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

Male Reproductive System

Description:

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

(more)
See More
Try a College Course Free

Sophia’s self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

25 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

221 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 20 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.

Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson today on the male reproductive system. Today you will be identifying structures and functions of those structures associated with the male reproductive system. Specifically, you will learn about:

  1. Male Reproductive Structure
  2. Sperm Formation
  3. Sperm Movement
  4. Sperm Expulsion

1. Male Reproductive Structure

So the male reproductive system is a body system in which sperm are produced and remember it is a male-specific system. As you go through the structure, please refer to the image below as a reference.

Term to Know

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.


2. Sperm Production

Males actually have two testes that produce sperm and secrete testosterone. Testosterone is the male sex hormone that plays various roles throughout the male reproductive system. Once sperm have formed they'll move into the epididymis. The which is where sperm are allowed to mature. Sperm are also stored in this location as well until they are ready to be released.

Terms to Know

    • 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.

3. Sperm Movement

The vas deferens is a tube connected to the epididymis. Once a male becomes aroused, sperm will move from the epididymis into the vas deferens. The vas deferens will then transport sperm all the way to the seminal vesicle.

Each testicle will have the same type of loop that the sperm will travel through. Seminal vesicles will secrete components of semen and one of those is fructose to provide energy to sperm. Semen is essentially sperm mixed in with glandular secretions and is what will be expelled from the penis during sexual activity.

Terms to Know

    • Vas Deferens
    • A tube that carries sperm from the epididymis during sexual arousal.
    • Seminal Vesicle
    • A component of the male reproductive system which secretes fructose used by sperm as a source of energy.
    • Semen
    • A combination of sperm and other glandular secretions that is expelled from the penis during sexual activity.

3. Sperm Expulsion

From the seminal vesicle sperm will travel into the ejaculatory duct. Muscle contractions will propel sperm through the seminal vesicle and ejaculatory duct. From there, the sperm will move into the urethra.

During this process sperm will also pass through the prostate gland. The prostate gland secretes substances that become a part of semen. These substances are going to buffer the acidity within the vagina so that sperm are able to move through to the uterus.

Did You Know

Prostate cancer, which is the cancer of the prostate gland, is a common cancer among men. It is generally screened by a rectal exam or a Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA blood test.

Bulbourethral glands are going to add to semen as well. They secrete lubrication which is going to neutralize acid in the urethra to protect sperm. The urethra is a tube that serves to transport both urine and semen out of the penis. If semen is moving through the same tube as urine, and urine has a high acidity, that is not ideal for sperm.

As semen travels through the prostate gland and by bulbourethral glands many secretions will be added to it. These secretions ensure the safety of sperm as they travel through the urethra before being ejaculated from the penis.

Terms to Know

    • Penis
    • The male sex organ.
    • Prostate Gland
    • A gland which produces and secretes substances that buffer the acidity of the female reproductive tract to ensure ideal conditions for sperm.
    • Prostate Cancer
    • Cancer of the prostate gland.
    • Bulbourethral Gland (Cowper's Gland)
    • A gland that secretes substances to neutralize the acidity of remnants of urine in the urethra.

Summary

So this lesson has been an overview on the structures associated with the male reproductive system. Specifically, you learned about how sperm is formed, moves through the reproductive system, and is then expelled.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Prostate Cancer

    Cancer of the prostate gland.

  • Bulbourethral Gland (Cowper's Gland)

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

  • Prostate Gland

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

  • Seminal Vesicle

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

  • Semen

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

  • Penis

    The male sex organ.

  • Vas Deferens

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

  • Epididymis

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

  • Testes

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

  • 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.