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23.3: Uterine Tubes

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    59488
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    The uterine tubes (also called fallopian tubes or oviducts) serve as the conduit of the oocyte from the ovary to the uterus (Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)). Each of the two uterine tubes is close to, but not directly connected to, the ovary and divided into sections. The isthmus is the narrow medial end of each uterine tube that is connected to the uterus. The wide distal infundibulum flares out with slender, finger-like projections called fimbriae. The middle region of the tube, called the ampulla, is where fertilization often occurs. The uterine tubes also have three layers: an outer serosa, a middle smooth muscle layer, and an inner mucosal layer. In addition to its mucus-secreting cells, the inner mucosa contains ciliated cells that beat in the direction of the uterus, producing a current that will be critical to move the oocyte.

    This diagram shows the uterus and ovaries in the center. To the left is a micrograph showing the ultrastructure of the ovaries and to the right is a micrograph showing the ultrastructure of the uterus.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Ovaries, Uterine Tubes, and Uterus This anterior view shows the relationship of the ovaries, uterine tubes (oviducts), and uterus. Sperm enter through the vagina, and fertilization of an ovulated oocyte usually occurs in the distal uterine tube. From left to right, LM × 400, LM × 20. (Micrographs provided by the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School © 2012) (CC-BY-4.0, OpenStax, Human Anatomy)

     


    This page titled 23.3: Uterine Tubes is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by OpenStax.

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