The Male Reproductive System

 

1. The male sexual organs consist of the testis (plural: testes) and penis.

 

2. The two testes lie outside the abdominal cavity in a special sacs called the scrotum.

 

3. In this position, the testes are maintained at a temperature about 2°C lower than the body temperature. This favours sperm production.

 

4. Each testis is connected to the epididymis and sperm duct.

 

5. The two sperm ducts lead to the urethra, which runs through the penis to the exterior.

 

6. The urethra at different times carries either urine or sperms.


 

7. The penis contains many blood spaces which during copulation, become filled with blood. This erects the penis, allowing it to penetrate the female's vagina.

 

8. The head of the penis, called the glans, is covered by the foreskin. The foreskin is removed by an operation known as circumcision.

 

9. Three glands open into the sperm ducts - the prostate gland. Cowper's glads and seminal vesicle.

 

Structure and function of the male reproductive system

Structure

Function

 Testes

- Produce sperms

 Scrotum

- Holds the testes outside the body

- Protects the testes

 Penis

- Places sperms in the vagina during sexual intercourse

 Epididymis

- Stores sperms

 Sperm ducts

- Carry sperms from the testes to the body

 Urethra

- Carries sperms and urine out of the body

 Seminal vesicle

- Secretes fluid that provides nourishment to the sperms

 Prostate gland

- Secretes fluid that neutralises the acidity of urine and the female vagina

 Cowper’s gland

- Secretes a lubricating fluid that acids sperm movement

   

The role of sperms in reproduction

1. The male gametes are the sperms.

 

2. Each sperm consists of a head, a middle piece and a long tail.

 

3. The role of the sperm is to swim towards the female gamete (ovum) and fuse with it to form a zygote. The zygote will develop into an adult individual.

 

Changes in the male during puberty

1. Growth of hair on the face, chest, in pubic region and armpits.

 

2. Voice box (larynx) enlarges. The voice 'breaks' and becomes deeper.

 

3. Body becomes more muscular.

 

4. Chest becomes broader.

 

5. Rapid growth of long bones to increase height.

 

6. The penis, scrotum and prostate become larger.

 

7. Production of sperms by the testes.

 

8. Certain mental and emotional changes, e.g. greater interest in females.