In contrast with the female, whose reproductive organs are located entirely within the pelvis, the male reproductive organs are both inside and outside the pelvis. These include the testicles, the duct system (epididymis and the vas deferens), the accessory glands (seminal vesicles and prostate gland), and the penis.
A male who has reached puberty will produce millions of sperm cells every day. Each sperm is incredibly small: only 1/600 of an inch (0.05 millimeters long). Sperm develop in the testes within a system of tiny tubes called the seminiferous tubules. Using their tails, the sperm push themselves into the epididymis, where they complete their development. It takes sperm around 4 to 6 weeks to travel through the epididymis, becoming fully mature, motile sperm. They are stored there until ejaculation.
The seminal vesicles and prostate gland produce a whitish fluid called seminal fluid, which combines with sperm to form semen when ejaculating. The sperm then make their way through the vas deferens, or sperm duct. Semen is pushed out of the male’s body through the urethra — this occurrence is called ejaculation and can contain up to 500 million sperm.
When male ejaculation occurs during intercourse, semen is deposited into his partner’s vagina. From the vagina, the sperm make their way up through the cervix and uterus, with help from uterine contractions. If the female partner has ovulated recently and there is a mature egg moving through one of the fallopian tubes, it has the opportunity to be fertilized by a sperm, leading to conception.
If you have any question about the male reproductive system or would like to request an appointment with one of our highly skilled Reproductive Endocrinologists in Idaho Falls, Idaho, please do not hesitate to contact Idaho Fertility Center at (208) 529-2019.