When you want to conceive a baby, it`s best if you get well informed about any that can related to the conception itself. In this case, the male reproductive system is an important aspect to take into consideration. The more you know about it, the more control you`ll have over your pregnancy.
Male genital system has both internal and external structures. The external structures are: the penis, scrotum and testicles. The internal ones are more adjuvants, and include: the Coweper and prostate glands, seminal vesicles, urethra, deferential and ejaculatory channels.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are the Functions of Male Reproductive System?
- 2 How Does Male Reproductive System Works?
- 3 What Are the Main Parts of the Human Male Reproductive System?
- 4 Does a Man Go through Menopause?
- 5 Can “Male Menopause” Be Treated?
What Are the Functions of Male Reproductive System?
The functions of male reproductive system are to produce, maintain and transport spermatozoids (male reproductive cells) and seminal fluid, to produce and secrete male hormones and to contribute to the perpetuation of the species.
The 3 main functions of the male reproductive system are:
- To produce, maintain and transport the secretion of spermatozoids and sperm;
- To release sperm in the female genital tract during sexual contact;
- To produce and secrete male sex hormones responsible with maintaining the male reproductive system.
The whole male genital system is dependent on hormones, these being chemical substances which regulate or stimulate the activity of organs and even cells. The main hormones that are involves in the male reproductive system functioning are testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone.
Follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, also known as FSH and LH, are produced by a gland that is located in the brain the pituitary gland. Follicle-stimulating hormone is required for the production of sperm, also known as spermatogenesis, and luteinizing hormone is necessary to stimulate the testosterone production, which is also required to continue the spermatogenesis process. Testtosterone is essential in the male characteristic development, which include bone mass, muscle mass, sex drive or fat distribution.
How Does Male Reproductive System Works?
The male reproductive organs work together in order to produce and then release sperm into the female`s reproductive system during a sexual contact. The male sex organs produce sex hormones as well; these help a boy turn into a sexually adult human being during puberty.
When a male baby is born, he owns all the necessary parts of a healthy reproductive system, but he cannot reproduce until puberty. When puberty starts, generally between 9 and 15 years, the pituitary gland (located near the brain) secretes hormones which will stimulate the testes in order to produce a hormone, known as testosterone. This hormone`s production brings about lots of physical changes.
Although the timing of these particular changes will always be different from one male to another, the puberty stages usually follow a specific sequence:
- During the male puberty`s first stage, the scrotum and testicles grow in size.
- Then, the penis will become larger in size and the prostate gland and seminal vesicles will also grow.
- Hair starts to appear around the pubic area, while later will begin to develop on the face and arms. Now it`s the time when the male voice will deepen as well.
- Boys will undergo a growth spurt while in puberty as they start to reach their adult weight or height.
What Are the Main Parts of the Human Male Reproductive System?
Unlike the reproductive system of the female, the male`s reproductive system is located almost entirely outside the body. These structures include the testicles, scrotum and penis.
This is the male organ used during sexual contact. The penis presents 3 parts:
- The root, which is attached to the abdominal wall;
- The body;
- The gland, the last part of the penis that has the shape of a cone.
The gland, also known as the penis`s head, is covered by a free skin known as foreskin. Sometimes, this portion is removed through a procedure known as circumcision. The opening of the urethra (which is the canal which carries sperm or urine) is made at the tip of the penis. The penis contains a series of nerve endings that are quite sensitive as well.
The penis`s body has a cylindrical shape and is formed from 3 cavities of circular form. These consist from a special tissue of spongious type. This tissue contains a lot of small chambers that fill with blood when males get sexually aroused. While these fill with blood, the penis becomes rigid and erect, allowing penetration during sexual contact. The skin covering the penis is free and elastic, facilitating the changes in size of the penis during intercourse.
The length of the penis may increase until the age of 35 years, when it reaches maturity. After 55 – 60 years, it starts to lose its erectile ability and begins to atrophy.
The sperm, which contains spermatozoids, is ejaculated through the urethral opening when males reach orgasm. During erection, urinary flow is blocked in the urethra, allowing only the elimination of sperm. Each ejaculation normally contains around 200 to 500 millions of spermatozoids. These are tiny cells in the human body.
It has the shape of a bag of free skin and is located behind the penis. It contains the testes and lots of blood vessels and nerves. The scrotum has the role of controlling the temperature of the testicles, and the testicles need to have a lower temperature than the one of the body so the sperm secretion to develop normally. The special muscles from the scrotal wall allow it to bring near or move away the testicles from the body to regulate their temperature. – Read more!
The testicle represents the male genital gland. This is a pair organ and has the following functions:
The testicles are positioned in the scrotum, and the left testicle is located 1 cm below the right testicle. They have an ovoid shape and 2 facets, 2 margins and 2 extremities.
The testicle`s length is around 4 to 5 cm, its width is of around 2 to 2.5 cm and its thickness is of around 3 cm.
It`s a long spiral tube which is located on each testicle`s back. This tube has a role to transport and deposit the sperm cells that are produced by testicles. Also, it has the role of achieving sperm maturation, as the ones secreted by the testicle are immature and incapable of fertilization. During sexual contact, the contractions are the ones determining the penetration of spermatozoids in the deferens.
It`s a muscular tube that is quite long and which detaches itself from the epididymis, reaching the pelvic cavity, behind the bladder. The vas deferens carries sperm up to the urethra, the tube through which passes sperm or urine to the exterior of the body.
They are formed by connecting the vas deferens with the seminal vesicles. Ejaculatory ducts flow in the urethra. – Visit this link!
The urethra has a length of around 14 to 16 cm and an asymmetrical caliber. This male genital organ starts from the urethral bladder and ends at the opening of the external urethral.
There are 3 segments described:
- The prostatic urethra crosses the prostate from the base to the top and presents a sagittal ridge on the posterior wall known as the urethral crest.
- The membranous urethra stretches between the prostate`s tip and the penis`s spongy body. It has an anterior report with the vezico-prostatic vein plexus and the transverse ligament of the perineum.
- The spongy urethra has 2 dilations.
This genital organ has a fixed part and a mobile part.
They are structures in the shape of bags which are attached to the vas deferens at the base of the bladder. Seminal vesicles produce a liquid rich in sugar that consists a source of energy for the spermatozoids. The fluid secreted by the seminal vesicles is the main liquid of the seminal secretion.
The prostate has an important role in the male reproductive system, being the organ that produces sperm fluid and transports spermatozoids. The prostate is a muscle-glandular organ and is located in the prostatic lobe. It`s a pelvis-subperitoneal organ that has a weight of around 20 g.
Also known as the Cowper glands, these are pear-shaped organs that are located in the both sides of the urethra, in the inferior area of the prostate. These glands produce a clear liquid, which flows straight in the urethra. This liquid has the main role of lubricating the urethra and neutralizing the acid debris which might be found in the secondary urethra to urine residues from this level.
Does a Man Go through Menopause?
Menopause represents a term that is generally used for describing a woman`s end of normal menstrual function. It`s true that female menopause is always marked by changes in the production of hormones. Unlike the ovaries, the testicles don`t lose their ability to produce hormones. When a man is healthy, he might be able to produce sperm even until he`s 80 years old.
However, some subtle changes in the testicular function might occur when a male reaches 45 – 50 years and even more dramatically when he reaches 70 years. For lots of males, the production of hormones might stay in normal limits even into old age, while other ones might have a decreased production of hormones earlier, sometimes due to a medical condition, like diabetes.
Whether a decreased testicular function will contribute to such signs as weakness, impotence, fatigue or depression frequently remains unknown.
Can “Male Menopause” Be Treated?
If the levels of testosterone are low, a therapy with hormone replacement might help alleviate signs, like fatigue, loss of sex interest and depression. Still, a replacement of male hormones can lead to prostate cancer becoming worse, and might make atherosclerosis worse as well.
A man needs to get a full physical investigation and lab tests need to be performed at the beginning of hormone replacement therapy.