The Male Reproductive System
The male and female reproductive systems consist of a variety of different organs, tissues, and ducts, which aid in the process of fertilization and conception. Without these two complex systems, our bodies would not be able to mature properly or to create other human lives. Men facing fertility issues may have underlying problems with their reproductive system. These problems need to be identified and treated in order to increase the chance of conception and pregnancy.
What is the Male Reproductive System?
The male reproductive system consists of special organs, tissues, and glands that help men to procreate. It works with the female reproductive system to allow for fertilization and conception. The male reproductive system serves two main purposes: it produces the main male sex hormones, which trigger the development of male sex characteristics, including body hair, a deep voice, and strong muscles.
It also allows the body to create sperm cells, which are needed to help fertilize a woman’s egg and create a baby. Unlike the female reproductive system, the male reproductive system contains both external and internal organs.
What Makes up the Male Reproductive System?The male reproductive system is made up of specific organs and tissues. Each part has its own specific function in the reproductive process. The system incorporates:
- the testicles
- the duct system
- the gland system
- the penis
The TesticlesAlso referred to as the testes, the testicles are a man’s main sex organs. They help to produce testosterone, the male sex hormone, and sperm cells. There are two, oval-shaped testicles in the male reproductive system. Each testicle is about five centimeters long and three centimeters wide. The two testicles are housed in the scrotum, a sac of skin and tissue, which is located behind your penis.
Your testicles are responsible for producing and storing millions of sperm cells. Sperm cells are contained within tiny tubes inside your testes. As your testicles produce testosterone, these sperm cells begin to divide, forming a head and a tail. Eventually these sperm will move out of the testicles, into the rest of your reproductive system.
The Duct SystemThe duct system is made up of a variety of tubes that help to produce and transport fluids. The male reproductive system contains a number of ducts that are necessary to help keep the sperm healthy and motile.
- Epididymis: The epididymis is a six meter long tube, that is tightly coiled. Extending from the testicles, sperm travel into the epididymis when they begin to mature. Inside the epididymis, sperm continue to mature, becoming stronger and more motile. It takes about three weeks for sperm to travel the length of the epididymis.
- Vas Deferens: The vas deferens are tubes that extend from the epididymis. They help to transport the sperm to the urethra during ejaculation.
- Urethra: The urethra is a tiny tube that extends from the bladder down through the head of the penis. It is also connected to the vas deferens. Semen containing sperm passes through the urethra and outside the body during ejaculation. The urethra is also used to carry urine outside the body.