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Main Organs of the Reproductive System

by
author image Dr. Julie Graves
Julie Graves, MD, PhD, a family doctor and public health expert with more than three decades of experience in medicine, has written for prestigious journals, medical students, and patients alike. An avid scuba diver, hiker and traveler, she helps readers lead healthy and happy lives with sound and sensible advice.
Main Organs of the Reproductive System
Midsection view of a young couple who are expecting a baby Photo Credit ColorBlind Images/Blend Images/Getty Images

In males, the main organs of the reproductive system are the epididymis, prostate gland, seminal vesicles, vas deferens, penis, testes and scrotum. In females, the main organs of the reproductive system are the vagina, uterus and its cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vulva, labia minora, labia majora, clitoris and breasts. Some reproductive organs are located internally and others are located externally.

Male Internal Organs

The internal organs of the male reproductive system are the pituitary and hypothalamus glands in the brain and the epididymis, prostate gland, seminal vesicles and vas deferens in the pelvis. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands secrete hormones that cause the testes to produce testosterone and help sperm develop. The epididymis is a duct that carries sperm from one of the testes to the vas deferens. The seminal vesicles and prostate gland make seminal fluid, which joins the sperm through the vas deferens.

Male External Organs

The external organs of the male reproductive system are the penis, testes and scrotum. The testes produce sperm, which passes through the epididymis, the vas deferens, and the urethra, which is in the penis. The penis contains erectile tissue that becomes engorged with blood during sexual stimulation, allowing for intercourse with the female vagina.

Female Internal Organs

The internal organs of the female reproductive system are the pituitary and hypothalamus glands in the brain, and the vagina, the uterus and its cervix, the fallopian tubes and the ovaries. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands secrete hormones that cause eggs in the ovary to develop and the ovary to release an egg. The ovaries hold the eggs and release one during each menstrual cycle. Eggs travel down the fallopian tubes into the uterus, which is the site of the growth and development of a fertilized egg into an embryo, and then a fetus. The vagina connects to the uterus at the cervix. Sperm enter through the vagina and then through the cervix into the uterus, and can pass into the fallopian tubes.

Female External Organs

The external organs of the female reproductive system are the vulva, labia minora, labia majora, clitoris and breasts. The vulva is the external opening to the female reproductive tract, and includes the labia majora and the labia minora. The clitoris has erectile tissue similar to that in the penis and a high concentration of nerve endings. Stimulation of the clitoris results in sexual pleasure to a woman. The breasts produce and secrete milk, which nourishes the infant after birth and during early childhood.

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