Everything You Need To Know About Male Reproductive System

By Saksham Bhatia +2 more

Human beings, like all mammals, use sexual reproduction to create offspring (children). Male and female humans have different reproductive organs, each serving their unique purposes. Unlike in human females, most organs of the reproductive system in males are situated externally from the body – namely – the penis, testicles and the scrotum that contains the testicles.  

In men, both semen and urine are expelled through the penis – hence this organ is used for both waste removal and reproduction. The reproductive organs in males and the entire system is regulated by hormones. Let’s learn about this system in-depth.

Male reproductive system hormonal imbalance usually manifests in the form of decrease or loss of body hair, erectile dysfunction or gynecomastia, consulting a physician at an early stage might be helpful if you encounter any of these signs.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

Internal and external aspects of the male reproductive system 

The reproductive system in males is made up mainly of external and internal parts, as well as hormones. Let’s start with the external parts:

  • Penis – This is the sexual organ in males used for reproduction and urination. It consists of the root (the part where the penis attaches to the abdomen), the shaft (the long, tube-like structure) and the glans (the cone-shaped tip or head). The glans contain the opening through which semen and urine can leave the body. The tip or head of the penis is also covered by the foreskin – a thin, stretchy layer of skin.
  • Scrotum – This is a pouch or bag of skin surrounding the two testicles under the penis. Its primary task is to carry and protect the testes and supply blood to them. The scrotum may also be involved in regulating temperature in the area since it can tighten or loosen to bring it closer to the body or take it further away. The testicles are regulated at a temperature lower than the rest of the body to be able to produce sperm. 
  • Testicles – Also known as testes, the testicles produce the hormone testosterone and are also responsible for creating new sperm cells. Testes are oval-shaped, about the size of an olive and rest within the scrotum. They connect to the body through a channel of nerves, blood vessels and ducts called the spermatic cord. Behind each testicle is a jumbled tube called the Epididymis, this is where sperm cells mature and from here, they move through to the next channel/tube called the vas deferens. 

The internal parts of the male reproductive system are situated mostly inside the body and are equally important for regular function:

  • Vas deferens – This long tube extends from the Epididymis to behind the bladder; it transports sperm and semen to the urethra so that it can be expelled during ejaculation.

  • Urethra – The urethra refers to a thin and long tube that goes from the urinary bladder inside the body to the opening in the glans. In humans, the urethra is used to transport urine outside the body, but in males, it is also used to expel semen and sperm during intercourse.  
  • Ejaculatory ducts – These ducts empty semen into the urethra.
  • Seminal vesicles – This sac contains sugar-rich fluid to give the sperm energy and help them to move. Most of the fluid during ejaculation is made here. 
  • Prostate gland – This gland also contributes fluid to help the sperm cells.

Regarding male reproductive organs, since the testis is situated externally inside the scrotum which makes it more vulnerable to injuries like varicoceles due to riding bikes, wearing tight underwears. One should avoid these.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

How the male reproductive system works

The three main functions of the male reproductive system are:

  • Producing, maturing and transporting sperm and semen.  
  • Releasing sperm into the anterior vagina during intercourse.
  • Producing sex hormones to maintain the reproductive system.

The entire male reproductive system is regulated through various hormones, mainly FSH, LH and testosterone. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is required for the formation of sperm cells, while luteinising hormone (LH) helps to stimulate the production of testosterone in the testicles. Testosterone helps to produce sperm and is also responsible for many male characteristics like muscle mass, fat accumulation, facial hair and sex drive. 


Once the testicles produce the sperm, they move inside the vas deferens towards the seminal vesicles, maturing along the way. During intercourse, the penis is erect and hence urine won’t be able to go through the urethra – this allows only semen and sperm to be expelled during ejaculation. 


Apart from sperm and semen production, the male reproductive system also affects other external features through the production of hormones, particularly testosterone. Most men will maintain healthy levels of these hormones till they are quite old; however, certain conditions may affect your hormone levels. If you are experiencing issues with your reproductive organs, be sure to consult with your doctor or a urologist. 

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.


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