Structure: Male Reproductive System

The male genitals consist of the penis, scrotum, and the two testes, which are suspended in the scrotum. Above and behind each testis is an epididymis, a coiled tube that leads to another tube called the vas deferens. The upper end of each vas deferens is joined by a duct draining from a gland called the seminal vesicle. This duct and a vas deferens together form an ejaculatory duct. The two ejaculatory ducts then join the urethra where it is surrounded by the prostate gland, and the urethra passes through the penis to the outside.

Section through the penis

The penis contains three columns of spongy tissue and many blood vessels.

Cross section of the testis

Each testis is packed with seminiferous tubules, which make sperm. The testes also contain Leydig cells that manufacture the sex hormone testosterone.

Sperm production

This magnified image shows maturing sperm in a seminiferous tubule. The tails of developing sperm are near the centre.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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