The vast majority of species have two sexes: female and male. Thus, each of them has its own reproductive system, with a characteristic shape and structure. However, in both cases its main function is that of reproduction.
In the case of men, unlike women, their sexual organs are found both inside and outside the pelvis. In this eHealth article we will see everything about the male reproductive system , its anatomy, parts and functions.
The male sex organs work together to both produce and release sperm and semen. The male reproductive system is also responsible for the production of sex hormones, which determine the development of different aspects, such as voice or hair growth, among others.
Characteristics of the male reproductive system
Below we have collected a series of characteristics.
- Cells: the man generates sperm, the smallest cell known; meanwhile, the woman generates the largest cell, the ovum.
- Size: in relation to the size of the penis, the world average is 15 centimeters long.
- Gametes: in general, men have a greater number of reproductive cells than women. It is estimated that they produce more than 500 billion sperm during their lifetime.
- Testicles: It is strange to find a man with both testicles exactly the same size. In the vast majority of cases, the left is usually 10% smaller than the right.
Parts of the male reproductive system
The male reproductive system and its parts, its components and functions:
- Seminal vesicle
- bringing payroll
- Pubic bone
Below we explain the functions that make up the male reproductive system, and what is the function of each of them.
The testicles are one of the most important parts of the male reproductive system. They are oval in shape and measure around 5 centimeters in length and 3 centimeters in diameter. One of its main functions is the production of hormones such as testosterone. Once a man reaches puberty, the amount of testosterone produced increases exponentially, thus modifying various aspects such as voice change, stimulation of sperm production, or beard growth, among others.
Epididymis and vas deferens
Very close to the testicles are the epididymis and the vas deferens . They are the ducts of the male reproductive system. On the one hand, the vas deferens, a muscular tube that runs parallel to the testicles and carries upwardly the sperm fluid, known as semen. And, on the other hand, the epididymis constitutes a series of tubes that connect both testicles with the vas deferens.
The scrotum is a bag of skin on the outside of the pelvis , which supports the epididymis and testicles. Its main function is to keep the testicles at the correct temperature , that is, lower than the body temperature to stimulate the production of sperm. Thus, the scrotum modifies its shape and size depending on the temperature of the body. When it is cold, it tends to shrink and tense; meanwhile, when the temperature is hot, the scrotum becomes larger and more flaccid.
The accessory glands include the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland . They are responsible for providing the necessary fluids to lubricate the duct system. On the other hand, the seminal vesicles are a structure attached to the vas deferens, very close to the bladder. As for the prostate gland, it produces some of the most important components of semen.
The urethra is a tube through which semen comes out through the penis . In addition to being part of the male reproductive system, it also constitutes an important part of the urinary system ; and it is that, through it, urine is expelled to the outside of the body.
The penis is the best known part of the male reproductive system. It is divided into two parts: the body and the glans . The body refers to the main area of the penis, while the glans is how the tip of the member is known; at its end there is a small slot, through which both semen and urine come out. The inside of the penis is formed on one side by a spongy tissue; and, on the other hand, by a cavernous tissue that has the ability to expand and contract.
At birth, all boys have a foreskin; a fold of skin at the end of the penis , between the body and the glans. Some children are circundos, generally for religious or cultural reasons; however, in some cases it can also occur for hygienic reasons. The functioning of the penis with and without a foreskin does not make any difference.
How does the male apparatus work?
The main function of the male reproductive system, as its name suggests, is reproduction through the production and release of semen . In addition, it is responsible for producing hormones that promote the maturation of children during puberty, until they become adults.
Babies, from the moment of birth, have all the parts that make up the male reproductive system. However, it is not until puberty that they can reproduce ; that is, between the ages of 9 and 15. It is then that the pituitary gland secretes the hormones necessary for the testes to produce testosterone, leading to a wide array of physical and psychological changes.
One of the first changes that occur during puberty in relation to the reproductive system is the enlargement of both the scrotum and the testicles . Then the penis increases in size; so do the seminal vesicles and the prostate. That is when hair begins to grow in the public area and on the face; There are also large changes in the voice, which becomes more serious, as well as in height and weight.
By the time a young man reaches puberty, his sperm production exceeds one million a day. Each sperm is miniscule in size ; just 0.5 mm long. They develop inside the testicles; they do it specifically in a set of tubes known as seminiferous tubules.
Sperm are divided into two well-differentiated parts. On the one hand, the head , in which the genetic material is housed. And, on the other hand, the tail , which is essential for them to move through the epididymis.
Generally speaking, it takes around five weeks for sperm to fully travel through the epididymis. They then travel to the ejaculate duct . The seminal vesicles and the prostate gland are responsible for the production of seminal fluid, which mixes with the sperm, thus forming semen.
At the moment in which the man is sexually excited, the penis increases in size and, in addition, it hardens; This happens because the spongy tissue inside fills with blood, thus giving rise to an erection . Stimulation of the erect penis causes the muscles around the reproductive organs to contract and, thus, push the semen through the various ducts to the outside; this process takes the name of ejaculation.
When a man ejaculates, his semen contains around 500 million sperm . If ejaculation occurs inside the woman’s vagina, the sperm ascend through the uterine horn, passing through the uterus. If the woman has a mature egg in the fallopian tube, a single sperm can penetrate it, thus producing conception.
When an oocyte is fertilized it is called a zygote, which divides several times as it grows in the woman’s uterus. Thus, throughout the pregnancy it matures little by little; it thus becomes an embryo, then a fetus, and finally a baby.
Most common diseases of the male reproductive system
It is a malignant tumor that can affect one or both testicles ; Although it can occur in men of any age, it is more common among those between 20 and 40 years old. In addition, there are certain risk factors, such as having a family history of cancer or having suffered from abnormal testicular development.
In relation to the symptoms of this type of cancer are the following: intense pain in the testicles and inflammation, and nodules.
The inguinal hernia is a condition characterized by protuberances in the groin , sometimes affecting the scrotum. One of the most common causes is the lack of closure of the duct that connects the abdominal cavity with the scrotum.
In relation to the symptoms, the main indication is the presence of a lump in the area . In some cases, there is a slight discomfort or pain, which increases when performing any type of physical effort. As the hernia enlarges, it can become a blockage inside the hole; in this case, the symptoms are aggravated, leading to nausea, vomiting and constipation .
Phimosis is known as the narrowing of the foreskin , so that it is very difficult for a man, and even painful, to uncover the glans. In this way, as the foreskin does not have freedom of movement, this disorder can cause great pain in sexual intercourse.
Phimosis can be congenital; that is, it is present from the moment of birth. Or, it can also be acquired; This develops in adulthood due to infection by bacteria or fungi in the foreskin.
It is estimated that 3% of men globally have a micropenis; that is, its length is less than seven centimeters when erect. Despite not being a serious health problem, it does cause a great complex and even obsession to those men who suffer from this disorder.
Experts note that the vast majority of men who have micropenis avoid sexual intercourse and their self-esteem is seriously impaired.
Hypospadias is a birth defect characterized in that the opening of the urethra is located in the lower part of the penis, instead of at the tip of it.
The most common treatment for this condition is surgery, which can restore the normal appearance of the penis.
Tips to take care of the male reproductive system
Finally, we want to point out some tips that are worth taking into account to take care of this reproductive system . As we have pointed out, it is of vital importance for the proper functioning of the body, as well as for reproduction.
- Hygiene: of course, hygiene is essential. The most advisable thing is to wash the genital and anal area daily with plenty of warm water and pH neutral soap. The glans must be washed by removing the foreskin. Once the area has been washed, it is essential to dry it to prevent fungus from appearing due to humidity.
- Perfumes: it is not advisable to apply deodorants or perfumes that can cause irritation in the area. In case of a lot of perspiration, it is best to apply talcum powder.
- Garments: in relation to clothing, what is more advisable is to use cotton underpants and not too tight. Undergarments must be changed daily.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.