Anatomy & Physiology 27 The Reproductive System


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Anatomy & Physiology 27 The Reproductive System
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Sample Questions from the Anatomy & Physiology 27 The Reproductive System Flashcards

Question: Watch this series of videos ( to look at the movement of the oocyte through the ovary. The cilia in the uterine tube promote movement of the oocyte. What would likely occur if the cilia were paralyzed at the time of ovulation?


The oocyte may not enter the tube and may enter the pelvic cavity.

Question: Describe how penile erection occurs.


During sexual arousal, nitric oxide (NO) is released from nerve endings near blood vessels within the corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum. The release of NO activates a signaling pathway that results in relaxation of the smooth muscles that surround the penile arteries, causing them to dilate. This dilation increases the amount of blood that can enter the penis, and induces the endothelial cells in the penile arterial walls to secrete NO, perpetuating the vasodilation. The rapid increase in blood volume fills the erectile chambers, and the increased pressure of the filled chambers compresses the thin-walled penile venules, preventing venous drainage of the penis. An erection is the result of this increased blood flow to the penis and reduced blood return from the penis.

Question: Watch this video ( to explore the structures of the male reproductive system and the path of sperm that starts in the testes and ends as the sperm leave the penis through the urethra. Where are sperm deposited after they leave the ejaculatory duct?


Sperm enter the prostate.

Question: Watch this video ( to learn about vasectomy. As described in this video, a vasectomy is a procedure in which a small section of the ductus (vas) deferens is removed from the scrotum. This interrupts the path taken by sperm through the ductus deferens. If sperm do not exit through the vas, either because the man has had a vasectomy or has not ejaculated, in what region of the testis do they remain?


Sperm remain in the epididymis until they degenerate.

Question: What do each of the three male accessory glands contribute to the semen?


The three accessory glands make the following contributions to semen: the seminal vesicle contributes about 60 percent of the semen volume, with fluid that contains large amounts of fructose to power the movement of sperm; the prostate gland contributes substances critical to sperm maturation; and the bulbourethral glands contribute a thick fluid that lubricates the ends of the urethra and the vagina and helps to clean urine residues from the urethra.

Question: Briefly explain why mature gametes carry only one set of chromosomes.


A single gamete must combine with a gamete from an individual of the opposite sex to produce a fertilized egg, which has a complete set of chromosomes and is the first cell of a new individual.

Question: Follow the path of ejaculated sperm from the vagina to the oocyte. Include all structures of the female reproductive tract that the sperm must swim through to reach the egg.


The sperm must swim upward in the vagina, through the cervix, and then through the body of the uterus to one or the other of the two uterine tubes. Fertilization generally occurs in the uterine tube.

Question: While anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) bulk up muscles, they can also affect testosterone production in the testis. Using what you know about negative feedback, describe what would happen to testosterone production in the testis if a male takes large amounts of synthetic testosterone.


Testosterone production by the body would be reduced if a male were taking anabolic steroids. This is because the hypothalamus responds to rising testosterone levels by reducing its secretion of GnRH, which would in turn reduce the anterior pituitary's release of LH, finally reducing the manufacture of testosterone in the testes.

Question: What special features are evident in sperm cells but not in somatic cells, and how do these specializations function?


Unlike somatic cells, sperm are haploid. They also have very little cytoplasm. They have a head with a compact nucleus covered by an acrosome filled with enzymes, and a mid-piece filled with mitochondria that power their movement. They are motile because of their tail, a structure containing a flagellum, which is specialized for movement.

Question: A baby's gender is determined at conception, and the different genitalia of male and female fetuses develop from the same tissues in the embryo. View this animation that compares the development of structures of the female and male reproductive systems in a growing fetus. Where are the testes located for most of gestational time?


The testes are located in the abdomen.

Question: Watch this video ( to observe ovulation and its initiation in response to the release of FSH and LH from the pituitary gland. What specialized structures help guide the oocyte from the ovary into the uterine tube?


The fimbriae sweep the oocyte into the uterine tube.

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Disclaimer:  This course does NOT provide the education or experience needed for the diagnosing or treating any medical condition, all site contents are provided as general information only and should not be taken as a medical advice.
Source:  OpenStax College. Anatomy & Physiology, OpenStax-CNX Web site., Jun 11, 2014
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