CoverModule 1.0. Homeostasis, Membranes, Electrophysiology and ANS1.1. Homeostasis1.1.1. Homeostasis Defined1.1.2. Homeostatic Control Systems1.1.3. Feedback Response Loop1.2. Cell Transport; Water & Solutes1.2.1. Fluid Compartments1.2.2. Osmosis1.2.3. Diffusion of Solutes1.2.4. Active Transport1.2.5. Bulk Transport1.3. Electrophysiology1.3.1. Ions and Cell Membranes1.3.2. Membrane Potentials1.3.3. Graded Potential1.3.4. Action Potentials1.3.5. Refractory Periods1.3.6. Propagation of an Action Potential1.4. The Synapse1.5. The Autonomic Nervous System1.5.1. Organization of the Nervous System1.5.2. Structural Organization of the ANS1.5.3. The SNS and the PNS1.5.4. The Enteric Nervous System1.5.5. Physiology of the ANS1.5.6. Neurotransmitters of the ANS1.5.7. Receptors of the ANS1.5.8. Actions of the Autonomic Nervous System1.5.9. Table of Actions for the SNS and PNS and Some Common DrugsModule 2.0. Skeletal Muscle and Special Senses2.1. Structural Organization of Skeletal Muscle2.2.1. Neuromuscular Junction, Excitation-Contraction Coupling2.2.2. Muscle Contractures and Cramps2.3. Whole Muscle Contraction, Fiber Type, Fatigue and Muscle Pharmacology2.3.1. Motor Units2.3.2. Factors that Influence the Force of Contraction2.3.2. Factors that Influence the Force of Muscle Contraction2.3.3. Energy Source for Muscle Contraction2.3.4. Skeletal Muscle Fiber Types2.3.5. Fatigue2.3.6. Muscle Pharmacology2.4. Smooth Muscle2.4.1. Smooth Muscle Contraction2.5. Control of Body Movement2.5.1. Voluntary Control of Muscle2.5.2. Reflexes2.6. Taste and Smell2.6.1. Taste2.6.2. The Sense of Smell2.7. Vision2.7.1. Structure of the Eye2.7.2. Focusing Light on the Retina2.7.3. Converting Light to Action Potentials2.7.4. The Retina2.7.5. Phototransduction2.7.6. Receptive Fields2.8. Hearing and Equilibrium2.8.1. The Nature of Sound2.8.2. The Hearing Apparatus2.8.3. Sound Vibrations to Action Potentials2.8.4. The Sense of Balance and EquilibriumModule 3.0. Cardiovascular System3.1. Structure of the Heart3.1.1. Chambers and Circulation3.2. Cardiac Cell Action Potentials3.2.1. Action Potentials in Cardiac Muscle Cells3.2.2. Action Potentials in Cardiac Autorhythmic cells3.2.3. Cellular Mechanisms of Inotropy and Chronotropy3.3. Electrophysiology of Heart Muscle3.3.1. Heart Conduction System3.3.2. Electrocardiogram (ECG)3.3.3. Abnormal ECG - Current of Injury3.4. The Cardiac Cycle3.4.1. Cardiac cycle3.4.2. Cardiac Measurements and Pressure Volume Loops3.5. Blood vessels and Blood Pressure3.5.1. Arteries and Veins3.5.2. Capillaries3.5.3. Blood Pressure Regulation and Shock3.5.4. Capillary Exchange3.5.5. Myogenic and Paracrine Regulation of Vasoconstriction and Vasodilation3.6. Blood3.6.1. Composition of Blood3.6.2. Hematopoeisis3.6.3. Breaking Down Red Blood Cells3.6.4. HemostasisModule 4.0. Urinary and Respiratory Systems4.1. Function and Structure of the Kidney4.1.1. Urinary System Function4.1.2. Functional Anatomy of the Urinary System4.1.3. The Nephron: Functional Unit of the Kidney4.1.4. The Renal Corpuscle: Bowman's Capsule4.2. Physiology of Urine Production4.2.1. Filtration4.2.2. Renal Clearance4.2.3. Tubular Reabsorption4.2.4. Urine Concentration and Dilution4.2.5. Hormonal Regulation of Urine Production4.3. Acid/Base Balance4.3.1. Buffers4.3.2. Acid/Base Disturbances4.4. The Respiratory System4.4.1. Respiratory System Structure and Function4.4.2. Respiratory Membrane4.4.3. Respiratory pressures and Inspriation/Expiration4.4.4. Alveoli and Surfactant4.4.5. Pneumothorax4.4.6. Pressure-Volume Loops and the Work of Breathing4.5. Gas Exchange and Transport4.5.1. Gas Laws4.5.2. Partial Pressure Gradients in the Lung4.5.3. Alveolar Gas Equation4.5.4. Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Transport in the Blood4.5.5. Alveolar Ventilation4.5.6. Ventilation/Perfusion Ratio4.6. Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema4.6.1. Respiratory Control by the Medulla Oblongata4.6.2. Chemicals that Regulate VentilationModule 5.0. Digestive, Endocrine and Reproductive Systems5.1. Functional Anatomy of the Digestive System5.1.1. Layers of the Digestive Tract5.1.2. Enteric Nervous System5.1.3. Organs of the Digestive System5.2. Digestion5.2.1. Carbohydrates5.2.2. Proteins5.2.3. Lipids5.2.4. Lipoproteins5.3. Regulation of Digestive Secretions5.4. Endocrine System5.4.1. Overview of the Endocrine System5.4.2. Hormone Receptors5.4.3. Hormones of the Body5.4.4. Other Hormones: Melatonin and Pheromones5.5. The Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland5.5.1. Structure and Function of the Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland5.5.2. The Posterior Pituitary5.5.3. The Anterior Pituitary5.5.4. Growth Hormone5.5.5. Prolactin5.5.6. Thyroid Hormones5.5.7. Adrenal Hormones5.6. Pancreas5.6.1. Insulin and Glucagon5.6.2. Diabetes Mellitus5.7. Reproductive System Anatomy5.7.1. Female Reproductive Anatomy5.7.2. Male Reproductive Anatomy5.7.3. Sexual Development at Puberty5.7.4. Male Reproductive Endocrine Axis5.7.5. Spermatogenesis5.7.6. Female Reproductive System: Oogenesis5.7.7. Ovulation and Fertilization5.7.8. The Ovarian Cycle5.7.9. The Uterine Cycle5.7.10. PregnancyAppendix A. GenderAppendix B. The Placebo EffectB.2.1. The Placebo EffectB.2.2. Examples of the Placebo EffectB.2.3. How do Placebos Work?B.2.4. Are Placebos Ethical?B.2.5. How do we validate actual effectiveness of placebosB.2.6. Tips for evaluating scientific evidenceB.2.7. What about Faith Healings
5.7.1

Female Reproductive Anatomy

The images below show the internal female reproductive organs. The first image is a frontal view and the second image is a sagittal view of these organs. The vagina extends from the cervix of the uterus to the vaginal orifice in the vestibule. It is approximately 10 cm long and has three functions: 1) it is the female organ of copulation and receives the male penis during intercourse; 2) it is the birth canal; and 3) it provides a channel for the monthly menstrual flow. The vagina ends at the cervix of the uterus. The cervix is the outlet of the uterus through which the fetus passes during the birth process. The uterus (also known as the womb) is a pear-shaped organ about 7.5 cm long, 5 cm wide and 3.0 cm thick. These dimensions apply to the non-pregnant uterus. During pregnancy, it will be much larger. As can be seen above, the uterus bends anteriorly and sits on top of the bladder. This position creates issues during pregnancy as it pushes down against the bladder and significantly reduces the volume of the bladder.

The walls of the uterus are divided into three layers. The first layer, starting from the inside, is the endometrium. This is an epithelial lining composed of simple columnar epithelium. The endometrium can be further divided into two layers - an outer, functional layer and an inner basal layer. The functional layer undergoes the changes associated with the menstrual cycle and it is this layer that is sloughed off during menstruation. The inner layer is composed of the stem cells that will proliferate to replace the functional layer as a new menstrual cycle begins. The changes that occur in the endometrium during the menstrual cycle will be described later. The bulk of the uterine wall, the myometrium, is a thick layer of smooth muscle. During labor the smooth muscle of the myometrium contracts rhythmically and is responsible for expelling the fetus from the uterus. The outermost layer, the perimetrium, covers the uterus and hence is a serous membrane.

 Extending from the uterus to the ovaries are the uterine or fallopian tubes. These tubes are about 10 cm long and are lined with ciliated, simple columnar epithelium. They conduct the ovum from the ovary to the uterus. The beating of the cilia, as well as peristaltic-like contractions of the smooth muscle in the wall for the uterine tubes, move the ovum along towards the body of the uterus. The uterine tubes can be divided into several distinct regions. The uterine portion passes through the walls of the uterus. Next is the short, narrow isthmus. The isthmus then widens and becomes the ampulla, the longest and widest part of the uterine tubes (7 – 8 cm). The ampulla is where fertilization takes place. The distal end of each uterine tube is called the infundibulum. It is not physically attached to the ovary but is open ended and constantly moves over the surface of the ovary to "capture" the ovum upon ovulation. To aid in this function the edges of the infundibulum have long, finger-like extensions called fimbriae that partially surround the ovary.

The ovaries are the female gonads. They are 2 – 3.5 cm long. Within the ovaries two important processes occur, folliculogenesis and oogenesis. Folliculogenesis is the process of developing the ovarian follicle while oogenesis is development of the mature ova. As explained later, these two processes occur simultaneously and are intimately associated with each other. In addition, the ovaries produce the key female sex steroids, estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are produced by the cells of the ovarian follicle and later by the corpus luteum. Histologically the ovaries can be divided into two regions. The central part is called the medulla. Its primary purpose is to provide a path for the blood vessels and nerves to enter the ovary. The outer layer is called the cortex. It is in the cortex that the processes of folliculogenesis and oogenesis take place.

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Anatomy of the Uterus
Image above created by Jared Cardinet at BYU-Idaho Winter 2015
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Sagittal section of abdominal pelvic cavity showing sagittal section of gladder and uterus. 
Image above created by Jared Cardinet at BYU-Idaho Winter 2015

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