Chapter 19 - Male Reproductive System
The male reproductive system consists of the testes, conducting tubules and ducts (epididymis, vas deferens, ejaculatory ducts), accessory sex glands (seminal vesicles, prostate, and bulbourethral glands), and the penis. These organs work to together to produce male gametes (sperm) and the other components of semen.
Testes are responsible for the production of sperm (spermatogenesis) and secretion of male sex hormones (testosterone). The production of sperm occurs within the seminiferous tubules that make up most of the testis.
Sperm leave the testes and enter the epididymis. Each epididymis is a long, tightly coiled duct in which sperm undergo maturation as they move through it. Mature sperm are stored in the tail of the epididymis.
Ductus deferens (vas deferens) is a thick walled, fibromuscular tube that is continuous with the epididymis. Peristaltic movements propel sperm through the duct.
The seminal vesicles are unbranched, highly-coiled tubular glands. Their secretions make up 60 percent of the volume of the semen. This fluid is high in fructose that acts as the main energy source for sperm outside the body.
The prostate is composed of compound tubuloalveolar glands that contributes a slightly alkaline fluid to semen. These secretions help neutralize the acidity of the vagina, prolonging the lifespan of sperm.
The penis is composed of three cylindrical bodies of erectile tissue.