Male Anatomy for Conception

Did you know that the penis may actually be the least important male body part when it comes to conception?

Particularly when you consider the incredible assisted reproductive technology available, including several successful sperm extraction techniques which can obtain sperm cells without a man ever ejaculating, the penis is just the end of a long journey that the male gametes take on their way to conception...

In trying to conceive, there are a lot of little things that can go wrong. The more familiar you are with all of the anatomy involved, the more likely you will know if any problems develop.

Take our brief refresher course in male anatomy...

Know Your Organs

Hypothalamus
at the base of the brain, this organ gets the hormone dance going by secreting gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH);
Pituitary Gland
also located at the base of our brains, this important gland affects reproduction by releasing FSH and LH; connected to and under the influence of the hypothalamus.
Testicles
oval-shaped mass located within the scrotum (loose pouch of skin suspended from the groin), contains seminiferous tubes responsible for manufacture of immature sperm cells;
Epididymis
coiled tubing leading from seminiferous tubes, acts to nourish and further develop still-immobile (mature, but subdued) sperm;
Vas Deferens
storage tube for mature, mobile sperm;
Seminal Vesicles
further storage compartment for sperm, where sperm and prostate fluid are combined;
Prostate Gland
secretes fluid which is combined with sperm to create semen, or ejaculate;
Prostatic Urethra
interior "tube" of the penis through which ejaculate is dispelled, thereby disseminating sperm.

The entire process of spermatogenesis, or sperm production, takes around 72 days to complete.

In general, the male production of gametes (sperm, also called "sex cells") is less cyclical and more ongoing in nature than female production (ovulation).

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