Skip to main content
Biology LibreTexts

14.6: Glossary- The Reproductive System

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)


    alveoli (of the breast) milk-secreting cells in the mammary gland

    ampulla (of the uterine tube) middle portion of the uterine tube in which fertilization often occurs

    antrum fluid-filled chamber that characterizes a mature tertiary (antral) follicle

    areola highly pigmented, circular area surrounding the raised nipple and containing areolar glands that secrete fluid important for lubrication during suckling

    Bartholin’s glands (also, greater vestibular glands) glands that produce a thick mucus that maintains moisture in the vulva area; also referred to as the greater vestibular glands

    blood–testis barrier tight junctions between Sertoli cells that prevent bloodborne pathogens from gaining access to later stages of spermatogenesis and prevent the potential for an autoimmune reaction to haploid sperm

    body of uterus middle section of the uterus

    broad ligament wide ligament that supports the uterus by attaching laterally to both sides of the uterus and pelvic wall

    bulbourethral glands (also, Cowper’s glands) glands that secrete a lubricating mucus that cleans and lubricates the urethra prior to and during ejaculation

    cervix elongate inferior end of the uterus where it connects to the vagina

    clitoris (also, glans clitoris) nerve-rich area of the vulva that contributes to sexual sensation during intercourse

    corpus albicans nonfunctional structure remaining in the ovarian stroma following structural and functional regression of the corpus luteum

    corpus cavernosum either of two columns of erectile tissue in the penis that fill with blood during an erection

    corpus luteum transformed follicle after ovulation that secretes progesterone

    corpus spongiosum (plural = corpora cavernosa) column of erectile tissue in the penis that fills with blood during an erection and surrounds the penile urethra on the ventral portion of the penis

    ductus deferens (also, vas deferens) duct that transports sperm from the epididymis through the spermatic cord and into the ejaculatory duct; also referred as the vas deferens

    ejaculatory duct duct that connects the ampulla of the ductus deferens with the duct of the seminal vesicle at the prostatic urethra

    endometrium inner lining of the uterus, part of which builds up during the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle and then sheds with menses

    epididymis (plural = epididymides) coiled tubular structure in which sperm start to mature and are stored until ejaculation

    fimbriae fingerlike projections on the distal uterine tubes

    follicle ovarian structure of one oocyte and surrounding granulosa (and later theca) cells

    folliculogenesis development of ovarian follicles from primordial to tertiary under the stimulation of gonadotropins

    fundus (of the uterus) domed portion of the uterus that is superior to the uterine tubes

    gamete haploid reproductive cell that contributes genetic material to form an offspring

    glans penis bulbous end of the penis that contains a large number of nerve endings

    gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) hormone released by the hypothalamus that regulates the production of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland

    gonads reproductive organs (testes in men and ovaries in women) that produce gametes and reproductive hormones

    granulosa cells supportive cells in the ovarian follicle that produce estrogen

    hymen membrane that covers part of the opening of the vagina

    infundibulum (of the uterine tube) wide, distal portion of the uterine tube terminating in fimbriae

    inguinal canal opening in abdominal wall that connects the testes to the abdominal cavity

    isthmus narrow, medial portion of the uterine tube that joins the uterus

    labia majora hair-covered folds of skin located behind the mons pubis

    labia minora thin, pigmented, hairless flaps of skin located medial and deep to the labia majora

    lactiferous ducts ducts that connect the mammary glands to the nipple and allow for the transport of milk

    lactiferous sinus area of milk collection between alveoli and lactiferous duct

    Leydig cells cells between the seminiferous tubules of the testes that produce testosterone; a type of interstitial cell

    mammary glands glands inside the breast that secrete milk

    menarche first menstruation in a pubertal female

    menses shedding of the inner portion of the endometrium out though the vagina; also referred to as menstruation

    menses phase phase of the menstrual cycle in which the endometrial lining is shed

    menstrual cycle approximately 28-day cycle of changes in the uterus consisting of a menses phase, a proliferative phase, and a secretory phase

    mons pubis mound of fatty tissue located at the front of the vulva

    Müllerian duct duct system present in the embryo that will eventually form the internal female reproductive structures

    myometrium smooth muscle layer of uterus that allows for uterine contractions during labor and expulsion of menstrual blood

    oocyte cell that results from the division of the oogonium and undergoes meiosis I at the LH surge and meiosis II at fertilization to become a haploid ovum

    oogenesis process by which oogonia divide by mitosis to primary oocytes, which undergo meiosis to produce the secondary oocyte and, upon fertilization, the ovum

    oogonia ovarian stem cells that undergo mitosis during female fetal development to form primary oocytes

    ovarian cycle approximately 28-day cycle of changes in the ovary consisting of a follicular phase and a luteal phase

    ovaries female gonads that produce oocytes and sex steroid hormones (notably estrogen and progesterone)

    ovulation release of a secondary oocyte and associated granulosa cells from an ovary

    ovum haploid female gamete resulting from completion of meiosis II at fertilization

    penis male organ of copulation

    perimetrium outer epithelial layer of uterine wall

    polar body smaller cell produced during the process of meiosis in oogenesis

    prepuce (also, foreskin) flap of skin that forms a collar around, and thus protects and lubricates, the glans penis; also referred as the foreskin

    primary follicles ovarian follicles with a primary oocyte and one layer of cuboidal granulosa cells

    primordial follicles least developed ovarian follicles that consist of a single oocyte and a single layer of flat (squamous) granulosa cells

    proliferative phase phase of the menstrual cycle in which the endometrium proliferates

    prostate gland doughnut-shaped gland at the base of the bladder surrounding the urethra and contributing fluid to semen during ejaculation

    puberty life stage during which a male or female adolescent becomes anatomically and physiologically capable of reproduction

    rugae (of the vagina) folds of skin in the vagina that allow it to stretch during intercourse and childbirth

    scrotum external pouch of skin and muscle that houses the testes

    secondary follicles ovarian follicles with a primary oocyte and multiple layers of granulosa cells

    secondary sex characteristics physical characteristics that are influenced by sex steroid hormones and have supporting roles in reproductive function

    secretory phase phase of the menstrual cycle in which the endometrium secretes a nutrient-rich fluid in preparation for implantation of an embryo

    semen ejaculatory fluid composed of sperm and secretions from the seminal vesicles, prostate, and bulbourethral glands

    seminal vesicle gland that produces seminal fluid, which contributes to semen

    seminiferous tubules tube structures within the testes where spermatogenesis occurs

    Sertoli cells cells that support germ cells through the process of spermatogenesis; a type of sustentacular cell

    sperm (also, spermatozoon) male gamete

    spermatic cord bundle of nerves and blood vessels that supplies the testes; contains ductus deferens

    spermatid immature sperm cells produced by meiosis II of secondary spermatocytes

    spermatocyte cell that results from the division of spermatogonium and undergoes meiosis I and meiosis II to form spermatids

    spermatogenesis formation of new sperm, occurs in the seminiferous tubules of the testes

    spermatogonia (singular = spermatogonium) diploid precursor cells that become sperm

    spermiogenesis transformation of spermatids to spermatozoa during spermatogenesis

    suspensory ligaments bands of connective tissue that suspend the breast onto the chest wall by attachment to the overlying dermis

    tertiary follicles (also, antral follicles) ovarian follicles with a primary or secondary oocyte, multiple layers of granulosa cells, and a fully formed antrum

    testes (singular = testis) male gonads

    theca cells estrogen-producing cells in a maturing ovarian follicle

    uterine tubes (also, fallopian tubes or oviducts) ducts that facilitate transport of an ovulated oocyte to the uterus

    uterus muscular hollow organ in which a fertilized egg develops into a fetus

    vagina tunnel-like organ that provides access to the uterus for the insertion of semen and from the uterus for the birth of a baby

    vulva external female genitalia

    Wolffian duct duct system present in the embryo that will eventually form the internal male reproductive structures

    Contributors and Attributions

    CC licensed content, Shared previously
    • Glossary: The Reproductive System. Authored by: Kelly, Jessica. Provided by: Herkimer College. Located at: NA. Project: AtD Course. License: CC BY: Attribution

    14.6: Glossary- The Reproductive System is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

    • Was this article helpful?