What Are the Different Parts of the Male Reproductive System?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye
The male reproductive system has external and internal parts.
The male reproductive system has external and internal parts.

For the sake of simplicity, the male reproductive system can be divided into internal and external parts. Externally, the system consists of the penis and the scrotum. Within the scrotum, there are the testicles, the epididymis, and the vans deferens. Other internal parts of the male reproductive system include the prostate gland, the bulbourethral glands, and the urethra.

The testicles play a major role in the production of sperm and testosterone.
The testicles play a major role in the production of sperm and testosterone.

The penis is one of the most recognized parts of the male reproductive system, and it has two primary parts. The glans, or the head of the penis, is a part that is believed to significantly contribute to the pleasure of a sexual experience, and it contains the urinary meatus, which is an opening that allows urine and semen to escape the body. The second part of the penis is the shaft, which is the cylindrical portion of the penis that stiffens and lengthens during sexual arousal.

The glans, or head, and the shaft are the two most recognized parts of the penis.
The glans, or head, and the shaft are the two most recognized parts of the penis.

Below the penis is a sac-like structure referred to as the scrotum. It contains two oval-shaped parts known as the testicles, which are responsible for the production and storage of sperm and the production of testosterone. The scrotum also houses the epididymis and vans deferens, which act as a piping network for the male reproductive system. Another important function of the scrotum is that, through expansion and contraction, it helps to regulate the temperature of the testicles by exposing them to more or less body heat.

Semen is made up of fructose -- the same type of sugar found in most fruits -- as well as other substances.
Semen is made up of fructose -- the same type of sugar found in most fruits -- as well as other substances.

Seminal vesicles are located near the base of the bladder. These small sac-like structures connect to the vans deferens. The majority of the seminal fluid is produced by these structures. Its contribution is fructose-rich and thus provides the sperm with fuel that it needs to be mobile.

The prostate gland is an internal part of the male reproductive system. It is located beneath the bladder and plays a role in the production of semen by contributing fluids that nourish the sperm. The urethra is a passageway that carries urine from the bladder to the urinary meatus. This passageway, which travels through the prostate gland, also carries semen. The urethra is structured so that it does not allow the mixing or simultaneous transport of semen and urine.

The scrotum houses the testicles, epididymis, and vas deferens.
The scrotum houses the testicles, epididymis, and vas deferens.

At the sides of the urethra are the bulbourethral glands, sometimes referred to as Cowper's glands. These structures produce a clear fluid that often secretes from the penis during periods when a man is sexual aroused but preceding any ejaculation. The fact that fluid is produced before ejaculation is significant, because it is believed that one of its purposes is to serve as a lubricant. As it drains into the urethra, it is also believed to neutralize the acidity that may result from urine.

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    • The male reproductive system has external and internal parts.
      The male reproductive system has external and internal parts.
    • The testicles play a major role in the production of sperm and testosterone.
      The testicles play a major role in the production of sperm and testosterone.
    • The glans, or head, and the shaft are the two most recognized parts of the penis.
      The glans, or head, and the shaft are the two most recognized parts of the penis.
    • Semen is made up of fructose -- the same type of sugar found in most fruits -- as well as other substances.
      Semen is made up of fructose -- the same type of sugar found in most fruits -- as well as other substances.
    • The scrotum houses the testicles, epididymis, and vas deferens.
      The scrotum houses the testicles, epididymis, and vas deferens.
    • The urethra is also a part of the urinary tract, as it releases urine that's previously stored in the bladder.
      The urethra is also a part of the urinary tract, as it releases urine that's previously stored in the bladder.
    • Prostate health may be evaluated via physical examination and ultrasound.
      Prostate health may be evaluated via physical examination and ultrasound.
    • Some patients suffering from prostate issues may only feel comfortable seeing a male doctor.
      Some patients suffering from prostate issues may only feel comfortable seeing a male doctor.
    • Regular prostate exams are essential to maintaining good health after reaching the age of 40.
      Regular prostate exams are essential to maintaining good health after reaching the age of 40.