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What is Reproductive System? Print E-mail

The reproductive system or genital system is a system of organs within an organism which work together for the purpose of reproduction.

 

Male Reproductive System:
The males reproductive organs are mostly found exterior of the body. It consists of the following:

1- Cowper's Glands: These two glands provide a clear thick fluid that lubricates the urethra when the penis is erect which allows the sperm to pass through
2- Epididymis: These are coiled tubes are located at the back of the testes. Sperm move through these to be stored in the seminal vesicles
3- Penis: External organ with a central tube called the urethra through which semen or urine leaves the body. The penis is made up of a shaft and the glans (head). The foreskin is a fold of skin that protects the glans (head) of the penis. The penis does not contain any bones or muscle but is made up of soft, spongy tissue that is full of blood vessels and nerves which makes it a sensitive area
4- Prostate: This gland that produces fluid that becomes part of the semen
5- Seminal Vesicles: These glands are located behind the bladder to produce a fluid that forms part of semen. They are also storage area for the sperm
6- Scrotum: The scrotum is the soft sac on the outside of the body that contains and protects the testicles. The function of the scrotum is to protect sperm cells from temperature changes, muscles of the scrotum tighten when exposed to cold temperatures
7- Sperm: Under a microscope, these male reproductive cells look like a tadpole, with a head and a tail. Sperm are produced in the testicles when puberty begins. Sperm cells swim in semen, a whitish, sticky liquid. Once a boy's body begins to produce sperm, he will produce millions of sperms daily for the rest of his life
8- Testes/Testicles: In addition to sperm, these two glands also produce the male sex hormone testosterone. During puberty, the testicles become larger to allow the production of sperm
9- Urethra: This narrow tube running from the bladder through the penis is the passage for urine and semen
10- Vas Deferens: These narrow tubes carry sperm from the epididymis, pass the seminal vesicles, and into the prostate gland

 

Female Reproductive System:
Female's reproductive organs are interior of the body found in the pelvis. The pelvic girdle, a ring of bone shaped like a basin, surrounds them. The female reproductive organs consist of:

1- Cervix: The lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. The cervix is a rounded and cone-shaped. It is about one inch in length. Menstrual fluid escapes through a small tube about the size of the end of a pencil, down the center of the cervix
2- Clitoris: This is body tissue with lots of nerve endings. The size and shape of a pencil eraser, the clitoris is located at the upper vulva; above the vaginal and bladder openings
3- Egg (Ovum): The female reproductive cell released from an ovary each month
4- Endometrium: This lining provides oxygen and nutrition for an embryo during pregnancy. It leaves the body each month during a menstrual period if pregnancy does not happen
5- Fallopian Tubes: Two tubes attached on either side of the uterus. Grown egg cells (ova) travel through these tubes toward the uterus. The inside contains hair-like projections called cilia. These cilia move the egg (ovum) from the ovary to the uterus
6- Hymen: This thin, flexible membrane partially covers the vaginal opening. The hymen also has a small opening that allows menstrual fluid to leave the body
7- Ovaries: Two glands that produce hormones and reproductive cells called eggs or ova. The ovaries are the size of a small bird's egg and the shape of an almond. They are located on either side of the uterus. The ovaries contain thousands of undeveloped egg cells (ova). Only a few hundred of these will mature and be released during a female's reproductive years
8- Uterus: It is in the uterus where a baby develops. The uterus is about the size and shape of an upside-down pear. It can stretch up to 20 times its normal size during pregnancy. The muscle contracts to help push the baby through the birth canal at delivery and can also contract and cause cramps during menstruation
9- Vagina: The passageway leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body. The vagina is four to five inches in length. At the top end it is connected to the cervix and at the bottom end, it opens between the inner thighs. It is often called the "birth canal". The opening to the vagina is protected by flexible folds of skin called the labia
10- Vulva: The vulva is the name for the external female genitalia. The two pairs of fleshy folds between the upper thighs are called the labia, and they surround and cover the vaginal opening
 
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