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Male Sexual Anatomy



The Prostate and Accessory Organ

The prostate gland normally about the size of a chestnut, consists of a muscular and a glandular portion. The prostate is located directly below the bladder and surrounds the urethra ( the tube through which urine passes) as it exits from the bladder. The relationship of the prostate to the urethra is like a large bead ( the prostate) ona string ( the urethra. Because the rectum ( the lowest part of the bowels) is directly behind the prostate, the prostate can be examined by a physicians during a rectal examination. This is important because the prostate can become infected or cancerous.

The prostate produces clear fluid that makes up about 30 % of seminal fluid, the liquid that is expelled from the penis during ejaculation. The other 70% of seminal fluid comes from the seminal vesicles. These two small structure s lie against the back portion of the base of the of the bladder and join with the ends of the vas deferens to form the ejaculatory ducts. These ducts in turn join the urethra, thereby creating a continuous tubing system that leads to the end of the penis.

On the average, there are 3 to 5 milliliters  ( 5 ml = about 1 teaspoonful) of semen ( seminal fluid plus sperm) per ejaculate. Although the concentration of sperm is highly variable, depending in part on the frequency of ejaculation, a count of 40 to 120 million per ml is considered normal. This means that there may be 120 to 600 million sperm in a single ejaculate.

Seminal fluid ranges in color from whitish to tones of yellow or gray and has a creamy, sticky texture. Right after ejaculation, seminal fluid is rather thick but then it liquefies quickly. It consists of water, mucus , and a large number of chemical substances that include sugar ( providing a energy source for sperm), bases for neutralizing the acidity of the male urethra and the female vagina) , and prostateglandins ( hormones that cause contractions in the uterus and Fallopian tubes, possibly aiding upward transit of sperm).

Cowper's gland are two pea - sized structures connected to the urethra just below the prostate gland. They produce a few drops of fluid, which sometimes appear at the tip of the penis during sexual arousal but before ejaculation. Some men never notice this pre-ejaculatory fluid, while others may produce a teaspoonful or more of this slippery secretion. Although this pre-ejaculatory fluid may buffer the acidity of the urethra, there no certainity about its function. Occasionally, the pre-ejaculatory fluid contains a small number of live sperm cells , accounting for at least some of the "failures" as a method of birth control of withdrawal of penis before ejaculation.

The Breasts

The male breasts have nipples and areolas but have little under lying glandular tissue or fatty padding. The male nipple and areola seem to be less sensitive to touch and pressure than the  same structures in adult females. Nevertheless, some males find that having their breasts or nipples stroked or licked is sexually arousing. Others do not notice any erotic pleasure from such practices.

Sometimes one or both of a male's breasts may become enlarged. This condition, called gyneconastia, occurs in 40 to 60 percent of boys during puberty but usually disappears within a year or two. In adulthood, it may be caused by alcoholism, liver  disease, thyroid disease, Drug ingestion, or  certain forms  of cancer. When gynecomastia  is so severe that it creates major psychological problems, it  can be corrected by relatively simple surgery.

The male breasts can also become enlarged if a man takes estrogen over a period of time . As we will discuss in chapter 8 most male -to-female transsexuals undergo such treatment. we have also seen a case in which a man unwittingly took birth control pills for several months, causing the same result. 


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