**This episode contains sexual health material**
Let's talk about sex, baby! Let's talk about you and me…or let's talk about reproductive systems, and hormones, and the anterior pituitary, and the endometrium, and the epididymis.
Welcome to the Cellfie Life. Thank you so much for listening. If you have questions or comments, or corrections, please let me know. The best way to reach me is either the website CellfieLife.com or on Insta at @thiscellfielife.
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This episode does have sexual health material—so this is your warning: We're gonna be talking about penises and vaginas.
And one last note before we jump in: This episode is about biological sex, not necessarily gender expression or gender identity.
Anyway, let's get down…to business, that is, and the reproductive system.
You guys, I'm gonna try not to do a ton of sex puns, but as I was writing this episode, everything sounded like a sexual innuendo. Sorry, not sorry
The reproductive system includes sex organs and parts of our brains. We are going to start with males because they are easy.
In my opinion, male reproductive systems and hormones are pretty straightforward, so we are going to start with males and then graduate up to females.
Along with what we usually think of as reproduction duties—creating sperm and eggs—the reproductive system is also responsible for producing hormones. Because these hormones come from our reproductive system, they are dubbed our "sex" hormones.
Sex starts in the brain.
The sex organs are controlled by the brain, specifically the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary. The hypothalamus is really important. I think of the hypothalamus as an air traffic controller. The air traffic controller sits up in the tower and watches everything that is going on. If a plane is taking a long time on the landing strip, the air traffic controller tells the incoming plane to hang on before it lands so that there is not a crash. The hypothalamus does the same thing. It sits up in the brain and monitors what is going on in the body and gives directions if it sees that something is straying too far from homeostasis.
The hypothalamus regulates body temperature, appetite, physiological cycles, and sexual behavior, to name a few. We will talk more in detail about the hypothalamus later, but I wanted to introduce it because it has a really important role in homeostasis and, thus, health. But right now, we'll just talk about the hypothalamus's role in regards to the reproductive system.
The hypothalamus is bossy, just like a good air traffic controller. You don't want an air traffic controller that waffles back and forth about whether a runway is clear for a plane to land.
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