What is an Endocrine System?
The Endocrine system is similar to The Nervous System which sends messages around the body. The endocrine system releases chemicals which are called hormones into the bloodstream, which on reaching the target cells trigger a particular body response.
The speed of transmission of hormones in the bloodstream is slow as compared to the speed of nerve impulses, and hence, the endocrine system tends to regulate body processes that happen slowly over a period of time which includes cell growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, and reproduction.
The endocrine system consists of glands that produce and release hormones, and each hormone produces a unique effect. The glands of the endocrine system are the pituitary gland, pineal gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, thymus gland, adrenal gland, pancreas, ovaries, and testes.
What is a Reproductive System?
The reproductive system of the body has involved in the sexual development and the production of offspring. The endocrine glands produce sex hormones and the reproductive system which are responsible for secondary sex characteristics in both men and women. These hormones also contribute to the production of sex cells.
The regulation of the reproductive system requires the action of hormones from the pituitary gland, adrenal cortex, and gonads. During puberty in both males and females, the hypothalamus produces gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which stimulates the production and release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the anterior part of the pituitary gland. These hormones regulate gonads, and hence, are called gonadotropins. In both males and females, this hormone stimulates the production of gamete and hormones by gonads.
Regulation of the Male Reproductive System:
In males, FSH stimulates the maturation of sperm cells, which is inhibited by hormone inhibition, which is released by the testes. LH stimulates the production of androgens by interstitial cells of the testes and is also called interstitial cell-stimulating hormone. The
male androgen is testosterone which promotes the production of sperm and masculine characteristics. The adrenal cortex also produces a small amount of testosterone precursor.
Regulation of the female reproductive system:
In females, Follicle Stimulating Hormone stimulates the development of egg cells which are called ovum and develops in structures called follicles. Follicle cells produce hormone inhibin, which inhibits the production of FSH. LH plays an important role in the development of the ovum, induction of ovulation, stimulation of estradiol, and progesterone production by ovaries. Both estradiol and progesterone are steroid hormones that prepare the body for pregnancy. Estradiol produces secondary sex characteristics in females and both estradiol and progesterone help regulate the menstrual cycle.
Additionally, for the production of FSH and LH, the anterior portion of the pituitary gland produces the hormone prolactin which stimulates the production of milk by mammary glands following childbirth full stop the prolactin levels are regulated by hypothalamic hormones which are prolactin-releasing hormones, and prolactin inhibiting hormones, also known as dopamine.
The hormone oxytocin is released by the posterior pituitary which stimulates uterine contractions during childbirth. The smooth muscles of the uterus are not very sensitive to oxytocin until late in pregnancy when the number of oxytocin receptors in the uterus is at higher levels. When the tissues of the uterus and cervix are stretched it stimulates oxytocin release during childbirth and the contraction increases as the blood level of oxytocin via the positive feedback mechanism rises until the childbirth is complete.
The menstrual cycle:
A sexually mature woman releases an egg from one of their ovaries and sheds their uterine lining every month which is referred to as a process called the menstrual cycle. The cycle starts when an egg begins to mature inside a follicle in the ovary which produces
estrogen causes the tissue to thicken at the lines of the uterus. On important days the egg is released from the follicle in a process called ovulation and the empty follicle continues to release estrogen and also begins to release another hormone called progesterone. These hormones cause the uterine lining to grow even thicker and even if the egg is not fertilized it travels down the fallopian tube and dies. The lining of the uterus then breaks down and is shed via the vagina as menstrual blood. This entire cycle takes about 28 days and then begins again.
The egg released from the follicle when fertilized by a sperm cell begins to divide. This ball of cells moves down the fallopian tube to the uterus and attaches itself to the lining of the uterus which upon implantation causes the division of cells, leading to the formation of the embryo. Some cells differentiate 2 forms + centum which is an organ that allows nutrients and other materials to pass between the mother and developing offspring. The embryo becomes a fetus after 8 weeks of fertilization and undergoes rapid development until 9 months. At that time the mother’s body produces hormones that cause labor in which muscles in the uterus contract and relax causing the baby to move down the birth canal until it is born.
Thus, the reproductive system is controlled by gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormones, and luteinizing hormones, which are produced and secreted by the pituitary gland. Gonadotropins are released and controlled by a hypothalamic hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone. Further, the FSH stimulates the maturation of sperm in males which is inherited by hormone inhibin, whereas the LH stimulates the production of the androgen testosterone. The FSH in females stimulates egg maturation while LH stimulates the production of estrogen and progesterone. It also stimulates the release of hormones during menstruation and pregnancy period in females.