Human Reproductive System

Reproduction can be defined as the biological process of producing a new individual or an offspring identical to the parents. This process ensures the increase in the number of individuals of a species when conditions are favorable. It is one of the fundamental characteristics of living things and an essential life process.

 

Types of reproduction

There are mainly two types of reproduction - 

Sexual Reproduction

This process of reproduction is very complex and involves the formation and transfer of gametes, followed by fertilization, the formation of the zygote, and embryogenesis.

Asexual Reproduction

This process of reproduction involves only one parent and the new offspring produced is genetically similar to the parent.

 

Reproduction in Human Beings

All human beings undergo a sexual mode of reproduction wherein, two parents are involved in producing a new individual. Offspring are produced by the fusion of gametes (sex cells) from each parent. Hence, the newly formed individual will be different from parents, both genetically and physically. In human beings, both males and females have different reproductive systems; hence, they are known to exhibit sexual dimorphism. Males have testes- also called testicles, while the females have a pair of ovaries.

Human Reproductive System

The reproduction in human beings involves the fusion of male and female gametes produced in their reproductive system. The male reproductive system is different from the female reproductive system, both in structure and in function.

Male Reproductive System

The male gametes, i.e., sperms are produced within the male reproductive system. Sperms are small unicellular structures with a head, middle piece, and a tail.

The male reproductive system consists of :

  • Testicles (testes)

A pair of oval-shaped organs masked in a pouch called scrotum which is responsible for the production of sperms and the male hormone testosterone.

  • Scrotum

 It is a sac-like organ that hangs below the penis and behind it. It is the house of the testicles, or testes, and maintains an appropriate temperature required for the production of sperms.

Vas deferens: The sperms produced in the testes are stored in a tube called the epididymis. Here the sperms get matured and pass to urethra through the muscular tube called vas deferens.

  • Accessory glands

This includes three glands, namely seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and Cowper’s gland. The secretions from accessory glands mix to form a fluid called semen. It nourishes the sperm, increases the volume, and helps in lubrication. 

Penis: Penis is a cylindrical tube like structure that serves as both a reproductive organ as well as an excretory organ. It helps to put sperms into the vagina during sexual intercourse. 

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Female Reproductive System

The female reproductive system is active before, during, and after fertilization as well. It consists of the following parts:

A pair of ovaries

 Ovum is produced and stored in Ovaries. A female hormone is produced within the ovaries called Estrogen. 

  • Fallopian tubes (Oviducts)

 They are the site of fertilization. They connect ovaries with the uterus.

  • Uterus

Uterus is the site of development for the embryo.

  • Vagina

It is the part that connects the cervix to the external female body parts. It also forms the route for the penis during coitus as well as a fetus during delivery.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Reproduction?

Reproduction can be defined as the biological process of producing a new individual or an offspring identical to the parents. This process ensures the increase in the number of individuals of a species when conditions are favorable. It is one of the fundamental characteristics of living things and an essential life process.

2. What are the types of Reproduction?

The two types of reproduction are - 

Sexual Reproduction –This process of reproduction is very complex and involves the formation and transfer of gametes, followed by fertilization, the formation of the zygote, and embryogenesis.

Asexual Reproduction — This process of reproduction involves only one parent and the new offspring produced is genetically similar to the parent.

3. What does the male reproductive system consist of?

The male reproductive system consists of :

Testicles (testes): A pair of oval-shaped organs masked in a pouch called scrotum which is responsible for the production of sperms and the male hormone testosterone.

Scrotum: It is a sac-like organ that hangs below the penis and behind it. It is the house of the testicles, or testes, and maintains a temperature that is required for the production of sperm by it.

Vas deferens: The sperms produced in the testes are stored in a tube called the epididymis. Here the sperms get matured and pass to urethra through the muscular tube called vas deferens.

Accessory glands: This includes three glands, namely seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and Cowper’s gland. The secretions from accessory glands mix to form a fluid called semen. It nourishes the sperm, increases the volume, and helps in lubrication. 

Penis: Penis is a cylindrical tube that serves as both a reproductive organ as well as an excretory organ. It helps to put sperms into the vagina during sexual intercourse.

4. What is the reproduction process in human beings?

The process in which Zygote is produced by the fusion of sperm with egg is called Fertilization. It is a crucial stage of reproduction in human beings. The fertilized egg is called the zygote. Zygote starts to divide into many cells and develops into an embryo.

Embryo moves into the uterus and gets attached to its walls. This process is referred to as implantation, and the implanted embryo eventually develops into a fetus.