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The organs that produce spermatozoa, They're paired and lie in a sac called a scrotum, which keeps the spermatozoa at a constant temperature.


Tunica Albuginea of the Testes

A connective tissue capsule which surrounds each testis.


Septa of the Testes

Inward extensions which divide the testis into different compartments


Seminiferous Tubules

The sperm factory. Highly convoluted tubules inside the septal compartments, the site of spermatogenesis.


Rete Testis

A network of tubes where the seminiferous tubules join. They empty into the efferent ductules. The sperm then leaves through these.


Interstitial Cells of Leydig

Produce androgens, mostly testosterone.


Spermatic Cord

Encloses the nerve fivers, blood vessels, and lymphatics.



A structure that sits on top of each testis. It's full of highly convoluted tubules which reice secretions from the testes via the efferent ductule. It has some smooth muscle that surround the tubules.


Functions of the Epididymis

- Monitors and adjusts the composition of tubular fluid
- Recycles damaged spermatozoa
- Stores spermatozoa and facilitates their maturation.


Vas Deferens

A continuation of the epididymis, lined by ciliated columnar epithelium. The cord swings over the urinary bladder and joins the duct of the seminal vesicle forming an ejaculatory duct that passes through the prostate gland and joins the urethra. The sperm moves along this due to peristaltic contractions. Functions to move the sperm from storage and into the urethra.


Seminal Vesicles

Produce about 60% of semen. It's yellow, and very rich in fructose, which nourishes sperm, ascorbic acid, amino acids, and prostaglandins.



Produces an alkaline fluid, rich in enzymes. It's function isn't completely clear. The alkalinity of the prostate fluid neutralizes the acidity of the female tract. It accounts for about 1/3 of semen.


Bulbourethral Glands

Small glands, lie at the bast of the penis. Produce a fluid which lubricates the urethra and neutralizes any uric acid present. Also called Cowpers glands.



The common urogenital tract of the male. It carries both the semen and urine.



The copulatory organ of the male. It has an elongated shaft and an enlarged end, the glans.


Connective Tissue of the Penis

- The corpora cavernosa is the paired cylindrical bodies which contain the erectile tissue in the penis
- The corpora spongiosum is the single ventral column which surrounds the urethra



This process may be initiated by both psychic and tactile stimuli. Parasympathetic stimulation causes dilation of the arterioles that supply the erectile tissue. The increasing volume of erectile tissue compresses the veins which drain the penis so the blood stays.



Caused by a sympathetic reflex causing rhythmic contractions of the epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, and the prostate gland. Normally between 2-6 mL are ejaculated. Following ejaculation, the arterioles to the penis constrict and pressure is taken off the veins. The blood leaves the penis and it returns to the flaccid state.



The failure to attain or maintain an erection. It can be psychological, due to an ANS malfunction, a congenital problem with the shunt arterioles, or due to alcohol.


Hormonal Regulation in Males

FSH, LH, and testosterone are responsible for the hormonal regulation of reproductive processes.


FSH Stimulation in Males

FSH stimulates the production of sperm my acting on the sustentacular cells of the seminiferous tubules. Sustentacular cells act as nurse cells to sperm producing cells. FSH causes the sustentacular cells to release androgen binding protein which causes the cells to bind to testosterone. Testosterone then stimulates spermatogenesis.



Inhibits FSH


LH Stimulation in Males

LH stimulates the Leydig cells to produce testosterone. The Leydig cells are the interstitial cells between the seminiferous tubules. Since testosterone is required for sperm production, LH indirectly stimulates sperm production.



A steroid hormone, produced under the influence of LH. It initiates sexual differentiation in the fetus at about 5-6 weeks of gestation, and the descent of the testes from the body cavity into the scrotum.


Testosterone Effects on the Body

- Maturation and enlargement of the primary sex organs
- Initiates growth of body hair
- Initiates the lowering of the voice
- Stimulates development of male muscle and skeletal growth
- Helps FSH to stimulate spermatogenesis
- Regulates sex drive
- Affects the CNS


Sperm Structure

It has a head, an acrosome, which contains DNA and enzymes. The midpiece contains mitochondria and golgi apparatuses to produce ATP to allow for the tail movement.


Testis-Blood Barrier

Protection of sperm from the immune system. it prevents the membrane antigens of the sperm from escaping to the blood, which could provoke an immune response.


Anatomy of the Female

The female reproductive tract provides the same general functions as that of the male, but in addition, provides for the development of the fetus.


Germinal Epithelia of the Ovary

The outer covering of the ovary. Composed of simple columnar epithelium


Tunica Albuginea of the Ovary

Composed of fibrous connective tissue which connects to the germinal epithelium.