Reproduction is a universal process that involves the creation of new organisms and is common to all existing biological life forms on the planet. For a living being to be considered as such, from the smallest cell to the most complex animal, it must be capable of leaving offspring in one form or another.
Bacteria reproduce by binary fission (growth and division into two individuals from one) because, being unicellular beings, they do not have the possibility of developing male and female structures, which is why it is considered a type of asexual reproduction. As we advance in the reproductive process in living beings (and in the evolutionary scale) we find sexual reproduction, that which characterizes humans and most vertebrates.
As there are two different biological sexes in our species, male (XY) and female (XX), human beings develop with different sexual organs and characters that maximize our evolutionary efficiency, i.e., fertilization, and the development of the female and male sexes.that is, fertilization and pregnancy, respectively. If you want to know the 8 parts of the male reproductive system, their biological significance and physiological peculiarities, read on.
What is the male reproductive system?
When we talk about the male reproductive system, we are referring to the set of internal and external organs (as well as the ducts that communicate them) that allow the man to have sex with the woman (again, only from a strictly biological point of view) and eventually reproduce. When fertilization occurs, the haploid reproductive cells (sperm and egg) fuse, giving rise to a diploid zygote with half of the genetic information from the mother and half from the father.
What is the morphology of the male reproductive system?
Unlike the female reproductive system, the male reproductive system is quite visible, since the penis and the testicles (the two major exponents) are almost entirely externalized. Here are the 8 parts of this well-known but at the same time curious set of organs and ducts.
The penis is the organ that makes penetration possible during sexual intercourse.. It is made up of 3 different layers of tissue: two cavernous sections and a spongy one. The first ones are in charge of filling with blood during sexual intercourse, which results in the well-known erection. On the other hand, the spongy layer is found in the lower section of the penis, acting as a protector against compression of the urethra during ejaculation and urination.
In addition to the histological section, we can differentiate several specific sections in the penis:
- GlansGlans: this is the head or tip of the penis. This is where the urethra ends, which is why it is the exit conduit for urine and semen under normal conditions.
- CorpusBody : extends from the tip to the place of connection with the abdomen. It is shaped like a tube, which surrounds the urethral canal.
- ForeskinThe glans penis is a layer of skin that protects the glans, as it is highly sensitive to stimuli. Circumcision is a surgery in which this structure is removed.
- FrenulumA small fold of the preputial mucosa, usually in the shape of a V. It joins the glans penis to the foreskin in its anterior part.
As an interesting fact, we can point out that the penis needs about 130 milliliters of blood to reach the state of erection. In general, the average erection time of the male sexual organ is about 14 minutes on average.
The scrotum is a kind of sac or pouch that contains the testiclesThe scrotum is a kind of sac or pouch containing the testicles, the epididymis and the lower part of the spermatic cord, i.e. the blood vessels and vas deferens. In addition to protecting the testicles, it is an essential structure for male fertility, as the testicles must be at a slightly lower temperature than the body temperature in order to mature spermatozoa properly.
For this reason, patients with undescended testes or cryptorchidism (where the scrotal sac is relatively empty) are up to 75% more likely to be infertile than the general population. It is interesting to know that without such a basic structure, men would become practically infertile.
The testicles are ovoid bodies 4-7 centimeters long and 25 milliliters in capacity that serve two main functions: the production and storage of male germ gametes (spermatozoa) and the biosynthesis and secretion of male sex hormones (testosterone)..
Commonly, the left testicle is slightly more pendulous than the right, but both are equally capable of producing millions of spermatozoa in a single day, even though they require 3 months of generation and maturation to present a fertilizing capacity. In general, a healthy man can ejaculate 15 to 250 million sperm at any given time.
The epididymis is a narrow, elongated tube located at the back of the testicle that connects the vas deferens to the back of each of the vas deferens. From a functional point of view, the ducts of the epididymis are responsible for the maturation and activation of the sperm. In addition, this tube contributes to the production of plasma, this tube contributes to the production of the seminal plasmawith the synthesis of substances such as β-N-acetylglucosaminidase and fibronectin, both of which are involved in sperm maturation.
5. Vas deferens
It is the tube in which the sperm are stored and which transports the sperm out of the scrotal and which transports the sperm out of the scrotal conglomerate. It is located between the epididymis and the urethra, connecting them both.
The urethra is extremely important in men, as it serves a dual function: it is the part of the urinary tract that is the the part of the urinary tract that transports urine from the bladder and the part of the reproductive tract in which semen travels.. In women, the urethra is very short, while in men it runs along the entire penis until it ends at the tip of the glans penis.
For this reason, men are more subject to urethral diseases, especially with age and during certain activities. Some of them are urethral cancer, urethral stricture (narrowing of the opening) or urethritis (inflammation caused by infections).
It is located just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra and lies in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and its function is to generate fluids its function is to generate fluids, which will form part of the semen..
It should be noted that as we age, the prostate in men tends to increase in size, which is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. Another very different prostate pathology is the dreaded prostate cancer, which occurs in approximately 139 men per 100,000 inhabitants annually. Prostate examination prevents this worrying pathology.
8. Seminal vesicles
The seminal vesicles are located above the prostate, and their function is to produce (together with the seminal vesicles) the seminal fluid. Their function is to produce (together with the prostate) a seminal fluid that nourishes and transports the spermatozoa.. These glands are, under normal conditions, producers of 60% of the fluid ejected during the act of ejaculation.
Interestingly, the seminal vesicles are lined by a secretory epithelium, which is rich in fructose, a monosaccharide that provides the spermatozoa with an important source of nutrients until they fertilize (or not) the egg.
In addition, they also synthesize large amounts of fibrinogen and prostaglandins. Interestingly, the latter are thought to greatly assist the fertilization period by two mechanisms: they react with the female cervical mucus to make it more receptive to sperm transport, and they also trigger a series of uterine contractions that “guide” the male gametes to the egg.
As you may have noticed, the male reproductive system goes far beyond the penis and testicles. Structures as apparently irrelevant as the scrotum are essential for reproduction because, without them, we would not be able to synthesize mature spermatozoa with continuity and efficiency.
We would like to take advantage of these final lines to make one last point: various pathologies can affect the male reproductive system, but prostate cancer is one of the most notorious. There is a preconception that a rectal palpation is an act that diminishes the “manliness” or “integrity” of the person who undergoes it, but nothing could be further from the truth. A timely prostate examination can literally prevent the death of a person with this type of neoplasia. It is time to get rid of prejudices and get to know our own organs and weaknesses.As men, let’s let ourselves be helped.