Human Reproduction and Health-Related Issues Question and Answer

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Human Reproduction and Health-Related Issues Question and Answer

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    What are the major structures of the male reproductive system? How do these structures relate to their function?

The male reproductive system is situated exterior of the body. These external structures include the penis, scrotum, and testicles.

  • Penis: it is divided into three parts, the root, which adheres to the abdominal wall; the body or shaft; and the glans, which is the cone-shaped component at the tip of the penis.

Function: The primary functions of the penis are urinary and sexual (erection and ejaculation).

  • Scrotum: This is the loose pouch-like skin sac that hangs behind and beneath the penis. It contains the testicles (also known as testes), and also multiple nerves and blood vessels (Clement and Giuliano, 2015).

Function: The scrotum serves as the testes' "climate control system." The testes must be slightly cooler than body temperature for normal sperm development.

  • Testicles (testes): These are oval organs about the size of large olives that are located in the scrotum and are held together at either end by a structure known as the spermatic cord.

Function: The testes are in charge of producing testosterone, which is the principal male sex hormone, as well as sperm production (Clement and Giuliano, 2015).

The internal reproductive organs include:

  • Urethra: The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside. It also has the function of ejaculating sperm in males.
  • Vas deferens: the vas deferens delivers mature sperm to the urethra.
  • Prostate gland: The ejaculate receives extra fluid from the prostate gland. Prostate fluids also aid with sperm nutrition (Kureel et al., 2015).
  1. What are the major structures of the female reproductive system? How do these structures relate to their function?

The female reproductive system comprises the following organs:

  • Vagina: It is also referred to as the birth canal. The vaginal canal connects the cervix (the lower part of the uterus) to the outside.

Function: During childbirth, it broadens to provide a pathway for the delivery of a newborn from the uterus. Menstruation – acts as a passageway for menstrual fluid and tissue to exit the body.

  • Uterus: The uterus is divided into two sections: the cervix, the lower part that opens into the vagina, and the corpus, the main body of the uterus.

Function: The uterus is a pear-shaped organ that provides a suitable environment for the developing fetus (Thompson, 2022).

  • Ovaries: The ovaries are oval-shaped, small glands found on either side of the uterus.

Function: they produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Ovaries also play a role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and fertility.

  • Fallopian tubes: also called oviductor uterine tubes, these are narrow tubes that connect to the upper part of the uterus and provide passageways for ova (egg cells) to move from the ovaries to the uterus (Elsharief, et al., 2020).

Function: these tubes facilitate the transport of the sperm cells to the eggs; also ensuring a suitable environment for fertilization.

  1. What would be the consequences of failure or errors in the processes of Mitosis and Meiosis?

Errors in the process of mitosis can cause:

  • Aneuploidy and Mutations: Errors during mitosis result in the formation of daughter cells with an abnormally large or small number of chromosomes, a condition known as aneuploidy. Mitotic errors have long been reported as the cause of whole-chromosomal aneuploidy, but new evidence has linked chromosome segregation errors to the generation of DNA damage, which seeks to promote structural modifications in chromosomes.
  • Chromosome abnormality: When the process is regular, chromosomes attach to string-like spindles and start moving to the centre of each daughter cell. Unless chromosomes fail to associate to these spindles, a daughter cell may have an extra copy of a chromosome or be missing one after the cell divides. Example: Down syndrome
  • Effect on organelles: Damaged organelles have a chance to fix and recover between cell divisions during normal mitosis, but not when cell division does not stop. Organelles that are damaged in cells can cause them to die (Levine and Holland, 2018).

Errors in the process of meiosis:

  • Trisomy and sex chromosomes disorders: If meiosis does not occur normally, a baby may be born with an extra chromosome (trisomy) or a missing chromosome (monosomy). These issues may result in the loss of a pregnancy. Alternatively, they can harm a child's health (Wilkins and Holliday, 2009).
  1. What is meant by fertilization, implantation, pregnancy and childbirth? What can go wrong in each of these stages? Provide and explain one example for each.

Fertilization: The process by which gametes (an egg and sperm) fuse together to form a zygote is known as fertilisation. Each egg and sperm have their own set of chromosomes.

  • For example: in the case of males the sperm sample may contain a small number of sperm capable of penetrating the egg membranes. This is frequently associated with a high percentage of sperm that is abnormally shaped. In severe cases, this can lead to a complete failure of fertilization (Monroy, 2020).
  • Poor egg quality is caused by a reduction in ovarian reserve and is a common cause of infertility, particularly in women over the age of 35. The quality of the egg depends upon the quality of the embryo.

Implantation: The following fertilisation, the combined cells begin rapidly multiplying and moving through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. This group of rapidly growing cells is called a blastocyst, which attaches or implants itself to the uterine wall. This process is called implantation (Simon & Laufer, 2012).

Several factors cause implantation failures like hormonal and metabolic disorders, uterine abnormalities, immunological factors and so on.

  • Example: in the case of RIF or Repeated Implantation Failures, majorly arising due to maternal or embryonic causes.

Pregnancy: The condition of carrying an embryo or foetus within the female body. Pregnancy lasts approximately nine months, divided into three trimesters, each lasting about three months (Danielsson, 2022).

  • Examples: ectopic pregnancy, miscarriages, molar pregnancy, stillbirth, preterm delivery, etc are all the types of losses one can experience during pregnancy.

Childbirth: Childbirth, also known as labour or delivery, is the termination of a pregnancy in which one or more babies leave the uterus either vaginally or via Caesarean section (John Hopkins Medicine, 2022).

Example: the problems with the umbilical cord being squeezed and the baby cannot breathe. This limits oxygen and the baby needs to be born quickly.

  1. What are the pros and cons of male and female condoms?

Male condoms:

  • Advantages: It is one of the few forms of birth control that provides any reduction in the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Condoms are more inexpensive than hormonal methods of birth control and are widely available.
  • Unless one is allergic to latex, there are no side effects.
  • A prescription is not required
  • Condoms are small, portable, and disposable (Casey, 2022).
  • Disadvantages: The normal utilization has a failure rate of about 14%.
  • Condom use requires the consent and cooperation of both partners.
  • Latex allergy
  • Loss of sensation (Casey, 2022).

Female condoms

  • Advantages: Female condoms are 95% effective when used correctly.
  • They offer protection against pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • There are no significant side effects (NHS, 2022).
  • Disadvantages: They are not as widely available and can be more expensive than male condoms.
  • If the condom is left in for an extended period, it may cause a urinary tract infection (UTI) (NHS, 2022).
  • Discomfort while using the condom.
  1. What are the challenges facing the NHS with the misdiagnosis of Chlamydia and the rise of Mycoplasma Genitalium (MG)?

Complications in women: Chlamydia can spread to the womb, ovaries, or fallopian tubes in women. This can result in a condition known as a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

PID symptoms are typically similar to chlamydia symptoms, such as discomfort or pain during sex, pain during urination, and bleeding between periods and after sex (NHS, 2022). PID can lead to a variety of serious issues, including

  • difficulty getting pregnant or
  • persistent infertility
  • (chronic) Pelvic pain is associated with a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy

Complications in men:

  • Inflammation of the testicles: Chlamydia can infect the testicles and epididymis (tubes that deliver sperm from the testicles) in males, causing them to swell and become painful.
  • Reactive Arthritis: The most prevalent cause of sexually acquired reactive arthritis is chlamydia. This is when the joints, eyes, or urethra gets inflamed, which usually happens during the first few weeks after one has chlamydia.

Mycoplasma genitalium has received a lot of attention, partly because it's been linked to both male and female reproductive tract illness syndromes, and because of the rise in antibiotic resistance (Manhart, 2017).

  1. What are the issues in the provision of In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) in the UK today?

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is one of the various treatments that can help people who are having difficulty conceiving a child. IVF does not always lead to pregnancy, and it can be physically and emotionally taxing (Patel and Johnson, 2021). Several health risks are also involved:

  • Multiple births (such as twins or triplets) — both the mother and the children are at risk.
  • Heat flushes and headaches are side effects of the medications used during treatment.
  • An ectopic pregnancy - one in which the embryo implants in the fallopian tubes instead of the womb.
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) - a condition in which the ovaries overreact to IVF medications (NHS, 2022).


Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2020, May 26). fallopian tubeEncyclopedia Britannica.

Casey, F., 2022. What are disadvantages of male condoms for contraception?. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

Clement, P. and Giuliano, F., 2015. Anatomy and physiology of genital organs–men. Handbook of clinical neurology130, pp.19-37.

Danielsson, K., 2022. Pregnancy Loss Includes More Than Just Miscarriages. [online] Verywell Family. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

Elsharief, U.A., Massaad, S.O., Babiker, R.A., Mohammed, N.A., Barry, B.M., Osman, S.A. and Adam, G.K., 2020. Female Genital Tract Malignancy, in Gadarif Advanced Medical Diagnostic Centre (GAMDC) Gadarif, Eastern Sudan, From 2017 to 2018. Journal of Medical and Biological Science Research6(1), pp.1-6.

John Hopkins Medicine, 2022. 4 Common Pregnancy Complications. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

Kureel, S.N., Gupta, A., Sunil, K., Dheer, Y., Kumar, M. and Tomar, V.K., 2015. Surgical anatomy of the penis in hypospadias: magnetic resonance imaging study of the tissue planes, vessels, and collaterals. Urology85(5), pp.1173-1178.

Levine, M.S. and Holland, A.J., 2018. The impact of mitotic errors on cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. Genes & development32(9-10), pp.620-638.

Manhart, L.E., 2017. M. genitalium on the loose: time to sound the alarm. Sexually transmitted diseases44(8), p.463.

Monroy, A. 2020. fertilizationEncyclopedia Britannica.

NHS, 2022. Chlamydia - Complications. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

NHS, 2022. Female condoms. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

NHS, 2022. IVF. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

Patel, J.C. and Johnson, M.H., 2021. A survey of the effectiveness of the assessment of the welfare of the child in UK in-vitro fertilization units. Human reproduction (Oxford, England)13(3), pp.766-770.

Simon, A., & Laufer, N. 2012. Assessment and treatment of repeated implantation failure (RIF). Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics29(11), 1227–1239.

Thompson, L., 2022. The Vagina - Structure - Function - Histology - TeachMeAnatomy. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 22 March 2022].

Wilkins, A.S. and Holliday, R., 2009. The evolution of meiosis from mitosis. Genetics181(1), pp.3-12.

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