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Endocrine and Reproductive Systems

Overview of the major glands, with a touch of family life
by

Miss Schwinge

on 12 May 2015

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Transcript of Endocrine and Reproductive Systems

ALL the hormones!
Endocrine and Reproductive Systems
Hormones
The
endocrine system
is made up of
glands that release their products into the bloodstream
. These products
deliver messages
throughout the body.
Glands
A
gland is an organ that produces and releases a substance, or secretion. Exocrine glands release their secretions
through tubelike structures called ducts,
directly into the organs that use them
(exocrine glands include those that
release sweat, tears, and digestive juices
).
Human Endocrine Glands:
Pineal
The
pineal gland
is a pine cone shaped gland of the endocrine system that is
responsible for the secretion of the hormone melatonin
(which influences
sexual development and sleep/wake cycles
), as well as the
conversion of nerve signals to hormone signals
Human Endocrine Glands:
Hypothalamus
Human Endocrine Glands:
Pituitary
The
pituitary gland
is a small endocrine organ about the size of a pea that
controls things like growth hormone production
(it tells your body when it is time to grow),
and endocrine function regulation
(
tells other glands when to release their hormones
at the right time).
Human Endocrine Glands:
Thyroid
The
thyroid gland
is located at the base of the neck and wraps around the upper part of the throat. It has a major role in
regulating the body's metabolism (how fast you
break down food and use the energy
that the food gives you), as well as
making and releasing growth hormone
Human Endocrine Glands:
Thymus
The
thymus gland
, located
between your lungs
, is very important when you are a child, but
less used when you are older
. It actually gets smaller and smaller as you get bigger and bigger.
The
adrenal glands
are two pyramid-shaped structures that
sit on top of each of the kidneys
. They are responsible for
releasing hormones that help the body prepare for and deal with stress.
The chemicals that "broadcast" messages from the endocrine system
are called
hormones
(In Greek
,
hormon means "that which sets in motion," because
hormones make things happen in your body
).
Hormones are chemicals released in one part of the body that travel through the bloodstream and affect the activities of cells in other parts of the body
(they're what makes you happy or scared, helps you digest, tells your body to kill infections, and much more).
In general,
the body's response to hormones are slower and longer lasting than the response to nerve impulses
(some can take minutes, hours, or even days to take effect),
but others can take effect quite quickly
(like adrenaline).
Unlike exocrine glands,
endocrine glands release their secretions (hormones) directly into the bloodstream, and are responsible for making sure they do so at the right time in the right amounts.
Hypothalamus/ Pituitary gland
As powerful as they are,
hormones are monitored
by the body in order to keep the
functions of different organs in balance
. Unfortunately, the
adolescent brain is less balanced in this sense, and is pouring out streams of stress, sex, and growth hormones
, which are responsible for
influencing brain development.
Pineal Gland
About the size of a pearl, the
hypothalamus
directs a multitude of important functions in the body. It helps
control the pituitary gland, maintains homeostasis in the body (such as temperature), and maintains motor function control.
Hypothalamus
Pituitary
If the thyroid releases
too much
of these hormones, it
speeds up your pulse rate and intestine contractions
(this is why you feel "
butterflies
" in your stomach when you're
nervous or excited
)
Thyroid
Parathyroid
The
thymus is in charge of training white blood cells
in your body. It trains them
how to recognize germs and other foreign body invaders so they can fight them off when you get sick.
Thymus
Human Endocrine Glands:
Adrenal
They also
help us conserve water and salt in our body, speeds up metabolism when our body needs more energy, and are responsible for secreting adrenaline
(which prepares us for action in our flight or fight response)
Adrenal
Human Endocrine Glands:
Pancreas
The
pancreas is a tadpole shaped organ
located in the abdomen,
behind the stomach
. It is responsible for
secreting the powerful juices that your body uses to break down food in your stomach and intestines.
It also
secretes insulin and glucagon
; two hormones that
control the level of glucose (sugar) in your body.

Diabetes
is a serious condition where a person's body
cannot make the right amount of insulin
, so they need to inject it into their blood.
It also deals with food and water intake regulation, and your body's sleep/wake cycle regulation.
Human Endocrine Glands:
Reproductive
The
gonads are the body's reproductive glands.
They serve two important functions: the
production of gametes, and the secretion of sex hormones.
Ovaries
Testes
Ovaries
The
female gonads, ovaries, produce eggs, and the female sex hormones
; estrogen and progesterone.
Estrogen is required for the development of eggs
, and for the
formation of the physical characteristics associated with the female body
(wider hips, breasts).
Progesterone prepares the uterus
for the arrival of a developing
embryo.
Testes
The
male gonads, testes, produce testosterone, which is required for normal sperm production
and the
development of physical characteristics associated with the male body
(facial hair, increase in body size, deepening of the voice).
The Reproductive System
In humans and other vertebrates, the reproductive system produces, stores, and releases specialized sex cells known as the fusion of sperm and egg to form a zygote; the single cell from which all cells of the human body develop.
For the first six weeks of development, human male and female embryos are identical in appearance. Then, during the seventh week, major changes take over. The primary reproductive organs (testes and ovaries) begin to develop, which causes the production of their relative sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen).
After birth, the gonads produce small amounts of sex hormones that continue to influence the development of the reproductive organs. However, neither the testes nor the ovaries are capable of producing active reproductive cells until puberty.
The Male Reproductive System
Testosterone stimulates the development of sperm. Once large numbers of sperm have been produced in the testes, the developmental process of puberty is completed (which means the male can produce and release active sperm).
The main function of the male reproductive system is to produce and deliver sperm.
The primary male reproductive organs, the testes, develop within the abdominal cavity. Just before birth (and sometimes just after), the testes descend through a canal into an external sac called the scrotum.
The testes remain in the scrotum, outside the body cavity, where the temperature is about one to three degrees lower than the normal temperature of the human body. This lower temperature is important for proper sperm development.
Glands lining the reproductive tract produce a nutrient rich fluid called seminal fluid. The seminal fluid nourishes the sperm and protects them from the acidity of the female reproductive tract. The combination of seminal fluid and sperm is known as semen.
There's between 50 and 130 million sperm present in just 1 milliliter of sperm (that's around 2.5 million sperm per drop!). Sperm are ejected from the penis at around 28 miles per hour by the contractions of smooth muscles lining the glands in the reproductive tract. Because ejaculation is regulated by the autonomic system, it is not completely voluntary.
The Female Reproductive System
Pancreas
The reproductive organs of females are the ovaries, which are located inside the abdominal cavity. As in males, puberty in females starts when the hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to stimulate the production of sex hormones.
The main function of the female reproductive system is to produce ova. In addition, the female reproductive system prepares the female's body to nourish a developing embryo.
In contrast to the millions of sperm produced each day in the male reproductive system, the ovaries usually produce only one mature egg each month.
Although a female is born with thousands of immature eggs, only about 400 eggs will actually be released in a process called ovulation. This is when the egg is swept from the surface of the ovary into the opening of one of the two Fallopian tubes.
During its journey through the Fallopian tube, an egg can be fertilized. After a few days, the egg passes from the Fallopian tube into the cavity of the uterus.
Due to heightened levels of progesterone (which increases the thickness of the uterine lining), the uterus will be ready to receive a fertilized egg and the egg will become implanted. If not, it is discharged along with blood and the lining of the uterus. This is known as menstruation.
A few days after menstruation ends, levels of estrogen in the blood are once again low enough to stimulate the hypothalamus, which in turn triggers the pituitary to release hormones which cause the menstrual cycle to begin again.
Fertilization and Development
If an egg is to become fertilized, sperm must be present in the female reproductive tract (usually in a Fallopian tube). During sex, sperm are released when semen is ejaculated through the penis into the vagina after the man has orgasmed.
Once male orgasm has been achieved, sperm swim actively through the uterus into the Fallopian tubes. Hundreds of millions of sperm are released during ejaculation, so that if an egg is present in one of the Fallopian tubes its chances of being fertilized are good.
The egg is surrounded by a protective layer that contains binding sites to which sperm can attach. When a sperm attaches to a binding site, a sac in the sperm head releases powerful enzymes that break down the protective layer of the egg.
The sperm nucleus then enters the egg, and chromosomes from the sperm and the egg are brought together. The process of a sperm joining an egg is called fertilization. After the two haploid (n) nuclei (one from the sperm and one from the egg) fuse, a single diploid (2n) nucleus is formed. This fertilized egg is called a zygote.
After eight weeks of development, the embryo is called a fetus. By the end of three months of development, most of the major organs and tissues of the fetus are fully formed (the umbilical cord also forms during this time).
Birth Control and STDs
Hormonal contraception is currently the most common method used by adolescents. These include birth control pills, the patch, and Depo-Provera. Depo-Provera is an injection that is administered every 12 weeks.
Condoms are the most effective protection against STDs, but not necessarily the most effective protection against pregnancy (97-98%). Condoms are a barrier method of contraception, and work by keeping semen (the fluid that contains sperm) from entering the vagina.
Intra-uterine devices (IUD) are the most effective forms of birth control that protect against pregnancy. The hormonal IUD causes a thickening of the cervical mucus that blocks the sperm from entering the uterus, and the copper IUD kills the sperm and inhibits implantation of the fertilized egg. IUDs can remain in the uterus for up to 5-10 years.
Birth control pills prevent pregnancy through several mechanisms, mainly by keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries (if no egg is released, there is nothing to be fertilized by sperm) through synthetic hormones which stabilize a woman's natural hormone levels and prevent estrogen from peaking mid-cycle. They also make cervical mucus thicker, which keeps sperm from getting to the eggs.
Make sure you carefully tear open the packet (no teeth!) to avoid ripping the condom, find the correct orientation (you want it to roll down easily), pinch the tip (to get rid of any air bubbles), and roll the condom down to the base.
Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy after having unprotected sex, and there are two main types. The first is called Plan B, which consists of two pills containing progestin (synthetic progesterone). These are taken within five days of unprotected intercourse. It is best to take these pills as soon as possible. They DO NOT induce abortion. They work by preventing ovulation. Therefore, if you’ve already ovulated, they will not prevent pregnancy.
The second is the Paragard IUD. It can be
placed into the uterus within seven days of
unprotected sex, and it kills the sperm to
prevent pregnancy. Paragard IUD is actually
more effective than Plan B pills. Once inserted,
the IUD provides 10 years of birth control.
What about male birth control?
If all else fails?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
(STDs)
STDs are diseases that are spread from one person to another during sexual contact. The safest course to follow in order to prevent infection is to always use a condom, even if either (or both) partner(s) is/are on a different type of birth control.
Often times people can have an STD and not show symptoms. This is another reason to always use a condom. However, if you and your partner would like to engage in sex without a condom, it's always good for both of you to get tested to make sure neither of you can spread a possible infection.
The second most common STD is chlamydia, which is caused by a bacterium that is passed from person to person by sexual contact. It puts the person at risk of infertility due to the damage it can cause in the reproductive system, and often shows no symptoms.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts and abnormal pap smears, is the most common STD in the US. About 6 million people get it each year, and at least 75% of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. Most people fight off the virus on their own, but about 1% of all HPV-infected people develop genital warts. An even smaller number of women with HPV (about 12,000 women each year) develop cervical cancer if the HPV is untreated. HPV is also linked to other rare cancers of the penis, vulva, vagina, and anus.
Good news! You can get vaccinated against HPV. It's best to get the series of 3 shots before you are sexually active so your body can build up immunity, but it is still beneficial if you are sexually active. Ask your doctor!
Random Fact:
The reason why guys can often be more "sloppy" kissers (i.e. lots of saliva) might be due to evolution. The hormone testosterone (which is known to increase arousal) can be transferred through kissing, which means that it may increase the possibility of the other partner becoming more aroused as well.
Trichomoniasis (Trich for short) is a parasitic STD. About 70% of infected people do not have any signs or symptoms. When trichomoniasis does cause symptoms, they can range from mild irritation to severe inflammation in men and women.
Gonorrhea ("the clap") is a bacterial STD that presents differing symptoms in men and women that are similar to chlamydia. Men often experience pain while urinating and penile discharge, while a full half of all women experience no symptoms at all. Untreated gonorrhea in both men and women can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, and women run the risk of compromising their fertility.
Syphilis is another bacterial infection that can lead to damage to the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints if left untreated. Syphilis is transmitted by direct contact with syphilis sores, which can appear on the internal/external genitals and the mouth.
Because these sores can appear on areas not covered by a condom, condoms only reduce the likelihood of transmission. The small painless sores of early syphilis may heal by themselves, but that doesn't mean the disease is gone, it's just become more difficult to detect and treat.
HIV is a viral STD that kills off your body's cells that fight off infection and disease. HIV can be passed from person to person if someone with HIV infection has sex with or shares drug injection needles with another person. It also can be passed from a mother to her baby when she is pregnant, when she delivers the baby, or if she breast-feeds her baby.
The Hymen Misconception
The hymen is a piece of tissue that lines the vaginal opening. It has an opening (that can be of any size, but is typically the size of your finger or small tampon) so menstrual blood can come out.
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