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Sperm release pathway
The key male reproductive organs include the testes, epididymis, urethra, vas deferens, prostate gland, seminal vesicle, and penis.
The testes are composed of coiled structures called seminiferous tubules, which are the sites of sperm production. The structure on top of the seminiferous tubules in the testes is the epididymis. The sperm migrate from of the seminiferous tubules to the epididymis. Within the epididymis, the sperm mature while they are stored in this structure.
The ejaculation process begins as the penis fills with blood and becomes erect. With sufficient stimulation, mature sperm travel from the epididymis through the vas deferens, a muscular tube, which propels sperm forward through smooth muscle contractions. The sperm arrive first at the ampulla, where secretions from the seminal vesicle are added.
From the ampulla, seminal fluid is propelled forward through the ejaculatory ducts toward the urethra, passing first by the prostate gland, where a milky fluid is added to form semen. Finally, the semen is ejaculated through the far end of the urethra.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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