Here's a list of the basic features of your son's reproductive (and excretory) anatomy:
- Anus- the opening at the end of the digestive tract where bowel contents leave the body
- Bladder- the triangular-shaped, hollow organ that holds urine. Located in the lower abdomen, the bladder is held in place by ligaments that are attached to other organs and the pelvic bones. The bladder's walls relax and expand to store urine, and contract and flatten to empty urine through the urethra.
- Epididymis- a long tube that is located near each testicle. The epididymis is the tube through which the sperm from the testicles is carried to the vas deferens.
- Penis- the external reproductive organ of the male. The penis is made up of two parts, the shaft and the glans. The glans is the tip of the penis, while the shaft is the main part of the penis and contains the tube (urethra) through which urine leaves the body. All boys are born with a foreskin, or a covering, over the tip of the penis. Some boys are circumcised, which means that this covering of skin is removed. Other boys are not circumcised and may have skin that covers the tip of the penis.
- Prostate gland- a gland of the male reproductive system. It is about the size of a walnut, made up of three lobes that surround the neck of the bladder and urethra. It is partly muscular and partly glandular, with ducts opening into the urethra. The prostate gland secretes a slightly alkaline fluid that forms part of the seminal fluid, a fluid that carries sperm.
- Rectum- the lower end of the large intestine, leading to the anus
- Scrotum- the bag of skin that holds and helps protect the testicles. The testicles make sperm, and to do this, the temperature of the testicles needs to be cooler than on the inside of the body. This is why the scrotum is located outside of the body.
- Semen- the fluid that carries sperm. In addition to sperm, it carries enzymes, sugar and other chemicals that help the sperm survive.
- Seminal vesicles- the sac-like glands that lie behind the bladder and release a fluid that forms part of semen
- Testes (testicles)– the two small organs inside the scrotum that are responsible for making sperm and are also involved in producing a hormone called testosterone
- Testosterone - the key male sex hormone. Testosterone is important during male development and maturation of the sexual organs. It also causes the changes that happen at puberty - muscle development, growth of body hair and deepening of the voice.
- Urethra- the tube that allows urine to pass out of the body
- Vas deferens- the tube that stores sperm and then carries it out of the scrotal sac. During ejaculation, the walls contract to propel the sperm forward into the urethra. (The operation known as a vasectomy cuts the vas deferens.)