Testes, epididymis, seminal cord:
Normal testes have a volume of around 12 – 25 ml. The testes are surrounded by a layer of coarse tissue, and held in place in the scrotum by the so-called gubernaculum testis.
The epididymis is a C-shaped organ attached to the testis. The caput epididymis (head) is closely linked with the testis by numerous small tubuli. The epididymis ultimately becomes the sperm duct.
The sperm duct passes through the inguinal (abdominal) canal to the abdominal cavity. There it turns towards the pelvis, where it crosses the ureter, and joins the seminal vesicle (right or left). It is accompanied by blood vessels, nerves and muscle fibres (seminal cord, funiculus spermaticus).Function:
- In the testes, sperm cells (spermatozoa) are produced
- In addition, the testes are the main location for synthesis of the male sex hormone, testosterone
- Small quantities of testosterone are also synthesized in the adrenal glands
- Onehealthy testis is normally sufficient for testosterone and sperm production
- The sperm cells pass from the testes to the tubuli of the epididymis. This is absolutely essential for sperm mobility. In the epididymis the sperm cells gain "full maturity" during a period of 5 – 12 days
- Then the sperm is stored in epididymis and sperm duct
- The sperm retains fertilisation potential for many months