Just six weeks after the baby is conceived, the presence or absence of a Y, or male, sex chromosome (the collection of genes that determine the characteristics of the body) leads to the production of testicles if present or ovaries if absent. If absent, a set of tubules present in both males and females develops into the female structures of the fallopian tubes that carry the egg to the uterus.
The lack of testosterone in the female also causes the brain to develop female sexual characteristics in a structure called the hypothalamus, which controls many of the body's glands, including ovaries in women and testicles in men. At puberty, the hypothalamus starts the monthly cycles that continue until menopause.
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