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    Male Reproductive System (for Parents)

    Understanding the male reproductive system and what it does can help you better understand your son's reproductive health.

    Male Reproductive System

    Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD

    Print en español

    Sistema reproductor masculino

    What Is Reproduction?

    Reproduction is the process by which organisms make more organisms like themselves. But even though the reproductive system is essential to keeping a species alive, unlike other body systems, it's not essential to keeping an individual alive.

    In the human reproductive process, two kinds of sex cells, or gametes (GAH-meetz), are involved. The male gamete, or sperm, and the female gamete, the egg or ovum, meet in the female's reproductive system. When sperm fertilizes (meets) an egg, this fertilized egg is called a zygote (ZYE-goat). The zygote goes through a process of becoming an embryo and developing into a fetus.

    The male reproductive system and the female reproductive system both are needed for reproduction.

    Humans, like other organisms, pass some characteristics of themselves to the next generation. We do this through our genes, the special carriers of human traits. The genes that parents pass along are what make their children similar to others in their family, but also what make each child unique. These genes come from the male's sperm and the female's egg.

    What Is the Male Reproductive System?

    The male has reproductive organs, or genitals, that are both inside and outside the pelvis. The male genitals include:

    the testicles (TESS-tih-kulz)

    the duct system, which is made up of the epididymis and the vas deferens

    the accessory glands, which include the seminal vesicles and prostate gland

    the penis

    In a guy who has reached sexual maturity, the two oval-shaped testicles, or testes (TESS-teez) make and store millions of tiny sperm cells. The testicles are also part of the endocrine system because they make hormones, including testosterone (tess-TOSS-tuh-rone).

    Testosterone is a major part of puberty in boys, and as a guy makes his way through puberty, his testicles produce more and more of it. Testosterone is the hormone that causes boys to develop deeper voices, bigger muscles, and body and facial hair. It also stimulates the production of sperm.

    Alongside the testicles are the epididymis and the vas deferens, which transport sperm. The epididymis (ep-uh-DID-uh-miss) and the testicles hang in a pouch-like structure outside the pelvis called the scrotum. This bag of skin helps to regulate the temperature of testicles, which need to be kept cooler than body temperature to produce sperm. The scrotum changes size to maintain the right temperature. When the body is cold, the scrotum shrinks and becomes tighter to hold in body heat. When it's warm, it gets larger and floppier to get rid of extra heat. This happens without a guy ever having to think about it. The brain and the nervous system give the scrotum the cue to change size.

    The accessory glands, including the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland, provide fluids that lubricate the duct system and nourish the sperm. The urethra is the channel that carries the sperm (in fluid called semen) to the outside of the body through the penis. The urethra is also part of the urinary system because it is also the channel through which pee passes as it leaves the bladder and exits the body.

    The penis is actually made up of two parts: the shaft and the glans. The shaft is the main part of the penis and the glans is the tip (sometimes called the head). At the end of the glans is a small slit or opening, which is where semen and urine exit the body through the urethra (yoo-REE-thruh). The inside of the penis is made of a spongy tissue that can expand and contract.

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    The Male Reproductive System

    Like other living things, human beings reproduce. It's what keeps the population going. In humans, the male and female reproductive systems work together to make a baby.

    Click through this slideshow to see how the male reproductive system works.

    © 2020 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

    All boys are born with a foreskin, a fold of skin at the end of the penis covering the glans. Some boys are circumcised, which means that a doctor or clergy member cuts away the foreskin. Circumcision is usually done during a baby boy's first few days of life. It's not medically necessary, but parents who choose to have their sons circumcised often do so based on religious beliefs, concerns about hygiene, or cultural or social reasons. Boys who have circumcised penises and those who don't are no different: All penises work and feel the same, regardless of whether the foreskin has been removed.

    How Does the Male Reproductive System Work?

    The male reproductive system:

    makes semen (SEE-mun)

    releases semen into the reproductive system of the female during sexual intercourse

    produces sex hormones, which help a boy develop into a sexually mature man during puberty

    When a baby boy is born, he has all the parts of his reproductive system in place, but it isn't until puberty that he is able to reproduce. When puberty begins, usually between the ages of 9 and 15, the pituitary gland — located near the brain — secretes hormones that stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone. The production of testosterone brings about many physical changes.

    Source : kidshealth.org

    Male Reproductive System: Structure & Function

    The male reproductive system is made up of internal and external organs, including the penis, testicles and urethra. This system is responsible for sexual function and urination.

    Male Reproductive System

    The male reproductive system is mostly located outside of the body. These external organs include the penis, scrotum and testicles. Internal organs include the vas deferens, prostate and urethra. The male reproductive system is responsible for sexual function, as well as urination.

    OVERVIEW

    Male Reproductive Anatomy

    What’s the male reproductive system?

    The male reproductive system includes a group of organs that make up a man’s reproductive and urinary system. These organs do the following jobs within your body:

    They produce, maintain and transport sperm (the male reproductive cells) and semen (the protective fluid around sperm).

    They discharge sperm into the female reproductive tract.

    They produce and secrete male sex hormones.

    The male reproductive system is made up of internal (inside your body) and external (outside your body) parts. Together, these organs help you urinate (rid your body of liquid waste materials), have sexual intercourse and make children.

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    FUNCTION

    How does the male reproductive system function?

    The entire male reproductive system is dependent on hormones. These are chemicals that stimulate or regulate the activity of your cells or organs. The primary hormones involved in the functioning of the male reproductive system are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone.

    FSH and LH are produced by the pituitary gland. It’s located at the base of your brain and it’s responsible for many functions in your body. FSH is necessary for sperm production (spermatogenesis). LH stimulates the production of testosterone, which is necessary to continue the process of spermatogenesis. Testosterone is also important in the development of male characteristics, including muscle mass and strength, fat distribution, bone mass and sex drive.

    ANATOMY

    What are the external male reproductive structures?

    Most of the male reproductive system is located outside of your abdominal cavity or pelvis. The external parts of the male reproductive system include the penis, the scrotum and the testicles.

    Penis

    The penis is the male organ for sexual intercourse. It has three parts:

    The root: This is the part of the penis that attaches to the wall of your abdomen.The body or shaft: Shaped like a tube or cylinder, the body of the penis is made up of three internal chambers. Inside these chambers there’s a special, sponge-like erectile tissue that contains thousands of large spaces that fill with blood when you’re sexually aroused. As the penis fills with blood, it becomes rigid and erect, which allows for penetration during sex. The skin of the penis is loose and elastic, allowing for changes in penis size during an erection.The glans: This is the cone-shaped end of the penis. The glans, which is also called the head of the penis, is covered with a loose layer of skin called foreskin. This skin is sometimes removed in a procedure called circumcision.

    The opening of the urethra — the tube that transports both semen and urine out of the body — is located at the tip of the glans penis. The penis also contains many sensitive nerve endings.

    Semen, which contains sperm, is expelled (ejaculated) through the end of the penis when a man reaches sexual climax (orgasm). When the penis is erect, the flow of urine is blocked from the urethra, allowing only semen to be ejaculated at orgasm.

    Scrotum

    The scrotum is the loose pouch-like sac of skin that hangs behind the penis. It holds the testicles (also called testes), as well as many nerves and blood vessels. The scrotum protects your testes, as well as providing a sort of climate control system. For normal sperm development, the testes must be at a temperature slightly cooler than the body temperature. Special muscles in the wall of the scrotum allow it to contract (tighten) and relax, moving the testicles closer to the body for warmth and protection or farther away from the body to cool the temperature.

    Testicles (testes)

    The testes are oval organs about the size of very large olives that lie in the scrotum, secured at either end by a structure called the spermatic cord. Most men have two testes. The testes are responsible for making testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, and for producing sperm. Within the testes are coiled masses of tubes called seminiferous tubules. These tubules are responsible for producing the sperm cells through a process called spermatogenesis.

    Epididymis

    The epididymis is a long, coiled tube that rests on the backside of each testicle. It carries and stores sperm cells that are created in the testes. It’s also the job of the epididymis to bring the sperm to maturity — the sperm that emerge from the testes are immature and incapable of fertilization. During sexual arousal, contractions force the sperm into the vas deferens.

    What are the internal male reproductive organs?

    You have several internal organs — also called accessory organs — that play a big part in the male reproductive system. These organs include:

    Source : my.clevelandclinic.org

    The Male Reproductive System: Organs, Function, and More

    An overview of the male reproductive system from the experts at WebMD.

    The Male Reproductive System

    Medically Reviewed by Nazia Q Bandukwala, DO on March 15, 2022

    The purpose of the organs of the male reproductive system is to perform the following functions:

    To produce, maintain, and transport sperm (the male reproductive cells) and protective fluid (semen)

    To discharge sperm within the female reproductive tract during sex

    To produce and secrete male sex hormones responsible for maintaining the male reproductive system

    Unlike the female reproductive system, most of the male reproductive system is located outside of the body. These external structures include the penis, scrotum, and testicles.

    Penis: This is the male organ used in sexual intercourse. It has three parts: the root, which attaches to the wall of the abdomen; the body, or shaft; and the glans, which is the cone-shaped part at the end of the penis. The glans, also called the head of the penis, is covered with a loose layer of skin called foreskin. This skin is sometimes removed in a procedure called circumcision. The opening of the urethra, the tube that transports semen and urine, is at the tip of the penis. The glans of the penis also contains a number of sensitive nerve endings.

    The body of the penis is cylindrical in shape and consists of three circular shaped chambers. These chambers are made up of special, sponge-like tissue. This tissue contains thousands of large spaces that fill with blood when the man is sexually aroused. As the penis fills with blood, it becomes rigid and erect, which allows for penetration during sexual intercourse. The skin of the penis is loose and elastic to accommodate changes in penis size during an erection.

    Semen, which contains sperm (reproductive cells), is expelled (ejaculated) through the end of the penis when the man reaches sexual climax (orgasm). When the penis is erect, the flow of urine is blocked from the urethra, allowing only semen to be ejaculated at orgasm.

    Scrotum: This is the loose pouch-like sac of skin that hangs behind and below the penis. It contains the testicles (also called testes), as well as many nerves and blood vessels. The scrotum acts as a "climate control system" for the testes. For normal sperm development, the testes must be at a temperature slightly cooler than body temperature. Special muscles in the wall of the scrotum allow it to contract and relax, moving the testicles closer to the body for warmth or farther away from the body to cool the temperature.Testicles (testes): These are oval organs about the size of large olives that lie in the scrotum, secured at either end by a structure called the spermatic cord. Most men have two testes. The testes are responsible for making testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, and for generating sperm. Within the testes are coiled masses of tubes called seminiferous tubules. These tubes are responsible for producing sperm cells.

    The internal organs of the male reproductive system, also called accessory organs, include the following:

    Epididymis: The epididymis is a long, coiled tube that rests on the backside of each testicle. It transports and stores sperm cells that are produced in the testes. It also is the job of the epididymis to bring the sperm to maturity, since the sperm that emerge from the testes are immature and incapable of fertilization. During sexual arousal, contractions force the sperm into the vas deferens.Vas deferens: The vas deferens is a long, muscular tube that travels from the epididymis into the pelvic cavity, to just behind the bladder. The vas deferens transports mature sperm to the urethra, the tube that carries urine or sperm to outside of the body, in preparation for ejaculation.Ejaculatory ducts: These are formed by the fusion of the vas deferens and the seminal vesicles (see below). The ejaculatory ducts empty into the urethra.Urethra: The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside of the body. In males, it has the additional function of ejaculating semen when the man reaches orgasm. When the penis is erect during sex, the flow of urine is blocked from the urethra, allowing only semen to be ejaculated at orgasm.Seminal vesicles: The seminal vesicles are sac-like pouches that attach to the vas deferens near the base of the bladder. The seminal vesicles produce a sugar-rich fluid (fructose) that provides sperm with a source of energy to help them move. The fluid of the seminal vesicles makes up most of the volume of a man's ejaculatory fluid, or ejaculate.Prostate gland: The prostate gland is a walnut-sized structure that is located below the urinary bladder in front of the rectum. The prostate gland contributes additional fluid to the ejaculate. Prostate fluids also help to nourish the sperm. The urethra, which carries the ejaculate to be expelled during orgasm, runs through the center of the prostate gland.Bulbourethral glands: Also called Cowper's glands, these are pea-sized structures located on the sides of the urethra just below the prostate gland. These glands produce a clear, slippery fluid that empties directly into the urethra. This fluid serves to lubricate the urethra and to neutralize any acidity that may be present due to residual drops of urine in the urethra.

    Source : www.webmd.com

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