Some science behind the scenes

Reproductive system

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There are major differences in the reproductive organs of the male and female in humans.

The female reproductive organs

are located inside of the body and around the pelvic region.  The human female reproductive system contains three main parts:

  • The vagina meets the outside at the vulva, which also includes the labia, clitoris and urethra; during intercourse this area is lubricated by mucus secreted by the Bartholin's glands.;
  • The uterus, which holds the developing fetus. The vagina is attached to the uterus through the cervix, while the uterus is attached to the ovaries via the fallopian tubes.
  • The ovaries - Women do not make new eggs like men make new sperm, they are born with a 'cache' of 'follicles' each with a primary oocyte.  The hormone FSH - follicle-stimulating hormone released from the pituitary gland  matures the oocyte into an ovarian follicle [or ova].  Once it has matured it sends a message to the pituitary using oestrogen and the growing process stops.  One of these is released monthly until the menopause - hence the name period - they are released periodically.  Ovulation [the movement of the follicle into the uterus] is triggered by another hormone LH -  luteinizing hormone also from the pituitary.  When the sperm and oocyte combine they are called an Ovum - the beginnings of a baby

After ovulation, the follicle is converted into the corpus luteum/corpora lutea

The breasts are involved during the parenting stage of reproduction, but in most medical  text books they are not considered to be part of the female reproductive system, why is unclear.

The male reproductive system

is a series of organs located outside of the body and around the pelvis region. The primary direct function of the male reproductive system is to provide the male sperm for fertilization of the ovum.

 

The major reproductive organs of the male can be grouped into three categories.

  • The first category is sperm production and storage. Production takes place in the testes which are housed in the temperature regulating scrotum, immature sperm then travel to the epididymis for development and storage.
  • The second category are the ejaculatory fluid producing glands which include the seminal vesicles, prostate, and the vas deferens.
  • The final category are those used for copulation, and deposition of the spermatozoa (sperm) within the male, these include the penis, urethra, vas deferens, and Cowper's gland.

Sperm production is also governed by LH - luteinizing hormone - released from the pituitary gland.  The maturation and growth of sperm is then dependent on the testosterone from Leydig cells in the testes as well as  Sertoli cells a "nurse" cell of the testicles that helps in the process of spermatogenesis; that is, the production of sperm.  It is activated by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and has FSH-receptor on its membranes.

Endocrine system

 

I think it is clear that one cannot in fact separate the endocrine system from the reproductive system.  The reproductive system is wholly dependent on hormones to make it work.  As we have seen the hormones follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) act synergistically in reproduction. 

Oestrogen and progesterone control the female reproductive cycle.  Estrogens or oestrogens control menstruation.  Progesterone has an enormous number of functions besides that of reproduction, but in this context when eggs release progesterone, the sperm use progesterone as a homing signal to swim toward eggs.  It also regulates many processes during pregnancy.

Testosterone is secreted primarily by the testicles of males and, to a lesser extent, the ovaries of females. Small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands. In men, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive organs such as the testis and prostate as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle, bone mass, and the growth of body hair.  On average, in adult males, levels of testosterone are about 7–8 times as great as in adult females.

 

Oxytocin is known as the 'love' hormone.  It is released during love making, sexual arousal and childbirth.  It is generally released from the pituitary gland into the blood from where it travels via the blood stream to the rest of the body.   But the testes have the capacity to produce oxytocin by themselves as does the corpora lutea in the ovaries in women.  [Note that this has an impact on the practises of Sex magick as stimulation of the testicles and the corpora lutea release this 'love hormone']. It has its own receptors in the brain, the spinal cord and in the genital organs as well as the kidney, heart, thymus, pancreas, and adipocytes.  Oxytocin receptors are found in Leydig cells in the testicles. It may be oxytocin that controls the kundalini experience.

In effect, many apparent problems with the reproductive system have nothing to do with the reproductive system itself, but are directly attributable to endocrine disruption.