S Y S T E M C O N N E C T I O N S
Homeostatic Interrelationships Between
the
Reproductive System
and Other Body Systems
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Integumentary System
Chapter 5
Androgens activate oil glands that lubricate skin and hair;
gonadal hormones stimulate characteristic fat distribution
and appearance of pubic and axillary hair; estrogen increases
skin hydration, and during pregnancy it enhances facial skin
pigmentation
Skin protects all body organs by external enclosure; mammary
gland secretions (milk) nourish the infant
Skeletal System
Chapters 6–8
Androgens masculinize the skeleton and increase bone density;
estrogen feminizes the skeleton and maintains bone mass in
females
The bony pelvis encloses some reproductive organs; if narrow,
the bony pelvis may hinder vaginal delivery of an infant
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Muscular System
Chapters 9–10
Androgens promote increased muscle mass
Abdominal muscles active during childbirth; muscles of the
pelvic floor support reproductive organs and aid erection of
penis/clitoris
Nervous System
Chapters 11–15
Sex hormones masculinize or feminize the brain and influence
sex drive
Hypothalamus regulates timing of puberty; neural reflexes
regulate events of sexual response
Endocrine System
Chapter 16
Gonadal hormones exert feedback effects on hypothalamic-
pituitary axis; placental hormones promote maternal
hypermetabolism
Gonadotropins (and GnRH) help regulate function of gonads;
leptin signals the hypothalamus about the body’s state of
energy availability (in fat stores)
Cardiovascular System
Chapters 17–19
Estrogens lower blood cholesterol levels and promote
cardiovascular health in premenopausal women; pregnancy
increases workload of the cardiovascular system
Cardiovascular system transports needed substances to organs
of reproductive system; local vasodilation involved in erection;
blood transports sex hormones
Lymphatic System/Immunity
Chapters 20–21
Developing embryo/fetus escapes immune surveillance (not
rejected)
Lymphatic vessels drain leaked tissue fluids; transport sex
hormones; immune cells protect reproductive organs from
disease; IgA is present in breast milk
Respiratory System
Chapter 22
Pregnancy impairs descent of the diaphragm, promotes dyspnea
Respiratory system provides oxygen; disposes of carbon dioxide;
tidal volume increases during pregnancy while residual volume
declines
Digestive System
Chapter 23
Developing fetus crowds digestive organs; heartburn,
constipation common during pregnancy
Digestive system provides nutrients needed for health
Urinary System
Chapters 25–26
Hypertrophy of the prostate inhibits urination; compression
of bladder during pregnancy leads to urinary frequency and
urgency
Kidneys dispose of nitrogenous wastes and maintain acid-
base balance of blood of mother and fetus; semen discharged
through the urethra of the male
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