Disorders of the Reproductive System

The male reproductive organs are shown in the accompanying illustration. Sperm, which carry the man's genes, and testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, are made in the testicles. Each of the two testicles is about the size of a walnut, and they lie side by side inside the scrotum. (The left testicle usually hangs a little lower than the right.) The scrotum, a thin-skinned pouch, protects the testicles and acts as a climate-control system. Since the testicles need to be slightly cooler than body temperature for normal sperm development, the scrotum lies outside the body. The epididymis, which lies atop each testicle, is a coiled tube that collects sperm from the testicles and stores them until they are mature.

The vas deferens is a long duct that carries sperm from the epididymis past the prostate gland and into the seminal vesicle. The prostate gland and seminal vesicle produce fluids that support the sperm and make up 98 percent of the semen that is ejaculated through the urethra during orgasm. The urethra is also part of the urinary tract and transports urine from the bladder.

This chapter describes the most common disorders of the male reproductive system.

Bladder

Urethra

Foreskin

Glans

Bladder

Urethra

Foreskin

Glans

Seminal vesicle

Prostate gland

Spermatic cord Epididymis

Scrotum

The Male Reproductive System

The most visible parts of the male reproductive system are the penis and the testicles.The two testicles are suspended in a pouch of skin called the scrotum. During sexual arousal, spongy tissue inside the penis becomes engorged with blood.The testicles produce sperm and the primary male sex hormone testosterone. From the testicles, sperm travel through a duct called the vas deferens into a pair of sacs called the seminal vesicles.The seminal vesicles produce a fluid that is added to the sperm to create semen—the whitish fluid that is ejaculated.

Seminal vesicle

Prostate gland

Spermatic cord Epididymis

Scrotum

The Male Reproductive System

The most visible parts of the male reproductive system are the penis and the testicles.The two testicles are suspended in a pouch of skin called the scrotum. During sexual arousal, spongy tissue inside the penis becomes engorged with blood.The testicles produce sperm and the primary male sex hormone testosterone. From the testicles, sperm travel through a duct called the vas deferens into a pair of sacs called the seminal vesicles.The seminal vesicles produce a fluid that is added to the sperm to create semen—the whitish fluid that is ejaculated.

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