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Male reproductive system

The male reproductive system is made up of organs that are both inside and outside the body. These organs each play a role in reproduction (making children).

The major organs which make up this system are the following:


The penis is used for urination (peeing) and sexual intercourse (having sex). It is made of spongy tissue and blood vessels.

An erection happens when there are changes in the blood flow in the penis. When a man becomes sexually aroused or turned on, nerves cause blood vessels in the penis to open up. More blood flows in and makes the penis hard.

The foreskin covers the head of the penis. The head is the most sensitive part of the penis, and it plays an important part in sexual pleasure. The foreskin can be removed, and that process is called circumcision.

Scrotum (also known as balls)

These are pouch-like structures that hang behind the penis. They hold and protect the testes.


The testes are two oval glands that make and store millions of tiny sperm. They also make testosterone, a hormone that plays a major role in puberty in boys. Testosterone is the hormone that causes boys to develop deeper voices, bigger muscles, and body and facial hair. It also tells the testes to produce more sperm.

Prostate gland

This is a walnut-sized gland that is found between the bladder and the penis. The prostate produces fluid that nourishes and protects sperm.


The urethra is a tube that carries urine (pee) from the bladder to outside of the body. In males, the urethra also transports semen (fluid that has sperm) to the penis for ejaculation when an orgasm is reached.

Want to find out more about the female reproductive system? Click here.

Curious about how and why erections happen? Read this article.

What is circumcision and does it hurt? Get your answers here.

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