Reproductive system1

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Reproductive system:

Reproductive system Male

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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

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External Structure :

External Structure Most of the male reproductive system is located outside of the man’s body. The external structures of the male reproductive system are the penis, the scrotum and the testicles .


INTERNAL STRUCTURE The internal organs of the male reproductive system, also called accessory organs, include the following : Vas deferens Ejaculatory ducts Urethra Seminal vesicles Prostate gland Bulbourethral glands


Testis/Testes The testes (singular, testis) are located in the scrotum (a sac of skin between the upper thighs). In the male fetus , the testes develop near the kidneys, then descend into the scrotum just before birth. Each testis is about 1 1/2 inches long by 1 inch wide. Testosterone is produced in the testes which stimulates the production of sperm as well as give secondary sex characteristics beginning at puberty.

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Each testis is an oval structure about 5 cm long and 3 cm in diameter Covered by tunica albuginea Located in the scrotum There are about 250 lobules in each testis. Each contains 1 to 4 -seminiferous tubules that converge to form a single straight tubule, which leads into the rete testis. Short efferent ducts exit the testes. Interstitial cells (cells of Leydig ), which produce male sex hormones, are located between the seminiferous tubules within a lobule.


Scrotum The two testicles are each held in a fleshy sac called the scrotum. The major function of the scrotal sac is to keep the testes cooler than thirty-seven degrees Celsius (ninety-eight point six degrees Fahrenheit). The external appearance of the scrotum varies at different times in the same individual depending upon temperature and the subsequent contraction or relaxation of two muscles.

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These two muscles contract involuntarily when it is cold to move the testes closer to the heat of the body in the pelvic region. This causes the scrotum to appear tightly wrinkled. On the contrary, they relax in warm temperatures causing the testes to lower and the scrotum to become flaccid. The temperature of the testes is maintained at about thirty-five degrees Celsius (ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit), which is below normal body temperature. Temperature has to be lower than normal in order for spermatogenis (sperm production) to take place.

2 muscles that regulate the temperature of the testes:

2 muscles that regulate the temperature of the testes

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1. Dartos Muscle The dartos muscle is a layer of smooth muscle fibers in the subcutaneous tissue of the scrotum (surrounding the scrotum). This muscle is responsible for wrinkling up the scrotum, in conditions of cold weather, in order to maintain the correct temperature for spermatogenesis.

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2. Cremaster Muscle The cremaster muscle is a thin strand of skeletal muscle associated with the testes and spermatic cord. This muscle is a continuation of the internal oblique muscle of the abdominal wall, from which it is derived.


Penis The penis is the male organ for 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 end of the penis. The glans, which also is 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 glans penis. The body of the penis is cylindrical in shape and consists of three internal chambers. These chambers are made up of special, sponge-like erectile tissue.

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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, 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.

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 in preparation for ejaculation.


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 expelling (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.

Ejaculatory ducts:

Ejaculatory ducts These are formed by the fusion of the vas deferens and the seminal vesicles. The ejaculatory ducts empty into the urethra.

Seminal Vesicles :

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 and helps with the sperms’ motility (ability to move). The fluid of the seminal vesicles makes up most of the volume of a man’s ejaculatory fluid, or ejaculate.

Bulbourethral gland:

Bulbourethral gland The bulbourethral glands, or Cowper’s glands, 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.


Epididymis The seminiferous tubules join together to become the epididymis. The epididymis is a tube that is about 2 inches that is coiled on the posterior surface of each testis. Within the epididymis the sperm complete their maturation and their flagella become functional. This is also a site to store sperm until the next ejaculation.

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Smooth muscle in the wall of the epididymis propels the sperm into the ductus deferens.. Vasa efferentia from the rete testis open into the epididymis which is a highly coiled tubule.

3 Parts of Epididymis :

3 Parts of Epididymis 1) head or caput epididymis - it is the proximal part of the epididymis. It caries the sperms from the testis. 2) body or corpus epididymis- it the highly convoluted middle part of the epididymis 3) tail or cauda epididymis- it is the last part that takes part in carrying the sperms to the vas deferens. Epididymis keeps sperms for sometimes, gives nourishment to it. The cauda epididymis continues to form less convoluted vas deferens.

Prostate Gland:

Prostate Gland The prostate gland is shaped like a donut, weighs about an ounce and is the size of a chestnut.  It consists 30% muscular tissue and 70% glandular tissue . The prostate gland is just below the bladder, behind the pubic bone and just in front of the rectum.  The prostate wraps around the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis.

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The prostate helps to control the flow of urine. During sexual activity, the seminal vesicles that are attached to the prostate produce a protein that mixes with prostatic fluid which forms semen.  The tubes from the testicles carry sperm up to the prostate where sperm is mixed with the seminal vesicle and prostatic fluids.  This fluid is ejaculated during orgasm through ejaculatory ducts that connect to the urethra.

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Did you know a man can go through menopause?

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Menopause is a term used to describe the end of a woman's normal menstrual function. Female menopause is characterized by changes in hormone production. The testes, unlike the ovaries, do not lose the ability to make hormones. If a man is healthy, he may be able to make sperm well into his 80s or longer.

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On the other hand, subtle changes in the function of the testes may occur as early as 45 to 50 years of age, and more dramatically after the age of 70. For many men, hormone production may remain normal into old age, while others may have declining hormone production earlier on, sometimes as a result of an illness, such as diabetes. Whether waning testicular function contributes to such symptoms as fatigue, weakness, depression or impotence often remains uncertain.

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Can it be treated?

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If testosterone levels are low, hormone replacement therapy may help relieve symptoms, such as the loss of interest in sex, depression and fatigue. However, replacing male hormones can worsen prostate cancer and, perhaps, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

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A man should receive a complete physical examination and laboratory tests should be performed starting hormone replacement therapy. How many middle-aged men will benefit from such therapy remains an open question.

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PENILE CANCER Penile cancer is a type of cancer that starts at the penis. S ymptoms of penile cancer include a painless sore on the penis, genital lesions and pain or bleeding from the penis. At this time, the cause for penile cancer is unknown. Risk factors for developing penile cancer include smegma , a foul and cheese-like substance found below the penis' foreskin. Treating penile cancer also involves chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to eliminate the penile cancer cells.


TESTICULAR CANCER Testicular cancer is a type of potentially life-threatening condition that begins in the testes, the region where sperm is produced. It says that symptoms of testicular cancer include a lump or swelling in either testicle, a dull ache in the lower part of the stomach or back, an enlarged testicle and testicular pain or heaviness. Also, enlargement of the breast tissue can also be a sign of testicular cancer. testicular cancer typically strikes men between 15 and 35 years of age.

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Treating testicular cancer involves surgical removing the cancerous tumor and using high dose radiation energy to kill the testicular cancer cells. Chemotherapy medications such as cisplatin and bleomycin may also be used to manage testicular cancer. Unfortunately, the exact cause for testicular cancer is not known. Risk factors for developing testicular cancer involve abnormal testicular development and having a history of testicular cancer and an undescended testicle. Also, having Klinefelter's syndrome (an inherited developmental delay disorder) can also increase an individual's risk for testicular cancer.

Impotence :

Impotence Impotence is inability of the male to have satisfactory sexual intercourse and varies in form from the inability to gain an erection to weak erections, premature ejaculation, or loss of normal sensation with ejaculation. It may be caused by subnormal functioning of the testes, by arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), by diabetes, by psychological factors, or by a disease of the nervous system.

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Certain medications prescribed for the treatment of such diseases as peptic ulcer, hypertension, or psychiatric illness may adversely affect sexual ability. Therapy includes drug therapy (PDE-5 inhibitors such as Viagra), administration of hormones, or psychotherapy.

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