The human male and female reproductive cycles are controlled by the interaction of hormones from the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary with hormones from reproductive tissues and organs. In both sexes, the hypothalamus monitors and causes the release of hormones from the pituitary gland. When the reproductive hormone is required, the hypothalamus sends a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) to the anterior pituitary.
This causes the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary into the blood. Note that the body must reach puberty in order for the adrenals to release the hormones that must be present for GnRH to be produced.
Although FSH and LH are named after their functions in female reproduction, they are produced in both sexes and play important roles in controlling reproduction. Other hormones have specific functions in the male and female reproductive systems.
The endocrine system is a control system of ductless glands that secrete hormones within specific organs. Hormones act as "messengers," and are carried by the bloodstream to different cells in the body, which interpret these messages and act on them.
It seems like a far fetched notion or idea that a small chemical can enter the bloodstream and cause an action at a distant location in the body. Yet this occurs in our bodies everyday of our lives. The ability to maintain homeostasis
and respond to stimuli is largely due to hormones secreted within the body. Without hormones, you could not grow, maintain a constant temperature, produce offspring, or perform the basic actions and functions that are essential for life. The endocrine system provides an electrochemical connection from the hypothalamus of the brain to all the organs that control the body metabolism, growth and development, and reproduction.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2. TYPES OF ENDOCRINE GLAND
3. REPRODUCTION AND ENDOCRINE CONTROL
4. EFFECTS OF ENDOCRINE ON THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS
5. ENDOCRINE CONTROL OF MALE REPRODUCTION
6. ENDOCRINE CONTROL OF FEMALE REPRODUCTION
7. THE OVARIAN CYCLE AND THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE
8. THE ACTIVITIES OF ENDOCRINE IN MENOPAUSE
TYPES OF ENDOCRINE GLAND
EXOCRINE GLANDS are those which release their cellular secretions through a duct which empties to the outside or into the lumen (empty internal space) of an organ. These include certain sweat glands, salivary and pancreatic glands, and mammary glands. They are not considered a part of the endocrine system.
ENDOCRINE GLANDS are those glands which have no duct and release their secretions directly into the intercellular fluid or into the blood. The collection of endocrine glands makes up the endocrine system. The main endocrine glands are the pituitary (anterior and posterior lobes), thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal (cortex and medulla), pancreas and gonads.
The pituitary gland is attached to the hypothalamus of the lower forebrain. The thyroid gland consists of two lateral masses, connected by a cross bridge, that are attached to the trachea. They are slightly inferior to the larynx. The parathyroid glands are four masses of tissue, two embedded posterior in each lateral mass of the thyroid gland. One adrenal gland is located on top of each kidney.
The cortex is the outer layer of the adrenal gland. The medulla is the inner core. The pancreas is along the lower curvature of the stomach, close to where it meets the first region of the small intestine, the duodenum. The gonads are found in the pelvic cavity.
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