beginning of an embryo (the process of fertilization). Primary sex organs also produce
b. Secondary Sex Organs. Secondary sex organs care for the product of the
primary sex organ.
c. Secondary Sexual Characteristics. Secondary sexual characteristics are
those traits that tend to make males and females more attractive to each other.
Secondary sexual characteristics help to ensure mating. These characteristics first
appear during puberty (10-15 years of age).
Section III. THE HUMAN FEMALE GENITAL (REPRODUCTIVE) SYSTEM
8-10. PRIMARY SEX ORGANS (OVARIES)
The primary sex organ in the human female is the ovary. See figure 8-4 for an
illustration of the female genital system. The ovaries are located to the sides of the
upper end of the uterus. They are anchored to the posterior surface of the broad
ligaments. (The broad ligaments are sheets or folds of peritoneum enclosing the uterus
and uterine tubes and extending to the sides of the pelvis.)
a. The ovary produces the egg cell or ovum (ova, plural).
b. The ovary produces female sex hormones (estrogens and progesterone).
c. The production of ova is cyclic. One ovum is released in each menstrual
period, about 28 days.
8-11. SECONDARY SEX ORGANS
a. Uterine Tubes (Fallopian Tubes, Oviducts). Extending to either side of the
uterus are two muscular tubes which open at the outer ends like fringed trumpets. The
fringe-like appendages encircle the ovaries. At their medial ends, the uterine tubes
open into the uterus. The function of the uterine tubes is to pick up the ovum when
released from the ovary and hold it UNTIL one of the following happens:
(1) It is fertilized. After fertilization, the initial stages of embryo development
take place. The developing embryo is eventually moved into the uterus.
(2) The nutrient stored within the ovum is used up and the ovum dies. This
may take three to five days.