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04.09 Male Reproductive Anatomy

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Overview

  1. Components of the Male Reproductive System
    1. Testes
    2. Scrotum
    3. Spermatic Ducts
    4. Accessory Glands
    5. Penis

Nursing Points

General

  1. Testes
    1. Tunica vaginalis – outer layer on anterior and lateral sides
      1. Sac-like extension of the peritoneum
    2. Tunica albuginea – white fibrous capsule inside testes
      1. Septa – connective tissue divides albuginea into 250-300 wedge-shaped lobules
      2. Seminiferous tubules – slender ducts where the sperm is produced (inside lobules)
        1. Germinal epithelium – lines lumen inside the tubule
          1. Germ cells – developing sperm cells
          2. Sustentacular cells (aka Sertoli cells) – protect germ cells
            1. Provide nutrients and remove wastes
            2. Secrete hormone inhibin to regulate the rate of sperm production
      3. Interstitial cells (aka Leydig cells) – produce testosterone
    3. Testicular arteries – from abdominal aorta just below the renal artery
      1. Pass through the inguinal canal into the scrotum
      2. Poor O2 supply
        1. Sperm develop large mitochondria (preconditioning them for survival in the hypoxic female reproductive tract)
    4. Testicular veins – drain into IVC (right) and Left Renal Vein (left)
    5. Lymphatic vessels and testicular nerves also drain each testis (thru the spermatic cord)
  2. Scrotum
    1. Pendulous pouch
      1. Contains testes
    2. The skin contains sebaceous glands, sparse hair, and rich sensory innervation
    3. Median septum
      1. The connective tissue that internally divides the scrotum into R and L compartments
      2. Protect each testis from infections of the other
    4. Spermatic cord
      1. Connective tissue
      2. Passes through the inguinal canal
      3. Contains the ductus deferens (sperm duct), blood and lymphatic vessels, and testicular nerves
    5. Temperature control of the scrotum
      1. Cremaster muscle
        1. Strips of internal abdominal oblique muscle in the spermatic cord
        2. Cold – muscle contracts, pulling testes closer to the body to keep them warm
        3. Warm – muscle relaxes
      2. Dartos muscle
        1. Layer of subcutaneous smooth muscle
        2. Contracts when cold, holds the testes snug against the warm body
  3. Spermatic Ducts – transport sperm from the testes to the urethra
    1. Efferent ductules
      1. Carry sperm to the epididymis
      2. Ciliated cells move the sperm along
    2. Duct of epididymis
      1. Site of sperm maturation and storage
      2. Located on the posterior side of testes
      3. The coiled duct that is roughly 18ft long
      4. Head – off efferent ductules
      5. Tail – next to Vas deferens
        1. Takes about 20 days for sperm to move from head to tail to be stored
      6. Sperm remain fertile for 40-60 days
        1. Then die and get reabsorbed
      7. Becomes Vas deferens after tail
    3. Ductus (vas) deferens
      1. Muscular tube about 45cm long and 2.5mm in diameter
      2. Carries mature sperm from epididymis, through the inguinal canal
    4. Ejaculatory duct
      1. The fusion of the Vas deferens and the duct of the seminal vesicle
      2. Passes through prostate gland and empties into the urethra
      3. This is the last spermatic duct
    5. Urethra
      1. Tube about 20cm long
      2. Off bladder, passes through the prostate, out the penis
      3. NOTE: Urine and semen cannot pass through the urethra at the same time
  4. Accessory Glands
    1. Seminal vesicles – pair of glands posterior to the urinary bladder
      1. Contains a convoluted duct with numerous branches which empties into the ejaculatory duct
      2. Secretes a yellowish fluid that constitutes about 60% of the semen
    2. Prostate gland – surrounds urethra and ejaculatory duct
      1. Group of compound tubuloalveolar glands enclosed in a single fibrous capsule
      2. Consists of CT and smooth muscle
      3. Secretes a thin milky substance which accounts for 30% of the semen
    3. Bulbourethral glands (aka Cowper glands) – ducts that lead to the penile urethra
      1. Produce a clear slippery fluid that lubricates the head of the penis in preparation for intercourse
      2. Neutralizes the acidity of residual urine in the urethra which is harmful to the sperm
  5. Penis
    1. Function
      1. Deposits semen in the vagina
      2. Route for urination (via the urethra)
    2. Shaft (external)
      1. 3 cylindrical bodies called erectile tissues
        1. Fill with blood during erection
        2. Corpus cavernosum (2) – dorsal side
          1. Tunica albuginea – WFCT around each corpus cavernosa
          2. Media septum – WFCT that separates the two corpus cavernosa
        3. Corpus spongiosum (1) – ventral side
          1. Encloses the penile urethra
          2. Expands at the distal end
      2. Cylinders all contain numerous tiny blood sinuses called lacunae
        1. Lacunae are divided by trabeculae which are composed of CT and smooth muscle
    3. Glans penis (head)
      1. Contains corpus spongiosum only
      2. Located at the distal end of the shaft
      3. Site of the external urethral meatus
      4. The prepuce (foreskin)
        1. Covers glans
        2. Circumcision – removal after birth

Reference Links

Video Transcript

In this lesson, we’re going to talk about the male reproductive system.
To get started, the components of the male reproductive system are the testes, scrotum, spermatic ducts, accessory glands, and penis.

The testes are a vital part of the male reproductive anatomy. Covering each testicle is an outer covering of connective tissue called the Tunica vaginalis. The primary connective tissue of the testes is something called the Tunica albuginea. Within each layer of albuginea is something called a septa and the septa wedge-shaped lobules and makes up between 250 to 300 of them.

In between each septum or something called seminiferous tubules, and these are the ducts where sperm is produced. In between these are the interstitial cells or the Leydig cells, and these produce testosterone in the testes.

In terms of blood supply, everything is delivered to the testes in the spermatic cords. Spermatic cords go through the inguinal canal, and then they provide all of the vasculatures to the testes. The testicular arteries come from the aorta down the inguinal Canal but they deliver poor oxygen supply to the testis. This actually helps prep the sperm through the mitochondria so that they can survive in the oxygen-poor environment of the female reproductive tract. The testicular veins drain into the inferior vena cava and the left renal vein. In addition, when we’re talking about the lymphatic system, the lymphatic fluid is drained from each testes into the spermatic cord.

Now the scrotum is the pendulous pouch that contains each of the testicles. On the outside the skin contains sebaceous glands hair and sensory innervation. The scrotum is divided up into two halves and it’s separated by connective tissue called the median septum. It actually protect each testicle from infection from the other. Within the spermatic cord which actually comes down into each side of the scrotum, it’s going to pass through the inguinal canal and it’s going to how’s the ductus deferens which eventually becomes the vas deferens, blood and lymphatic tissue and the testicular nerves. Another really important function of the scrotum is temperature control. The temperature of the sperm has to be highly regulated when it comes to temperature, so different types of muscle groups help to make this happen. The cremaster muscle is an internal abdominal oblique muscle that helps to bring the testes closer to the body when it’s too cold whenever it’s warmer. Similarly the dartos muscle does the same thing. It’s made of subcutaneous muscle tissue and it will help to contract to bring those testes up closer to the body when it’s cool and will relax when it’s warm .

Now the scrotum is the pendulous pouch that contains each of the testicles. On the outside the skin contains sebaceous glands hair and sensory innervation. The scrotum is divided up into two halves and it’s separated by connective tissue called the median septum. It actually protect each testicle from infection from the other. Within the spermatic cord which actually comes down into each side of the scrotum, it’s going to pass through the inguinal canal and it’s going to how’s the ductus deferens which eventually becomes the vas deferens, blood and lymphatic tissue and the testicular nerves. Another really important function of the scrotum is temperature control. The temperature of the sperm has to be highly regulated when it comes to temperature, so different types of muscle groups help to make this happen. The cremaster muscle is an internal abdominal oblique muscle that helps to bring the testes closer to the body when it’s too cold whenever it’s warmer. Similarly the dartos muscle does the same thing. It’s made of subcutaneous muscle tissue and it will help to contract to bring those testes up closer to the body when it’s cool and will relax when it’s warm .

They’re awesome some really important accessory glands that help move the sperm where it needs to go. There are three things that we looked at in terms of accessory glands, and these are seminal vesicles, the prostate gland, and something called the bubble urethral gland or Cowper’s glands. Now seminal vesicles are actually a convoluted ducks with numerous branches and it empties into the ejaculatory duct. It secretes a yellowish fluid which is about 60% of semen. In the prostate gland it’s a single capsule that has a group of these tubal alveolar glands and it’s going to secrete a thin milky substance of about 30% of the semen. And then finally there’s the bubble urethral gland and it actually produces a fluid for lubrication. It comes out before any of this firm and it helps to neutralize the acidity of any residual urine. Acidic environments are harmful to sperm and this fluid actually helps to neutralize that.

Finally there’s actually the penis. There’s two main functions which are apart of reproduction and urination. It’s made up of two sections, the shaft and the glans penis or the head. In the shaft of the penis is actually made up of three separate tubular structures. Two of them are larger in size and this is the corpus cavernosum. The other one is called the Corpus spongiosum in the urethra actually travels through this. During times of stimulation or before intercourse, this tissue becomes engorged with blood. finally when we’re looking at the glans penis or the head, it’s composed of Corpus spongiosum, and it is the most distal portion of the penis. At the end of the penis has something called the prepuce or the foreskin and and is sometimes removed during the process of circumcision near or around birth or indicated by certain culture.
Okay so let’s recap.

The male reproductive system is made up of the testes, scrotum, spermatic ducts, accessory glands and penis

The testes are the organs that house and produces sperm and testosterone.

The scrotum is the pouch that’s when a how’s the testes and it’s going to control temperature through muscle contraction.

The accessory glands secrete fluids that help neutralize acidic environments.

And finally the spermatic ducts are the pathways for the sperm to exit the body and they do this through the penis.

And that’s our lesson on male reproductive Anatomy. Make sure you check out all the resources attached to this lesson. Now go out and be your best self today, and as always happy nursing!

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