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Urinary and Reproductive Systems

Urinary System:

The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The kidney functions to remove metabolic wastes from the blood and excrete them. The also help regulate blood pressure, pH of the blood, and red blood cell production. The basic functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. The nephron consists of a renal corpuscle and a renal tubule. Urine is the end product of the urinary system. The kidneys are involved in filtration, re-absorption and secretion. Glomerular filtration is regulated by osmotic pressure.

The ureter is a tube that connects the kidneys and the bladder. Kidney stones can become lodged in the ureter. Peristaltic waves in the ureter force urine to the bladder. The bladder stores urine and forces urine into the urethra. Muscle fibers in the wall of the bladder form the detrusor muscle.

Reproductive System:

Male reproductive organs are specialized for the formation of sperm (gamete)

and transporting sperm. The vas deferens is the tube that sperm travels through. Semen is composed of sperm cells and secretions of the prostate and bulbourethral glands. Semen activates sperm cells.

Testosterone is the most important male hormone. Testosterone encourages the development of male sex organs. It is responsible for the development of male secondary sexual characteristics.

Female reproductive organs are specialized for childbirth and development of a fetus.   The primary structures are the ovaries, uterus, and vagina. The ovaries release an egg cell (gamete) into the uterus. The uterus sustains life for the embryo until childbirth. The vagina allows transportation of the fetus during delivery.

Estrogen and progesterone are the primary female sex hormones. Estrogen is responsible for female sexual characteristics. Progesterone is responsible for changes in the uterus. Menopause is related to low estrogen levels and changes in the female reproductive organs. The product of fertilization is a zygote with 46 chromosomes.

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