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Medicine LibreTexts

13.01: Objectives

After completing this section, you should know:

  • the role of mitosis and meiosis in the production of gametes (sperm and ova)
  • that gametes are haploid cells
  • that fertilization forms a diploid zygote
  • the major parts of the male reproductive system and their functions
  • the route sperm travel along the male reproductive tract to reach the penis
  • the structure of a sperm and the difference between sperm and semen
  • the difference between infertility and impotence
  • the main parts of the female reproductive system and their functions
  • the ovarian cycle and the roles of FSH, LH, oestrogen and progesterone
  • the oestrous cycle and the signs of heat in rodents, dogs, cats and cattle
  • the process of fertilization and where it occurs in the female tract
  • what a morula and a blastocyst are
  • what the placenta is and its functions


  • Ruth Lawson (Otago Polytechnic; Dunedin, New Zealand)