The male reproductive system

The male reproductive system includes the scrotum, testes, spermatic ducts, sex glands, and penis. These organs work together to produce sperm, the male gamete, and the other components of semen. These organs also work together to deliver semen out of the body and into the vagina where it can fertilize egg cells to produce offspring.

The epididymis

The epididymis

The epididymis (plural, epididymides) is a tightly coiled mass of thin tubes that carries sperm from the testes to the ductus deferens in the male reproductive system. Sperm matures as it passes through the epididymis so that it is ready to fertilize ova by the time it enters the ductus deferens.

The epididymis is a crescent-shaped coil of thin tubules located inside the scrotum and posterior to the testis. The entire mass of the epididymis is actually a single, 20-foot-long (six-meter) tubule that has been coiled upon itself so tightly that the entire mass of the epididymis is only around 1.5 inches (4 cm) long. Starting at the efferent tubules of the testis, the tubule of the epididymis winds over the top of the testis and then down the posterior side. Then, near the bottom of the testis, it turns 180 degrees and continues superiorly before joining the ductus deferens.

The ductus deferens

The ductus deferens, also known as the vas deferens, is a tiny muscular tube in the male reproductive system that carries sperm from the epididymis to the ejaculatory duct. There is a pair of these ducts in the male body, with one duct carrying sperm from each testis to the left and right ejaculatory ducts. Along the way they pass through the scrotum, spermatic cord, inguinal canal, and pelvic body cavity. The location and function of the ductus deferens makes it a prime area for male contraception surgery.

The Cowper’s glands

The Cowper’s glands

The Cowper’s glands (or bulbourethral glands) are a pair of exocrine glands in the male reproductive system. Roughly the size of peas, they are located inferior to the prostate gland and lateral to the urethra in the urogenital diaphragm. The Cowper’s glands are only found in the male body and play an important role in the protection of sperm during ejaculation.

Male Reproductive Organs

The male reproductive organs work together to produce, store, and deliver the male gametes (sperm cells) during sexual intercourse to fertilize ova (eggs cells) in the female reproductive system. In addition, the testes produce the hormone testosterone, which provides all of the male secondary sex characteristics evident in adult males. Testosterone in turn promotes the growth and development of the male reproductive organs needed to produce sperm.

The urethra

The urethra is a tube that conveys urine from the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. Its wall is lined with mucous membranes and contains a relatively thick layer of smooth muscle tissue. It also contains numerous mucous glands, called urethral glands that secrete mucus into the urethral canal.

The prostate

Found only in men, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland that grows throughout a man’s life and may eventually interfere with or prevent urination by blocking the urethra. The prostate makes a significant contribution to the production and ejaculation of semen during sexual intercourse. Prostate cancer is a common disorder of the prostate that often necessitates the surgical removal of the prostate.

The penis

The penis is the male external excretory and sex organ. The penis contains the external opening of the urethra, which is used for urination and to deliver semen into the vagina of a female sexual partner. Erectile tissue inside the penis allows the penis to increase in size and become rigid during sexual stimulation. A penis' erection helps to deliver semen deeper into the female reproductive tract during sexual intercourse.

The testes

The testes (singular: testis), commonly known as the testicles, are a pair of ovoid glandular organs that are central to the function of the male reproductive system. The testes are responsible for the production of sperm cells and the male sex hormone testosterone. The testes produce as many as 12 trillion sperm in a male's lifetime, about 400 million of which are released in a single ejaculation.