Male Reproductive System
Next Generation: HS.LS1.2 MS.LS1.3 MS.LS1.3 NGSS

Male Reproductive System


This lesson will give an overview of the structures and functions associated with the male reproductive system.

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Source: Video and Images Created by Amanda Soderlind

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Welcome to this lesson today on the male reproductive system. Today we will be identifying structures and functions of those structures associated with the male reproductive system. So the male reproductive system is a body system in which sperm are produced. So it's male-specific, as the name indicates, so this is a body system only found in males.

So we're going to start by labeling our diagram down here with the testes. So males actually have two testes, which produce sperm and secrete testosterone. And testosterone is the male sex hormone that plays various roles throughout the whole male reproductive system.

So once sperm have formed, they'll move into these structures here called the epididymis. And the epididymis is where sperm are allowed to mature. And then sperm are also stored in this location as well. So they're ducts in which sperm mature and are stored.

And then the vas deferens is a tube that's connected to the epididymis. So once a male becomes aroused, sperm will move from the epididymis into the vas deferens. So the vas deferens will then transport sperm all the way up here to the seminal vesicle.

So this is one of two seminal vesicles. So each testicle basically will have the same type of loop that the sperm will travel through. So the seminal vesicle will secrete components of semen. So basically it's going to secrete fructose, which acts as an energy for the sperm.

So semen is sperm mixed in with gland secretions. So semen is what's actually expelled from the penis during sexual activity. So it's a combination of sperm and gland secretions. So the seminal vesicle is secreting fructose, which acts as energy for the sperm. And then up here we have the bladder just so you can kind of have an idea of where these structures are located relative to other structures in the body.

So from the seminal vesicle, the sperm would then move into the ejaculatory duct. So muscle contractions would move the sperm through the seminal vesicle and the ejaculatory duct. And then from there, the sperm would move into the urethra.

So passing on its way, we also have in purple here is the prostate gland. So the prostate gland is a gland found in males that secretes substances that become a part of semen. So it's secreting substances that are going to buffer the acidity within the vagina so that sperm are able to move through at an acidity that is more well-adapted for them.

Prostate cancer, which is the cancer of the prostate gland, is a common cancer among men. And it's generally screened by a rectal exam or a Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA blood test. So it's a common cancer that affects the prostate gland.

So it passes through the prostate gland. And as I mentioned, the prostate gland adds substances which then buffer the acidity of the vagina. And then down here, this little red section that we have is the bulbourethral gland. And this gland is also a gland that's going to add something in to the semen. So it secretes lubrication which is going to neutralize acid in the urethra to protect the sperm.

So the urethra is a tube that serves to transport both urine and semen out of the penis. So if semen is moving through the same tube as urine, and urine has a high acidity, that's not going to be ideal for the sperm. So this bulbourethral gland secretes a substance which helps to neutralize the acids that might be left over from any urine in the urethra. So this is the bladder right up in here, as I mentioned.

So then semen's going to travel. After it's moved past the prostate gland and the bulbourethral gland has added its components, it's going to move down the urethra here. And then this structure here is the penis. And then it would be ejaculated out of the penis.

So this lesson has been an overview on the structures associated with the male reproductive system.

  • Male Reproductive System

    The reproductive system of males is primarily designed to produce and mature gametes (spermatozoon) and deliver them to the female they are mating with. The primary organs of the male reproductive system are the testes, while the secondary organs would be the epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, bulbourethral glands, prostate gland, urethra and the penis.

  • Testes

    A structure of the male reproductive system in which sperm are formed.

  • Epididymis

    The location where sperm mature and are stored after being produced.

  • Vas Deferens

    A tube that carries sperm from the epididymis during sexual arousal.

  • Penis

    The male sex organ.

  • Semen

    A combination of sperm and other glandular secretions that is expelled from the penis during sexual activity.

  • Seminal Vesicle

    A component of the male reproductive system which secretes fructose used by sperm as a source of energy.

  • Prostate Gland

    A gland which produces and secretes substances that buffer the acidity of the female reproductive tract to ensure ideal conditions for sperm.

  • Bulbourethral Gland (Cowper's Gland)

    A gland that secretes substances to neutralize the acidity of remnants of urine in the urethra.

  • Prostate Cancer

    Cancer of the prostate gland.