Male Reproductive System

Vocabulary

bulbourethral gland

one of two pea-sized glands that secretes thick, clear alkaline mucus that contributes to the production of semen. The secretions also help neutralize any urine remnants in the urethra

ductus deferens

first duct through which sperm travels after leaving the epididymis. It is a storage site for sperm and facilitates sperm transport from the epididymis to the urethra

epididymis

convoluted, or coiled, duct that is a storage site for sperm and where sperm mature before being passed to the ductus deferens

gamete

mature haploid cell carrying genetic material. Male gametes are sperm, and female gametes are eggs

gonad

reproductive organ that produces gametes and sex hormones

interstitial endocrine cell

one of several cells found in the seminiferous tubules that secretes the sex hormone testosterone

penis

organ that delivers sperm and urine outside the body

prostate gland

gland surrounding the urethra that secretes a milky, slightly acidic fluid that contains citric acid, proteolytic enzymes, and prostate-specific antigen

scrotum

the sac of skin and fat located outside the body that contains the testes and regulates testicular body temperature

semen

thick, whitish fluid that contains mature sperm cells in suspension

seminal vesicle

one of a pair of glands that release secretions that contain citric acid, fructose, and prostaglandins into the ejaculatory duct

seminiferous tubule

tightly coiled tube in the testes where sperm production occurs. Sperm storage and transport also occur here

spermatic cord

cord-like structure that includes the ductus deferens and surrounding tissue, through which sperm travels

spermatid

immature sperm cell that undergoes a physical transformation to become a mature sperm cell or spermatozoa

spermatogenesis

specific type of meiosis that is responsible for the creation of sperm cells

sustentocyte

one of several cells found within the walls of the seminiferous tubules that produces and transports sperm

testicle (plural, testes)

one of the two male gonads that produces sperm cells and testosterone

testosterone

sex hormone that signals the development of male sex organs and contributes to specific secondary sexual characteristics in males

urethra

muscular tube used by both the reproductive and urinary systems in males to carry semen and urine through the penis and out of the body

zygote

diploid cell formed from the fusion of a male and female gamete