Female Genital System
Female Genital System

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- embryology of female gonads/genital tracts → see section on genitourinary embryology - embryology of germ cells and gonads, from day 8 through 12th week (first trimester) - primordial germ cells (mesodermal origin) are sequestered in caudal wall of yolk sac, and during fifth week migrate to the gonadal ridges, located between the vertebral column and the mesonephros (primitive kidney) - in females, germ cells in ovaries are surrounded by cells of the cortical sex cords, to become eggs in primordial follicles - in mal es, germ cells in testes are surrounded by cells of the medullary sex cords, to become spermatogonia (spermatozoa stem cells) in seminiferous tubules - gonadal ridges (sexually indifferent gonads) - descend caudally in the retroperitoneum, by differential growth of the embryo, protruding forward and obtaining a capsule of peritoneum (mesothelium) - in female, become the ovaries, ‘dragging’ along their bloo d supply (ovarian arteries and veins), as they ‘migrate’ into the pelvis - in male, become the testes ovary - same embryological beginnings as testes, beginning with migration of primordial germ cells from yolk sac wall to the gonadal ridges - as the ovaries develop, they ‘migrate’ caudally (by differential growth) at the back of the abdomen (retroperitoneum), then stop in t he pelvis - suspended in pelvis on posterior border of the broad ligament of uterus - covered by peritoneum (mesothelium) which is sometimes called “germinal epithelium” (this term is embryologically and histologically incorrect, although still used because it is traditional terminology) ©