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A Primer on the Male Reproductive Organs

By HERWriter
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Sexual Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Our female reproductive organs are pretty much hidden. Male reproductive organs, on the other hand, are located both inside and outside the body. Here’s a quick rundown at what makes up the other half of the population’s reproductive system.

The external parts include the penis, testicles and scrotum.

Penis: The penis is made up of the shaft and the head (also called the glans). Inside is spongy tissue that expands and contracts. The shaft is made up of erectile tissue that run the length of the penis, surrounds the urethra and supports erections. At the end of the head is a small slit, where semen and urine exit the body.

Testicles (Testes): Most men have two of these oval-shaped organs that are the size of large olives. Found in the scrotum, the testes’ job is to make testosterone and generate sperm. Sperm develop in the testicles within a system of tiny tubes called the seminiferous tubules.

Scrotum: The testicles are covered by a pouch of skin called the scrotum that hangs behind and below the penis. It also contains many nerves and blood vessels. The scrotum acts as a climate control system for the testes, which must stay cooler than body temperature to produce sperm.

The internal parts of the male reproductive system include:

Epididymis: A long, coiled tube on the backside of each testicle, the epididymis transports and stores sperm cells until maturity

Vas deferens: A long, muscular tube that transports the sperm from the epididymis to the urethra in preparation for ejaculation.

Seminal vesicles: Sac-like pouches that are attached to the vas deferens, seminal vesicles produce a fluid that provides energy to the sperm as they seek out the egg.

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

Prostate gland: A walnut-sized structure, the prostate gland contributes additional fluid to ejaculate. Prostate fluids also help to nourish the sperm.

Bulbourethral (Cowper’s) glands: These pea-sized structures are found on the sides of the urethra just below the prostate gland.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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