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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe human male reproductive anatomy (structures and functions)
  • Describe spermatogenesis a
  • Describe the role of hormones in human reproduction
  • Describe the roles of male reproductive hormones

Human reproductive anatomy

The reproductive tissues of male and female humans develop similarly in utero until about the seventh week of gestation when a low level of the hormone testosterone is released from the gonads of the developing male. Testosterone causes the primitive gonads to differentiate into male sexual organs. When testosterone is absent, the primitive gonads develop into ovaries. Tissues that produce a penis in males produce a clitoris in females. The tissue that will become the scrotum in a male becomes the labia in a female. Thus the male and female anatomies arise from a divergence in the development of what were once common embryonic structures.

Male reproductive anatomy

Proper development of sperm cells requires a temperature slightly lower than the normal body temperature; therefore, the pair of testes must be suspended outside the pelvic cavity (in the scrotum) so the environment of the sperm is about 2 °C lower than body temperature. If the testes do not descend through the abdominal cavity during fetal development, the individual has reduced fertility.

The scrotum    houses the testicles or testes    (singular: testis), and provides passage for blood vessels, nerves, and muscles related to testicular function. The testes are a pair of male gonads that produce sperm and reproductive hormones. Coiled in each testis are seminiferous tubules, where sperm production begins.

The penis    drains urine from the urinary bladder and is a copulatory organ during intercourse ( [link] ; [link] ). The penis contains three tubes of erectile tissue that become engorged with blood, making the penis erect, in preparation for intercourse. The organ is inserted into the vagina culminating with an ejaculation. During orgasm, the accessory organs and glands connected to the testes contract and empty the semen (containing sperm) into the urethra and the fluid is expelled from the body by muscular contractions causing ejaculation. After intercourse, the blood drains from the erectile tissue and the penis becomes flaccid.

Semen is a mixture of sperm (about five percent of the total) and fluids from accessory glands (prostate, bulbourethral glands, and seminal vesicles) that contribute most of the semen’s volume. Sperm are haploid cells, consisting of a flagellum for movement, a neck that contains the cell’s energy-producing mitochondria, and a head that contains the genetic material ( [link] ). An acrosome (acrosomal vesicle) is found at the top of the head of the sperm. This structure contains enzymes that can digest the protective coverings that surround the egg and allow the sperm to fuse with the egg. An ejaculate will contain from two to five milliliters of fluid and from 50–120 million sperm per milliliter.

Micrograph shows human sperm, which have an oval head about 3 microns across and a very long flagellum.
As seen in this scanning electron micrograph, human sperm has a flagellum, neck, and head. (credit: scale-bar data from Matt Russell)

Questions & Answers

classification of plants, gymnosperm features.
Linsy Reply
what is the features of gymnosperm
Linsy
how many types of solid did we have
Samuel Reply
what is an ionic bond
Samuel
What is Atoms
Daprince Reply
what is fallopian tube
Merolyn
what is bladder
Merolyn
what's bulbourethral gland
Eduek Reply
urine is formed in the nephron of the renal medulla in the kidney. It starts from filtration, then selective reabsorption and finally secretion
onuoha Reply
State the evolution relation and relevance between endoplasmic reticulum and cytoskeleton as it relates to cell.
Jeremiah
what is heart
Konadu Reply
how is urine formed in human
Konadu
how is urine formed in human
Rahma
what is the diference between a cavity and a canal
Pelagie Reply
what is the causative agent of malaria
Diamond
malaria is caused by an insect called mosquito.
Naomi
Malaria is cause by female anopheles mosquito
Isaac
Malaria is caused by plasmodium Female anopheles mosquitoe is d carrier
Olalekan
a canal is more needed in a root but a cavity is a bad effect
Commander
what are pathogens
Don Reply
In biology, a pathogen (Greek: πάθος pathos "suffering", "passion" and -γενής -genēs "producer of") in the oldest and broadest sense, is anything that can produce disease. A pathogen may also be referred to as an infectious agent, or simply a germ. The term pathogen came into use in the 1880s.[1][2
Zainab
A virus
Commander
Definition of respiration
Muhsin Reply
respiration is the process in which we breath in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide
Achor
how are lungs work
Commander
where does digestion begins
Achiri Reply
in the mouth
EZEKIEL
what are the functions of follicle stimulating harmones?
Rashima Reply
stimulates the follicle to release the mature ovum into the oviduct
Davonte
what are the functions of Endocrine and pituitary gland
Chinaza
endocrine secrete hormone and regulate body process
Achor
while pituitary gland is an example of endocrine system and it's found in the Brain
Achor
what's biology?
Egbodo Reply
Biology is the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized field that cover their morphology, physiology,anatomy, behaviour,origin and distribution.
Lisah
biology is the study of life.
Alfreda
1-chemical level 2-cellular level 3-organ system level 4-tissue level 5-organism level 6-molecules
Dennis Reply
when cell are dead in any part of the body what happen to that place
Dennis Reply
describe the Krebs cycle
Lian Reply
the sequence of reactions by which most living cells generate energy during the process of aerobic respiration. It takes place in the mitochondria, consuming oxygen, producing carbon dioxide and water as waste products, and converting ADP to energy
shea
thanks
Lian

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Source:  OpenStax, Human biology. OpenStax CNX. Dec 01, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11903/1.3
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