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The gonad is the organ that makes gametes. Gametes are haploid germ cells. For example, sperm and egg cells are gametes.

In males, the gonads, known as the testes, secrete the class of hormones called androgens. The predominant androgen in males is testosterone. In females, the gonads, known as the ovaries, secrete estrogen and progesterone. The dominant estrogen is known as estradiol, which is derived from testosterone.

The gonads are controlled hormonally by luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. The anterior pituitary gland's excretion of LH and FSH are, in turn, controlled by the hypothalamus's gonadotropin-releasing hormone.

RegulationEdit

The gonads are controlled hormonally by luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. The anterior pituitary gland's excretion of LH and FSH are, in turn, controlled by the hypothalamus' gonadotropin-releasing hormone.

DevelopmentEdit

Main article: Development of the gonads

Gonads start developing as a common anlage, in the form of gonadal ridges, and only later are differentiated to male or female sex organs. The SRY gene, located on the Y chromosome and encoding the testis determining factor, decides the direction of this differentiation.

The development of gonads is a part of the development of the urinary and reproductive organs.

See alsoEdit

Genetic determination of sexual differentiation

Sexual differentiation of the gonads and internal reproductive tracts

Puberty

GnRH and the control of gonadotrophin synthesis and secretion

The gonadotrophins - LH and FSH - and their actions

Endocrine changes in puberty

Precocious sexual development

Delayed puberty

Premature adrenarche

Acne, hair growth and hirsutism

Testicular function

Control of testicular function

Transport, metabolism and actions of androgens

Spermatogenesis

Erection and ejaculation

Ovarian control and the menstrual cycle

Transport, metabolism and actions of ovarian steroids

The ovary - folliculogenesis and oogenesis

Ovulation, menstruation and its problems

Contraception

Infertility

Ovulation induction and assisted conception

Ovarian failure, the menopause and andropause

Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)


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