Sexual Health/Basic Reproductive Anatomy – Wikibooks, open books for an open world

Sexual replica requires genes from two completely different people, a male and a feminine. To provide wholesome infants a these companions shouldn’t be intently associated. Pure choice means that the higher range of oldsters, the higher probability of adaptation and thus survival the toddler will take pleasure in.


Be aware:
Puberty can occur wherever from Eight years outdated to 14 years outdated.

Puberty is the part of growth that begins the sexual processes in girls and boys. In ladies, puberty triggers the start of the menstrual cycle, and the event of the breasts. In boys, puberty causes the penis and testicles to develop in dimension, and indicators the start of nocturnal emissions and sperm manufacturing. In each ladies and boys, puberty causes physique hair (and facial hair, in boys) to start showing. Throughout puberty, hair will begin to develop beneath the armpits, within the groin, and on the chest and again. Leg and arm hair will even grow to be thicker and darker.

Chest, Nipples, and Breasts[edit]

In each sexes, nipples and the areas round them are incessantly delicate and conscious of sexual contact. Nipples could also be comfortable or erect. Nipples grow to be erect in response to adjustments in temperature, sexual contact, and different stimuli.

Within the tissue surrounding the nipples, each men and women have milk ducts. In females, these glands are stimulated to supply milk by the hormones related to being pregnant and supply. In each sexes, sure sorts of nipple stimulation (corresponding to from a breast pump), sure medicine, and sure hormonal issues could trigger non-pregnancy associated milk manufacturing.

In females, fatty tissue is shaped across the nipples throughout puberty. These are known as breasts, though all the space could also be known as a feminine’s chest. In males, this space is just known as the chest.


The male genitals include the penis and the testicles. The obvious dimension of a male genitalia is dependent upon a variety of elements, as they grow to be pendulous (hanging down) when heat and relaxed however withdraw tight in opposition to the groin when experiencing chilly or concern. This may occasionally have offered an evolutionary benefit to our ancestors.


The penis is an extended, tube-like organ that’s within the entrance of a person’s physique, within the groin space. The bottom of the penis connects within the groin (decrease center stomach between the legs. The size of the penis is unimportant for replica, fertility or manliness, and might range between 5cm and 20cm (2-Eight inches) with a median of about 13cm (5 inches) for an erect grownup over age 18. The center space (the “shaft” of the penis) terminates in a pink gland the place the urethra is uncovered (the “head” of the penis). The bottom of the penis is incessantly coated in pubic hair. The top of the penis is roofed by the foreskin, which might be pulled again to show the pinnacle itself. Males who’re circumsized have had their foreskins eliminated (usually as infants).

Elements of a penis
Penis parts.png Diagram of the penis displaying:

a) Scrotum
b) Shaft
c) Glans
d) Foreskin

The penis might be both “flaccid” (hanging down, comfortable, small) or “erect” (pointing upwards or outwards, laborious, bigger and longer). A penis is flaccid more often than not, and urination is troublesome or unattainable while the penis is erect.
A penis turns into erect (tumescent or laborious) in anticipation of sexual activity. Anticipation isn’t essentially beneath acutely aware management, and erections can happen for no apparent motive. Orgasm (sexual climax or The Feeling) is troublesome or unattainable while the penis is flaccid. Ejaculation of semen often however not essentially happens concurrently with orgasm. Pre-emission refers to naturally produced fluid lubricant which can generally be excreted previous to ejaculation.


The testicles cling beneath the penis, and are coated by a patch of pores and skin known as the scrotum. The scrotum is often coated in pubic hair, and is delicate to sexual contact. Testicles produce sperm, and the hormone known as “testosterone”, amongst different issues. Testosterone is a hormone that causes males to develop male secondary intercourse characters.

The testicles should stay a number of levels beneath regular physique temperature to supply wholesome sperm. That is the explanation why the testicles cling exterior of the physique within the scrotum. The muscle tissues within the scrotum can broaden and contract, to alter the form of the scrotum. If a person is sizzling, the muscle tissues within the scrotum will lengthen, inflicting the testicles to maneuver away from the physique (thus cooling off the testicles). If a person is chilly, the muscle tissues within the scrotum will shorten, inflicting the testicles to maneuver nearer to the physique (warming up the testicles).

Testicles could swell uncomfortably if a male has prolonged sexual stimulation with out ejaculation. That is colloquially generally known as “blue balls” and isn’t a dangerous situation.

Testicular most cancers is among the most typical cancers in younger males. It can be crucial for males to look at their dimension and form is fixed regularly, and don’t produce ache when dealt with gently. If there may be any change, an early session directly is crucial for efficient therapy.

Vas deferens[edit]

Every testicle has a tiny duct connecting it to the penis. These ducts are generally known as the vas deferens, and they’re the trail sperm take from the testicles into the penis throughout ejaculation. It’s these ducts which might be severed in a vasectomy (male sterilization). If performed earlier than puberty, vasectomy can arrest sexual growth, as in medieval Castrati (male singers) in whom chopping the vas diferens was stated to make an unlimited distinction (to the voice). Their testicles weren’t often eliminated (precise castration) Such interventions at the moment are strictly prohibited as a severe affront to the boy’s human rights, since he can’t give knowledgeable consent for life-changing operations at such a younger age.


Semen is a mixture of fluids from a number of glands, and sperm from the testicles. Throughout ejaculation, semen comes out of the erect penis. In some instances, semen squirts or shoots out vigorously, whereas at different instances the semen oozes out slowly and doesn’t journey any distance. Each conditions are regular, and each pressure and quantity of ejaculation is unimportant.

Semen can carry STDs and different germs right into a accomplice, so contact with semen ought to be minimized, and condom safety ought to at all times be used throughout any overtly sexual exercise.

Some individuals select to take semen into their mouth, and will swallow semen as nicely. Oral ingestion of semen isn’t more likely to be dangerous, however there are not any well being advantages. There’s some threat of transmission of STDs, particularly if there are open wounds or sores within the mouth or on the lips. Because of this, it is strongly recommended that individuals ought to use safety corresponding to a condom when performing oral intercourse (described later), and get examined for STDs repeatedly.


The prostate is among the glands that contributes fluid to semen. The prostate might be stimulated straight by the perineum (pores and skin between the testicles and anus) or from contained in the anus, a observe that some males discover pleasurable. Prostates are in danger for growing most cancers, particularly in older males. Because of this, males ought to get prostate exams repeatedly to examine for most cancers and different issues.

Nocturnal Emissions[edit]

Boys of any age could naturally grow to be aroused throughout sleep and will expertise orgasm voluntarily or involuntarily. Those that have handed puberty can expertise a phenomenon generally known as “nocturnal emission”. Nocturnal emissions happen at evening, whereas sleeping, and are involuntary releases semen whereas sleeping. Usually, the emission of semen is the primary signal {that a} younger man has reached puberty and is producing sperm usually.

Nocturnal emissions could happen extra incessantly when ejaculation isn’t achieved consiously regularly.


In contrast to the male penis and testicles, feminine reproductive anatomy is sort of completely inner. The elements which might be externally seen are generally known as the vulva.


Diagram of a vulva with part elements labeled.

On the entrance of the vulva is a small construction known as the clitoris. The clitoris could be very delicate to stimulation. Throughout fetal growth, the cells that in males become the penis, in females become the clitoris. The clitoris has extra nerve endings than a male’s penis, and even mild stimulation could cause sensations of ache or discomfort. The clitoris is surrounded by folds of flesh generally known as the clitoral hood. The clitoral hood might be pulled again to show the tip of the clitoris beneath.

Instantly beneath the clitoris is the urethra. This opening is linked to the bladder, and is the place urine is expelled.

The most important function of the vulva is the vaginal canal, or vagina. The vaginal canal is a fleshy tube, between 3-5 inches deep (however product of stretchable membranes) that opens between the legs, and connects to the uterus.

On either side of the vaginal opening is a Bartholin’s gland. The vaginal canal and Bartholin’s glands produce lubricating fluid in response to sexual stimulus. Generally these glands grow to be clogged, and develop right into a Bartholin’s cyst. Often these cysts resolve on their very own, but when they’re painful, unusually giant, or persist for an extended time period, they need to be evaluated by a health care provider.

Contained in the vagina, towards the entrance of the physique, is an space of spongy tissue generally known as the Gräfenberg spot, or G-spot. This tissue could also be associated to Skene’s glands (the feminine equal of the prostate), or could connect with the inside portion of the clitoris. Some ladies discover stimulation of this space pleasurable.

The clitoris, urethra, and the vaginal opening are surrounded on either side by the labial lips. The labia is split into an internal and an outer set of lips, “the labia minora” and “the labia majora”, respectively. The labia function protecting coverings for the clitoris and the vaginal canal, and are additionally conscious of sexual contact. It’s extra widespread for the labia majora to be bigger and utterly enclose the labia minora. Nevertheless, it is usually regular for the labia minora to be bigger and protrude considerably from the labia majora.


A pictorial illustration of the feminine reproductive system.

The cervix is the muscle connecting the uterus and the vaginal canal. The opening within the cervix is known as the cervical os. The dimensions of the os adjustments all through a lady’s menstrual cycle, being extra open throughout menstruation, and in addition close to ovulation, and extra closed at different instances. The rigidity of the cervix additionally varies, from being comfortable like an individual’s lips, to being extra agency like an individual’s nostril.

Glands contained in the cervix, generally known as cervical crypts, produce a substance generally known as cervical mucus or cervical fluid. Cervical mucus is often thick, sticky, and acidic (to assist kill any infectious microorganisms, and to bodily block the doorway into the uterus). Within the a number of days earlier than ovulation, nevertheless, cervical mucus will increase in water content material, turns into much less acidic, and develops a texture that helps information sperm into the uterus. Presently, cervical mucus could resemble hand lotion, or uncooked egg white.

Cervical most cancers is attributable to sure strains of HPV, a sexually transmitted illness. It is very important use barrier safety throughout intercourse to cut back the chance of STDs, and for sexually energetic ladies to obtain common pap smears to display for precancerous adjustments.


The uterus is a pear-shaped organ in regards to the dimension of a fist. Two small conduits, known as fallopian tubes lengthen from either side of the uterus. Every fallopian tube ends with a construction known as a fimbria, which catches eggs after ovulation and guides them into the fallopian tube.

The liner of the uterus is known as the endometrium. A number of days earlier than ovulation, the endometrium begins to grow to be thicker and grows new blood vessels. If being pregnant doesn’t happen, the endometrium is shed roughly two weeks after ovulation. This shedding of the endometrium is named menstruation.


The ovaries are the placement of a feminine’s gametes (eggs), and are analogous to the male testicles (which comprise the male gametes, sperm). Ovaries launch eggs, additionally known as ova (or ovum if it is only one) into the fallopian tubes. Ovaries additionally produce estrogen, which is the dominant feminine intercourse hormone. Estrogen causes the physique to feminize, which explains why ladies develop breasts, and bear different adjustments at puberty.

Menstrual Cycle[edit]

Human females start menstruating, or having durations, as a part of puberty. A woman’s first menstruation is known as menarche, and often occurs between the ages of eight and sixteen. After menarche, menstruation usually continues to happen at common intervals – that is known as a menstrual cycle. Girls cease having menstrual cycles after they enter menopause, mostly between the ages of forty-five and fifty-eight.

The bleeding of menstruation is the obvious a part of the menstrual cycle. Nevertheless, there may be one different vital function: ovulation. The time between menstruation and ovulation is known as the follicular part, as a result of that is when follicles on the ovaries start rising. On common, the follicular part lasts fourteen days, nevertheless this varies broadly from lady to lady and in addition from cycle to cycle.

When one of many rising follicles reaches maturity, the ovum (egg) bursts by the ovarian wall. This occasion is named ovulation. (The remaining follicles atrophy, or die). Many ladies expertise ache related to ovulation – that is known as mittelschmerz.

The time between ovulation and menstruation is on common fourteen days, nevertheless this will range from lady to lady. Some ladies have post-ovulatory, or luteal phases of ten days, whereas others could have luteal phases sixteen days lengthy.

PMS and PMDD[edit]

Previous to menstruation, a lady can expertise sure hormonal and chemical adjustments in her physique that may result in a interval of bodily and psychological stress generally known as premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. PMS is often characterised by cramping, bloating and water retention, moodiness and discomfort. PMS isn’t at all times skilled, and it’s not skilled in all ladies, however it’s thought of a traditional a part of the menstrual cycle.

Nevertheless, some ladies expertise an excessive type of PMS generally known as Premenstral dysphoric dysfunction, or PMDD. PMDD is a extra severe situation characterised by excessive moodiness, temper swings, and melancholy. PMDD can incessantly be handled medically with success.

See Additionally[edit]


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