THE MALE ORGANS

The male organs are the penis, the prostate gland, the seminal vesicles, the testicles, and the epididymis with its attached tube, called the vas deferens. These appear to be difficult words, but it is not difficult to explain what these organs are and how they work.

The penis is made up mostly of a special kind of elastic and muscle tissue, which allows it to get smaller and larger from time to time. Through the middle of the penis is a tube called the urethra. The urethra connects with the bladder, and urine is passed through it. The male urethra also connects with the prostate gland surrounding the bot¬tom of the bladder and with the seminal vesicles that lie on top of the prostate gland.

Sperm are produced in the testicles. They then travel to the coiled tubes called the epididymis. There, they mature rapidly and are stored, ready for use. During intercourse, they Travel up a long tube called the vas deferens, and eventually leave the body through the urethra of the penis.

When the urethra is being used to carry urine from the bladder, sperm and semen are blocked from passing through it. And when the urethra is carrying semen and sperm, urine is blocked, from passing through it. There are structures like valves, called sphincters, which prevent the urethra from carrying urine and semen at the same time.

Sperm cells are produced by the testicles, beginning when a boy reaches anywhere from twelve to fourteen years of age. There are hundreds of millions of sperm cells, each one so small that it can be seen only through a microscope. Sperm travel from the testicles to the epididymis. The epididymis is a small structure made up of one long, curled-up tube. Sperm that have been manufactured in the testicles are stored in this tube.

The seminal vesicles are glands that are filled with a fluid called semen. When the sperm cells are ready to come out and be placed in the vagina of the female, they travel up from the epididymis through a long hollow tube called the vas deferens. As the sperm get near the seminal vesicles, the seminal vesicles secrete the fluid, semen, which mixes with the sperm. Then the semen, which now contains the sperm, passes out through the urethra of the penis.

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