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Male Genital System
Urogenital System

Male Genital System

Systema genitale masculinum

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Description

The main function of the male genital (or reproductive) system is the development of male gametes (spermatogenesis) and the secretion of hormones, including testosterone.

The penis and scrotum are considered external genital organs and are optimally situated such that they can complete their roles efficiently and effectively. The penis is a male sex organ, reaching full size during puberty. The penile shaft contains the erectile bodies of the corpus cavernosum and corpus spongiosum, the penile urethra, blood vessels, and nerves. The penis is involved in copulation, which culminates in the ejaculation of semen, that contains sperm for fertilizing the female oocyte. The penis also functions in micturition (the act of passing urine out of the body).

The scrotum is a pouch-like structure that hangs posterior to the penile shaft. It houses the two internal testes, which are responsible for sperm production. The scrotum is outside the pelvic cavity to ensure that temperature of the testes is approximately three to four degrees lower than the normal body temperature, which is optimum for sperm production.

The testes, spermatic cord, and accessory glands are considered internal genital organs. These organs aid in the passage of sperm and urine through the ductus deferens and urethra during ejaculation and urination, respectively.

The testes are the primary sex organs that play a crucial role in both the male reproductive and endocrine systems. The testes are paired ovoid structures that are in the scrotum. They are composed of up to 900 coiled seminiferous tubules in which the sperm is produced.

The seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and bulbourethral glands contribute fluids that aid in the motility and safety of the passage of sperm through the ductus deferens into the urethra, and out of the penis. The passage of urine out the body, via the urethra, is controlled by the sphincter urethrae muscles.

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Anatomy and physiology of the male reproductive system

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