fallopian tube


fallopian tube
/feuh loh"pee euhn/
one of a pair of long, slender ducts in the female abdomen that transport ova from the ovary to the uterus and, in fertilization, transport sperm cells from the uterus to the released ova; the oviduct of higher mammals. Also, Fallopian tube.
[1700-10; named after Gabriello Fallopio (d. 1562), Italian anatomist; see -IAN]

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also called  Oviduct, or Uterine Tube,  

      either of a pair of long narrow ducts located in the human female abdominal cavity that transport the male sperm cells to the egg, provide a suitable environment for fertilization, and transport the egg from the ovary, where it is produced, to the central channel (lumen) of the uterus.

      Each fallopian tube is 10–13 cm (4–5 inches) long and 0.5–1.2 cm (0.2–0.6 inch) in diameter. The channel of the tube is lined with a layer of mucous membrane that has many folds and papillae—small cone-shaped projections of tissue. Over the mucous membrane are three layers of muscle tissue; the innermost layer has spirally arranged fibres, the middle layer has circular fibres, and the outermost sheath has longitudinal fibres that end in many fingerlike branches (fimbriae) near the ovaries, forming a funnel-shaped depository called the infundibulum. The infundibulum catches and channels the released eggs; it is the wide distal (outermost) portion of each fallopian tube. The endings of the fimbriae extend over the ovary; they contract close to the ovary's surface during ovulation in order to guide the free egg. Leading from the infundibulum is the long central portion of the fallopian tube called the ampulla. The isthmus is a small region, only about 2 cm (0.8 inch) long, that connects the ampulla and infundibulum to the uterus. The final region of the fallopian tube, known as the intramural, or uterine, part, is located in the top portion (fundus) of the uterus; it is a narrow tube continuous with the isthmus, and it leads through the thick uterine wall to the uterine cavity, where fertilized eggs normally attach and develop. The channel of the intramural duct is the narrowest part of the fallopian tube.

      The mucous membrane lining the fallopian tube gives off secretions that help to transport the sperm and the egg and to keep them alive. The major constituents of the fluid are calcium, sodium, chloride, glucose (a sugar), proteins, bicarbonates, and lactic acid. The bicarbonates and lactic acid are vital to the sperm's use of oxygen, and they also help the egg to develop once it is fertilized. Glucose is a nutrient for the egg and sperm, whereas the rest of the chemicals provide an appropriate environment for fertilization to occur.

      Besides the cells that secrete fluids, the mucous membrane contains cells that have fine hairlike structures called cilia; (cilium) the cilia help to move the egg and sperm through the fallopian tubes. Sperm deposited in the female reproductive tract usually reach the infundibulum within a few hours. The egg, whether fertilized or not, takes three to four days to reach the uterine cavity. The swaying motions of the cilia and the rhythmic muscular contractions (peristaltic waves) of the fallopian tube's wall work together while moving the egg or sperm.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fallopian tube — Schematic frontal view of female anatomy …   Wikipedia

  • Fallopian tube — 1706, from Latinized form of the name of Gabriello Fallopio (1523 1562), Italian anatomist who first described them …   Etymology dictionary

  • Fallopian tube — ► NOUN Anatomy ▪ (in a female mammal) either of a pair of tubes along which eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus. ORIGIN named after the Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio (1523 62) …   English terms dictionary

  • fallopian tube — [fə lō′pē ən] n. [after Gabriel Fallopius (L form of Gabriello Fallopio), 1523 62, It anatomist] [also F t ] either of two slender tubes that carry ova from the ovaries to the uterus …   English World dictionary

  • Fallopian tube — One of the two Fallopian tubes that transport the egg from the ovary to the uterus (the womb). In the diagram, the Fallopian tubes are not labeled but are well shown running between the uterus and ovaries. The Fallopian tubes have small hair like …   Medical dictionary

  • fallopian tube — UK [fəˌləʊpɪən ˈtjuːb] / US [fəˌloʊpɪən ˈtub] noun [countable] Word forms fallopian tube : singular fallopian tube plural fallopian tubes medical one of the two tubes in a woman s body that carry eggs produced in her ovaries to her womb (= the… …   English dictionary

  • Fallopian tube — oviduct, uterine tube either of a pair of tubes that conduct ova (egg cells) from the ovary to the uterus (see reproductive system). The ovarian end opens into the abdominal cavity via a funnel shaped structure with finger like projections… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • fallopian tube — A slender tube through which eggs pass from an ovary to the uterus. In the female reproductive tract, there is one ovary and one fallopian tube on each side of the uterus …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • fallopian tube — /fəˈloʊpiən tjub/ (say fuh lohpeeuhn tyoohb) noun one of the uterine tubes, a pair of slender oviducts leading from the ovaries to the uterus, for transport and fertilisation of ova. Also, Fallopian tube. {named after Gabriello Fallopio, 1523–62 …   Australian English dictionary

  • fallopian tube — [[t]fəlo͟ʊpiən tju͟ːb, AM tu͟ːb[/t]] fallopian tubes N COUNT A woman s fallopian tubes are the two tubes in her body along which eggs pass from her ovaries to her womb …   English dictionary


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