Both the male and female reproductive systems play crucial roles in pregnancy as well as being significantly involved in maintaining the overall health of an individual. In the normal course of events, conceiving a child is a very precise process that requires a variety molecular and cellular events to occur at exactly the proper time, proper place and to the proper degree. As a result, even the slightest problem with one or both of these systems can affect fertility and the ability to have children.
Reproductive health problems can also be harmful to overall health and can eventually lead to medical conditions that adversely affect other systems in the body. In many cases a reproductive issue can be the first sign there is some type of problem. Unilab provides comprehensive reproductive testing with a special focus on hormones and the roles they play in both females and males.
The female reproductive system is designed to carry out several functions. It produces the female egg cells necessary for reproduction, called the ova or oocytes. The system is designed to transport the ova to the site of fertilization. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes. The next step for the fertilized egg is to implant into the walls of the uterus, beginning the initial stages of pregnancy. If fertilization and/or implantation does not take place, the system is designed to menstruate (the monthly shedding of the uterine lining). In addition, the female reproductive system produces female sex hormones that maintain the reproductive cycle.
The male reproductive system is made up of the scrotum, testicles, vas deferens, epididymis, seminal vesicles, prostate gland, penis, and urethra. The reproductive system is controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain.
The testicles are located in the scrotum (the loose pouch of skin that hangs behind the penis). The testicles are made up of Leydig cells (cells that produce the male hormone – testosterone) and germ cells (cells that produce sperm)