The male reproductive system enables urination and sexual function in men. It produces the sperm and semen necessary for the fertilization of ova, which leads to pregnancy and birth in females.
Most of the male reproductive system is found outside of the body. The external parts of this system include the penis, scrotum and testes, collectively called the genitals. Within the penis is the urethra – the passageway through which urine and semen exit. The scrotum is the loose pouch of skin underneath. It contains two testicles that produce sperm and the male sex hormone, testosterone.
Additionally, the epididymis is a long, coiling tube attached to each testicle. It stores and carries sperm to the vas deferens during sexual arousal. The internal parts of the system – including the vas deferens, ejaculatory ducts, urethra, seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and bulbourethral glands – provide sperm with fluid, nutrients and protective substances. This mixture is called semen. During sexual climax, semen is forcibly expelled by the urethra.
Male sexual functioning is controlled by hormones. The primary hormones – follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) – respectively stimulate sperm and testosterone production in the testes.
The male reproductive system quiz available here can be a valuable guide in developing your mastery of the system’s parts, functions, and roles in other systems.