<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe the structure and function of the organs of the male reproductive system
  • Describe the structure and function of the sperm cell
  • Explain the events during spermatogenesis that produce haploid sperm from diploid cells
  • Identify the importance of testosterone in male reproductive function

Unique for its role in human reproduction, a gamete    is a specialized sex cell carrying 23 chromosomes—one half the number in body cells. At fertilization, the chromosomes in one male gamete, called a sperm    (or spermatozoon), combine with the chromosomes in one female gamete, called an oocyte. The function of the male reproductive system ( [link] ) is to produce sperm and transfer them to the female reproductive tract. The paired testes are a crucial component in this process, as they produce both sperm and androgens, the hormones that support male reproductive physiology. In humans, the most important male androgen is testosterone. Several accessory organs and ducts aid the process of sperm maturation and transport the sperm and other seminal components to the penis, which delivers sperm to the female reproductive tract. In this section, we examine each of these different structures, and discuss the process of sperm production and transport.

Male reproductive system

This figure shows the different organs in the male reproductive system. The top panel shows the side view of a man and an uncircumcised and a circumcised penis. The bottom panel shows the lateral view of the male reproductive system and the major parts are labeled.
The structures of the male reproductive system include the testes, the epididymides, the penis, and the ducts and glands that produce and carry semen. Sperm exit the scrotum through the ductus deferens, which is bundled in the spermatic cord. The seminal vesicles and prostate gland add fluids to the sperm to create semen.


The testes are located in a skin-covered, highly pigmented, muscular sack called the scrotum    that extends from the body behind the penis (see [link] ). This location is important in sperm production, which occurs within the testes, and proceeds more efficiently when the testes are kept 2 to 4°C below core body temperature.

The dartos muscle makes up the subcutaneous muscle layer of the scrotum ( [link] ). It continues internally to make up the scrotal septum, a wall that divides the scrotum into two compartments, each housing one testis. Descending from the internal oblique muscle of the abdominal wall are the two cremaster muscles, which cover each testis like a muscular net. By contracting simultaneously, the dartos and cremaster muscles can elevate the testes in cold weather (or water), moving the testes closer to the body and decreasing the surface area of the scrotum to retain heat. Alternatively, as the environmental temperature increases, the scrotum relaxes, moving the testes farther from the body core and increasing scrotal surface area, which promotes heat loss. Externally, the scrotum has a raised medial thickening on the surface called the raphae.

The scrotum and testes

This figure shows the scrotum and testes. The left panel shows the external view of the scrotum, the middle panel shows the muscle layer and the right panel shows the deep tissues of the scrotum.
This anterior view shows the structures of the scrotum and testes.


The testes    (singular = testis) are the male gonads    —that is, the male reproductive organs. They produce both sperm and androgens, such as testosterone, and are active throughout the reproductive lifespan of the male.

Questions & Answers

the diagram of the respiratory system
Praise Reply
Describe sinus of brain
name the 5 layers of skin
Monika Reply
stratum basale, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum lucidum, stratum corneum
those are the layers of epidermis,, then we have the dermis which has got two layers that is papillary dermis and reticular dermis.. beneath the dermis we have the hypodermis( subcutaneous layer) which is not considered as a layer of skin
what's a feedback
ivhil Reply
is the information or comment about something that one have done
may be you mean negative or positive feedback mechanism... in general, they mean body response its changes by hormones
what is endocrin?
Asim Reply
why should there be an inhibition to the process of gastric production in the intestinal phase
endocrine is a system through which the secretions of cell directly poured into blood.
why should there be an inhibition to the process of gastric production in the intestinal
Gloria Reply
what is a stimuli
Emily Reply
environment factor that cause a cell to respond
name the two types of melanin
Laila Reply
deference between RNA and DNA
.DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid. The sugar portion of DNA is 2-Deoxyribose.RNA stands for Ribonucleic Acid.  The sugar portion of RNA is Ribose.2.The helix geometry of DNA is of B-Form (A or Z also present).The helix geometry of RNA is of A-Form.3.DNA is a double-stranded molecule consisting o
DNA consists of nucleotide but RNA consists of nucleoside DNA is double standard but RNA is single standard.In DNA at the nitrogen bases adinine,guanine,cytocin and thymine is present but in case of RNA instead of thymine uracil is present.
what are rdna
what is a heart
walker Reply
A heart is an organ in the circulatory system that pumps blood throughout the systemic regions
what is anatomy
Anatomy is the study of internal and external structures and the relationship among body parts. (the study of structure).
what is the physiology of the heart
guys help me with a pathophysiology of asthma
asthma is a lungs related disorder in which there is difficulty in breathing due to some allergic factors, their is inflamation of alveoli of respiratory part of lungs.also decreases the surface area.
what is meaning of brain strock and its types?
the pathophysiology of asthma is complex and involves airway inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness pathogenesis of asthma
skin infection please explain
Hamza Reply
what is malignant melanoma
Akon Reply
cancerous cells 🙄
yes benign is non-cancerous malignant is cancerous.
that's a simple way of explaining it however you're different processes like mitosis etc a person can be at risk for developing cancer etc
you can tell by an unusual growth of a mole, or change in size coloration with melanoma. which is abnormal growth of your squamous cells.
Types of wandering connective tissues
Hassan Reply
what are the meaning of skin
study of external structure of human body is known as anatomy
what is Tau?
Vicki Reply

Get the best Anatomy & Physiology course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Anatomy & Physiology' conversation and receive update notifications?