Human Anatomy and Physiology : Reproductive Physiology and Development

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Human Anatomy and Physiology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Reproductive Physiology And Development

What is the function of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)?

Possible Answers:

Stimulates formation of the corpus luteum

Stimulates testosterone release from interstitial cells

Stimulates the corpus luteum to make progesterone

Thickens endometrial lining during the proliferative phase and releases luteinizing on the 14th day of the cycle

Stimulates estrogen release

Correct answer:

Stimulates the corpus luteum to make progesterone

Explanation:

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates the release of estrogen. Estrogen then thickens the endometrial lining during the proliferative phase and stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) on the 14th day of the cycle. This causes the luteal surge that results in the development of the corpus luteum.

Testosterone release is triggered by luteinizing hormone during spermatogenesis, which does not occur in females.

Human chorionic gonadotropin is used by over-the-counter pregnancy tests to detect fertilization and is secreted after fertilization occurs to maintain high levels of progesterone. When fertilization occurs, progesterone causes a pause in the menstrual cycle; follicle-stimulating hormone will only trigger the estrogen spike if progesterone levels decline enough. With progesterone levels elevated, the corpus luteum is maintained rather than transitioning into the corpus albicans.

Example Question #1 : Reproductive Physiology And Development

Which male reproductive structure is responsible for the storage of sperm cells?

Possible Answers:

Prostate gland

Vas deferens

Seminiferous tubules

Epididymis

Correct answer:

Epididymis

Explanation:

After developing in the seminiferous tubules, sperm cells are transferred to the epididymis in order to be stored prior to ejaculation. The sperm cells also mature further and develop the ability to swim in the epididymis.

The vas deferens is the duct connecting the epididymis to the ejaculatory ducts. The prostate gland, bulbourethral gland, and seminal vesicles produce alkaline and lubricating fluids for the composition of semen.

Example Question #1 : Reproductive Physiology And Development

Which of the following glands does NOT contribute to seminal fluid?

Possible Answers:

The prostate

The seminal vesicles

The bulbourethral glands

The testes

Correct answer:

The testes

Explanation:

Semen is composed of fluid from the three following glands: the seminal vesicles, the prostate, and the bulbourethral glands. These glands secrete alkaline fluids that help neutralize the acidity of the vagina, preventing degradation and damage of sperm.

The testes are the site of development for sperm cells, but they do not contribute to the fluidity of semen.

Example Question #1 : Help With Male Physiology

Which process describes the quick discharge of semen from the male human body?

Possible Answers:

Spermatogenesis

Ejaculation

Oogenesis

Gestation

Emission

Correct answer:

Ejaculation

Explanation:

By definition, ejaculation is the process by which sperm is released. This process usually occurs during the orgasm stage of the sexual response cycle in males. Emission is the phase directly preceding ejaculation in which the sperm are prepared for release. Spermatogenesis is constantly occurring and occurs within the seminiferous tubules. Oogenesis and gestation are female-associated.

Example Question #2 : Reproductive Physiology And Development

Which of the following allows for fluids such as urine and semen to leave the body?

Possible Answers:

Seminal vesicles

Urethra

Seminiferous tubules

Epididymis

Vas deferens

Correct answer:

Urethra

Explanation:

In males, the urethra is the vessel that allows for the excretion/expulsion of semen and urine. The seminiferous tubules and epididymis are located in the testes, and are involved in spermatogenesis. The vas deferens is the vessel that carries sperm and semen from the testes to the urethra, picking up seminal fluids from the seminal vesicle and prostate gland.

Example Question #71 : Systems Physiology

Which of these structures functions in the maturation and storage of sperm?

Possible Answers:

Seminal vesicles

Epididymis

Testis

Ejaculatory duct

Correct answer:

Epididymis

Explanation:

The epididymis is an anatomical structure in the male reproductive system. It functions in the maturation and storage of spermatozoa and in propulsion of the spermatozoa into the vas deferens. The ejaculatory duct is responsible for propelling spermatozoa with seminal fluid into the urethra. The testis is responsible for producing spermatozoa and secreting the sex hormones. Lastly, the seminal vesicles are responsible for producing the alkaline component of seminal fluid.

Example Question #1 : Reproductive Physiology And Development

The luteal surge is caused by which effect in the body?

Possible Answers:

A dramatic increase in progesterone

The development of the corpus albicans

A dramatic increase in estradiol

A dramatic decrease in estradiol

Correct answer:

A dramatic increase in estradiol

Explanation:

Estradiol levels in the body are typically controlled with a negative feedback loop; however, the luteal surge results in a positive feedback loop for estradiol. Instead of luteinizing hormone levels decreasing under high estradiol levels, they increase. As a result, estradiol levels continue to rise. This dramatic increase of estradiol and luteinizing hormone is called the luteal surge, and results in ovulation. 

The corpus albicans develops from the corpus luteum only after ovulation, and is responsible for regulating progesterone levels after the egg has been released.

Example Question #1 : Reproductive Physiology And Development

A spike in the concentration of which of the following hormones stimulates ovulation in females?

Possible Answers:

Progesterone

Estrogen

Follicle-stimulating hormone

Testosterone

Luteinizing hormone

Correct answer:

Luteinizing hormone

Explanation:

A spike in the concentration of luteinizing hormone (LH) leads to ovulation on day 14 of the menstrual cycle. This spike is known as the "LH surge" and is initiated by a positive feedback mechanism involving estrogen.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is involved in the maturation of the follicle, but not ovulation. Progesterone functions in maintaining the endometrial tissue after implantation has occurred. Testosterone is not involved in the female reproductive cycle.

Example Question #2 : Help With Female Physiology

The process of ovulation is controlled by the hypothalamus of the brain through the relase of hormones secreted by the pituitary gland.  

Which of the following endocrine surges triggers ovulation?

Possible Answers:

Estrogen

Luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone

Luteinizing hormone only

Follicle-stimulating hormone only

Progesterone 

Correct answer:

Luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone

Explanation:

Estrogen levels peak towards the end of the follicular phase. This causes a surge in the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This lasts about 24-36 hours, and results in the rupture of the ovarian follicles, causing the oocyte to be released from the ovary and swept into the fallopian tubes by the fimbriae.

Example Question #2 : Help With Female Physiology

What connects each ovary to the uterus?

Possible Answers:

Vagina

Vulva

Ovum

Urethra

Oviduct

Correct answer:

Oviduct

Explanation:

The oviducts, also known as the fallopian tubes, connect the ovaries to the uterus. When an egg, or ovum, is released once each month, it leaves the ovary and flows down the oviduct into the uterus, awaiting fertilization. If fertilization does not occur, then the uterine lining is shed, taking with it the egg, through the uterus and out the vagina. The urethra is connected to the urinary bladder. 

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