The male reproductive system, which is vastly different from the female reproductive system, has functions both internally and externally. These body parts include the testes, scrotum, ducts, glands, and penis, and these organs work together in order to produce sperm (the male gamete) along with other components of semen in order to deposit sperm traditionally into the female’s vagina. However, for our purposes, to later be fertilized with a female egg and implanted within the uterus.
The testes, or testicles, are a pair of glandular oval-shaped organs found inside the scrotum with the primary function of producing sperm. The testes are connected to the body by a spermatic cord and cremaster muscle. The scrotums temperature is maintained via these muscles contractions and relaxation as sperm cells must be maintained at a temperature slightly lower than body temperature. Within each teste are subdivisions of smaller compartments known as lobules. These sections each individually contain a section of seminiferous tubule lined with epithelial cells (cells that contain the stem cells that divide and form sperm cells through spermatogenesis.
In addition to producing sperm, the testes are also part of the endocrine system and are responsible for the production of the male sex hormone, testosterone.
To understand more of how sperm is produced, please watch the following video:
The epididymis and vas deferens are two major components of the male reproductive duct system. The epididymis is the site of sperm storage and maturation. The vas deferens transports semen (the fluid containing sperm) from the epididymis to the penis.
The seminal vesicles and prostate gland are two other very important parts of the male reproductive system. Seminal vesicles produce nutrients that are added to semen during ejaculation so that the sperm, in traditional conception, have the necessary fuel for their journey inside the female reproductive tract. The prostate gland secretes an alkaline (basic) fluid that makes up part of the semen enhancing the sperms motility and ability to deal with the acidic environment of the female reproductive tract.
The endocrine system refers to the collection of glands that secrete hormones into the blood stream in order to be carried to a distant target organ(s). The endocrine system while important, is a remarkably complex system that a minute fraction of can be the entire focus of a Ph.D. To help simplify things, we are only going to focus on what’s necessary here:
Actually a part of the brain, the hypothalamus is the grand master of the endocrine system. Covered with chemoreceptors (brain receptors that detect chemical and hormone levels in the bloodstream), the hypothalamus detects real-time levels of the body’s hormone levels and then relays necessary “instructions,” to the pituitary gland as necessary to proper bodily function. Importantly, the hypothalamus releases Gonadotropin (GnRH) which coordinates the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luetenizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland.
Receiving instruction from the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland either increases, decreases, or continues production of FSH and LH – which plays a vital role in the production of sperm.
The testicles produce testosterone, the primary male sex hormone. Testosterone is crucial to the development of the male reproductive system as well as the production of sperm.
While our website is a fantastic resource to learn about the basics of fertility, and the treatment plans offered at Queer Conception, remember that we are here to help along any step of the way. Therefore, please feel free to continue browsing our site, but if you come across any questions or are ready to get started with a free one-hour consultation, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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