductive system during sexual intercourse. Hormones like testosterone regulate the development and function of the male reproductive system, facilitating sperm production and the development of secondary sexual characteristics.

Also Read: Diagram of Male Reproductive System

Male Reproductive Part

What are the Parts of the Male Reproductive System?

The testes are present outside the abdominal cavity within a pouch called the scrotum. The scrotum helps in maintaining the low temperature of the testes. Each testis is approximately 4 to 5 cm long and about 2 to 3 cm wide. Each testis contains testicular lobules, formed of highly coiled seminiferous tubules where sperms are produced. Each seminiferous tubule contains male germ cells (spermatogonia) and Sertoli cells.

The male germ cells undergo meiotic divisions to form sperm, and Sertoli cells provide nutrition to the germ cells. The regions outside the seminiferous tubules, called interstitial spaces, contain tiny blood vessels and interstitial cells or Leydig cells, which produce and secrete testicular hormones called androgens. The male sex accessory ducts include rete testis, vasa efferentia, epididymis and vas deferens. The male accessory glands include paired seminal vesicles, prostate and paired bulbourethral glands.

What is the Function of the Human Reproductive System?

The functions of human reproductive system are:

  • Production of gametes (sperm in males, eggs in females).
  • Secretion of sex hormones (testosterone in males, estrogen and progesterone in females).
  • Facilitation of fertilization, where sperm and egg unite to form a zygote.
  • Support of embryo development and nourishment during pregnancy.
  • Childbirth, allowing for the safe delivery of offspring.
  • Lactation which is providing nourishment to newborns through breast milk.
  • Regulation of secondary sexual characteristics such as body hair growth and voice deepening.
  • Coordination of sexual behaviors and reproductive processes.
  • Maintenance of reproductive health through the maturation and function of reproductive organs.
  • Facilitation of genetic diversity through sexual reproduction.
  • Contribution to family and societal structures through the creation of offspring.

Reproduction Process in Human Being

The process of fusion of a sperm with an ovum is called fertilisation. A sperm secretes an acrosome, during fertilisation, which helps the sperm penetrate the ovum through the zona pellucida and induces changes in the membrane that block the entry of additional sperms. Thus, it makes sure that only one sperm can fertilise an ovum.

As the zygote is formed, the mitotic division starts, and the zygote moves through the isthmus of the fallopian tube called cleavage towards the uterus. The inner cell mass gets differentiated as the embryo, and the trophoblast layer gets attached to the endometrium of the uterus. The uterine cells divide rapidly after attachment to the wall of the uterus. The cells cover the blastocyst, which gets embedded in the endometrium of the uterus. This process of attachment is called implantation, and it results in pregnancy.

Conclusion – Human Reproductive System

In conclusion, the human reproductive system comprises of male and female reproductive system. It facilitates the production, transport, and fertilization of gametes. Understanding its details is vital for comprehending human anatomy, fertility, sexual health, and family planning. Through processes like gametogenesis, fertilization, and implantation, the reproductive system ensures the continuation of life.

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FAQs on Human Reproductive System

What is the Human Reproductive System?

The human reproductive system includes both male and female reproductive systems. It involves complex biological process responsible for the producing offspring.

What is Fertilisation?

Fertilization is the union of a sperm cell from a male with an egg cell from a female. It results in the formation of a zygote that marks the beginning of embryonic development. 

What is the Placenta, and What is its Function?

The placenta develops during pregnancy and provides essential nutrients and oxygen to the fetus while removing waste products. It also produces hormones to support pregnancy.

What are the Key Differences Between the Male and Female Reproductive Systems?

The male reproductive system produces and delivers sperm, while the female reproductive system produces eggs, and supports pregnancy.

What is the 7 Function of the Reproductive System?

The reproductive system functions include gamete production, hormone secretion, facilitating fertilization, supporting embryo development, childbirth, lactation, and regulating reproductive processes and secondary sexual characteristics.

What are the Parts and Functions of the Human Reproductive System?

The human reproductive system comprises organs like ovaries and testes, facilitating gamete production, hormone secretion, fertilization, embryo development, childbirth, and secondary sexual characteristics regulation.

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