The Male Reproductive System

Refreshing your memory on the medical terminology of the male reproductive system may also be helpful prior to TTC. Like women, men have both an internal and external reproductive anatomy. Externally , there is the penis, which is part of both the reproductive and urinary systems. The penis consists of the root (where it attaches to the pelvic bone), the shaft, and the glans penis (the end). The urethral opening is found at the tip(at the end of the urethra), where semen and urine leave the body. Externally, males also have the scrotum. This is a sac made from thick skin, which houses the testes. It also controls the climate of the testes. In order for the tests to work efficiently and develop sperm safely, they must be a bit cooler than the rest of the body’s temperatures. Thus, muscles can either relax or contract to let the testes hang or get pulled in closer to the body, as a means of either cooling or warming them. Internally, the male reproductive system contains the testes, as mentioned above. They are responsible for the production of sperm and testosterone. Once the sperm is produced, it moves to the epididymis, a series of small tubes (which, when drawn out, are actually about 20 feet in length). The sperm matures inside the epididymis and grows strong enough to move through the female reproductive system to fertilize an egg. There is one epididymis for each testicle. The vas deferens is yet another tube that carries sperm from the epididymis to the prostate. In the prostrate, sperm gathers fluid for nourishment, and it is then expelled upon ejaculation. The prostate gland is typically about the size of a walnut, but it enlarges with age. Like the female clitoris, the prostrate is very sensitive to the touch. There are also some additional fluids that contribute to semen which come from both the vas deferens and the Cowper glands, found in the urethra. The Cowper’s glands are also responsible for the production of pre-ejaculate to prepare the urethra for ejaculation.1     [avafootnote]

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  1. Hirsch, I.H. (2015). “Structure of the Male Reproductive System.” Merck Manual. Retrieved from http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/men-s-health-issues/biology-of-the-male-reproductive-system/structure-of-the-male-reproductive-system
2015-11-04T20:57:52+00:00 Babymaking 101, Guy Stuff|

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