The biological process by which human beings produce a new individual (their offsprings) which are identical to them, is called Reproduction. It is one of the essential and fundamental processes of human life. It is the method by which new individuals of the same species are brought forth. The ability to reproduce makes life possible.
There are two types of Reproduction by which humans reproduce –
The process of Reproduction in human beings involves the fusion of male and female gametes produced in their reproductive system. Both males and females have reproductive systems that differ in structure and function. Hormones regulate the growth of the reproductive parts in both males and females. The human reproductive system is associated with the Endocrine system and Urinary system.
Both male and female reproductive systems have external as well as internal reproductive organs. Based on their functions, they are known as primary or secondary. The principal reproductive organs are called gonads (ovaries and testes) which are responsible for gamete and hormone formation. Other reproductive structures are called secondary structures, and they are responsible for the growth and maturation of gametes and offspring.
The primary function of the human reproductive system is to produce sex cells. When a male and female sex cell unite, an offspring grows and develops. And this process is known as fertilization.
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FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM:
This system is active before, during, and after fertilization. It has two main functions:
Production of female gamete called ovum/egg.
Providing nutrition and protecting the developing embryo.
It consists of the following parts:
Ovaries: Ovaries produce and store ovum in them. These are the primary reproductive structures that produce female gametes (eggs) and sex hormones. There is one ovary on either side of the uterus. They produce a female hormone called estrogen.
Fallopian tubes (Oviducts): These are the uterine tubes that are a site of fertilization. They connect ovaries to the uterus and transport egg cells from the ovaries to the uterus. Fertile eggs are then released from ovaries into these tubes during ovulation. Furthermore, these are then fertilized from there.
Uterus: The site of development of the embryo is called the uterus. It is an internal organ that nurtures female gametes after fertilization. It is commonly known as the womb. An encase of the growing embryo, i.e., the placenta develops and attaches itself to the uterine wall during pregnancy. An umbilical cord stretches from fetus to its placenta to provide nutrients from the mother to the unborn baby.
Vagina: It is a fibrous, muscular canal that connects the cervix to external female body parts (genital canal). It is the route for the penis during coitus as well as a fetus during delivery.
Also Read: Parts of Human Eye.
MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM:
The male gametes, i.e. sperms, are produced within the male reproductive system.
It consists of the following parts:
Testicles (testes): These are the male primary reproductive structures that produce male gametes, i.e. sperms and male sex hormones called testosterone. These are a pair of organs that are masked in a pouch called the scrotum.
Scrotum: It is a sac-like organ that hangs below the penis and behind it. It is an external pouch of skin that contains the testes. It is located outside the abdomen. So it can reach temperatures lower than the internal body temperature. Lower temperatures are maintained by it that is necessary for proper sperm development.
Penis: The penis is a cylindrical tube that serves both as a reproductive organ as well as an excretory organ. It is the main organ that is involved in sexual intercourse. It is composed of erectile tissue, connective tissue, and skin. It delivers sperms into the vagina during coitus. The urethra stretches the length of the penis to allow the urine or sperm to pass through its external opening.
Vas Deferens: The sperms produced in the testes are stored in a tube called the epididymis. It functions to develop immature sperm. The sperms get matured and pass to the urethra to through the muscular tube called vas deferens.
In short, human Reproduction involve the following steps:
- The liberation of egg or ovum,
- Internal fertilization of the ovum by sperm cells (spermatozoa), transport of fertilized ovum to uterus,
- Early embryo development in the wall of the uterus from the fertilized ovum,
- Formation of placenta and gestation period,
- Birth of child resulting from expulsion of the placenta.
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