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monthly shedding of the lining of the uterus when fertilization does not occur

follicle stage

the stage of the menstrual cycle where the pituitary gland produces FSH which starts the maturation of an egg

corpus luteum

name given to the follicle after ovulation, secretes progesterone

luteinizing hormone

secreted by pituitary; regulates estrogen secretion and ovum development in the female and testosterone production in the male


Hormone produced by the ovaries which controls the development of eggs and adult female characteristics.


hormone produced by the corpus luteum which promotes uterine lining growth

follicle stimulating hormone

secreted by the anterior pituitary gland to stimulate development of reproductive cell follicles


The process by which a mature egg is released from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes.


the cell resulting from the union of an egg and sperm


a developing human, from fertilization through the first 8 weeks of development


the developing organism from the end of the eighth week until birth


the solid mass of cells resulting from the cleavage of the ovum before the formation of a blastula.


hollow ball of cells formed during the early stages of embryological development; also known as a blastocyst


the embryo in the stage of development after the blastula; contains the embryonic germ layers


innermost germ layer- forms the digestive tract


outermost germ layer; becomes skin and nervous system


germ layer between ectoderm and endoderm


rapid mitotic division of a zygote that occurs immediately after fertilization


Process in which cells become specialized in structure and function.


the fluid-filled cavity inside a blastula


opening formed when the blastula folds in on itself

primitive gut

cavity within the gastrula

neural tube

The primitive spinal cord that develops from the ectoderm, the top of which swells to form the brain.

embryonic induction

ability of one group of embryonic cells to influence the development of another group


The outermost of four extraembryonic membranes; contributes to the formation of the mammalian placenta.


The innermost of four extraembryonic membranes; encloses a fluid-filled sac in which the embryo is suspended.


One of four extraembryonic membranes; collects embryo's nitrogenous waste.

yolk sac

The membrane that is attached to a vertebrate embryo and that encloses the yolk;stores energy reserves for the developing embryo.


organ in placental mammals through which nutrients,oxygen, carbon dioxide, and wastes are exhanged beteen embryo and mother

umbilical cord

In placental mammals, the structure that connects the fetus and the placenta.


Harmful agents or substances that can cause malformations or defects in a embryo of fetus


the stage in life during which reproductive hormones begin to be formed. Reproductive development occurs during this stage

Seminiferous tubules

long, coiled tubes inside the testes

interstitial cells

cells surrounding the seminiferous tubules in the testes

sertoli cells

cells in the seminiferous tubules that support, regulate, and nourish developing sperm


in human males, the tube within the scrotum in which sperm mature and become motile

seminal vesicle

glands that produce a mucus-like fluid containing fructose as energy for sperm

prostate gland

Exocrine gland, in men, at the base of the urinary bladder. It secretes alkaline fluid (part of semen) into the urethra during ejaculation to neutralize the acidity of the female reproductive tract.

cowper's gland

gland in human males that secretes an alkaline fluid that neutralizes the acidity of the female reproductive tract during ejaculation


fluid made of sperm and fluid from the prostrate and Cowper's glands


hormone that acts on the hypothalamus to stimulate the production of releasing factors that trigger release of FSH. The interaction of FSH and inhibin controls the rate of formation of sperm.


steroid hormone produced in the testicles that is responsible for the development of male secondary sexual characteristics


the mucous membrane that lines the uterus and increases in thickness in the latter part of menstrual cycle


two glands that are suspended in the abdominal cavity and produce eggs (ova)


pair of tubes in the body that transport an egg (ovum) from the ovary to the uterus


finger-like projections that sweep eggs from where they exit the ovaries into the fallopian tubes

menstrual cycle

in a human female, period of 25 - 40 days during which hormones stimulate the development of the uterine lining, and an egg is developed and released from an ovary. If the egg is not fertilized, the uterine lining is shed as the cycle begins again.


in the female reproductive system, groups of cells held in the ovaries. Each one of these cells contains an ovum (egg) that will develop

luteal stage

stage of the menstrual cycle that begins with ovulation. During this stage, LH stimulates the corpus luteum to produce progesterone, which inhibits the growth of other follicles so that only one ovum is released during each cycle.


period in woman's life during which a decrease in estrogen and progesterone results in an end of menstrual cycle

hormone replacement therapy

administration of low levels of estrogen and/or progesterone to alleviate symptoms of menopause


diseases such as AIDS, chlamydia, or genital herpes that is normally passed from one person to another through sexual activity


physically incapable of conceiving offspring


incapable of becoming pregnant or of inducing pregnancy


a way of avoiding pregnancy, using either artificial methods such as condoms and birth control pills or natural methods such as avoiding sexual intercourse during a woman's none fertile periods


first stage in embryonic development, when a sperm and egg interact successfully to form a zygote


stage which follows the morula


thin outer layer (ectoderm) that encloses the embryo of mammals, attaches the fertilized ovum to the wall of the uterus, and absorbs nutrients


the embryo's attachment of itself to the endometrium, occurs within the first week after fertilization in humans

primary membranes

thin flexible sheets of tissue that are not part of the embryo but that support, nourish and protect it

germ layers

three cellular layers in the gastrula - ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm


vertebrate embryo in the stage during which the nervous system begins to develop


the process in which each of the three layers of the gastrula develop into different parts of the body


May cause the release of oxytocin. Prostaglandins together with oxytocin cause the uterus to contract, signaling the beginning of labour


process of giving birth to a baby


the secretion and formation of breast milk by the mammary glands

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