The Ultimate Resource Site to the Reproductive System

The human reproductive system is a marvelous mixture of internal and external organs. All of these work in concert to allow us to produce offspring, furthering our species. During this production, genetic material is combined between a male and a female, creating an entirely new and different person each time. The system is designed for ease of use and ensures that males and females are both equally necessary in the making of children.

Overview of the Reproductive System

The reproductive system, aside from the internal and external organs which comprise its structure, also operates with the help of various fluids and compounds inside the body. This system is unique to either males or females. They each require the opposite sex to create life, and neither is equipped to accomplish all functions on their own. Through this differentiation, the children being created are ensured to have a combination of two distinct sets of genetic material, or DNA.

  • Reproduction – A good overview of mammalian reproductive systems, with some diagrams and pictures.
  • Interesting Facts – A good bulleted list of interesting facts concerning the reproductive system.
  • Santa Monica College – A fairly detailed resource on the human reproductive system, with information about males and females.
  • Outline – A bulleted outline that is light on details, but doesn’t leave anything out in its explanation.
  • Aging and Reproduction – Here is some good information on how the reproductive system changes with age. (PDF)
  • Information and Pictures – Basic informational page with more pictures than the others.
  • Only One Sperm – Essential to human reproduction is the fertilization of the egg, but what happens if more than one sperm enter the egg?
  • Basic Anatomy – A very general site with information about human anatomy, with a section on the reproductive system.
  • Fertilization – Great information and easy to follow diagram showing how sperm fertilizes the egg.

Male Reproductive System

The male's reproductive system consists of external and internal organs that work together. All of the external organs are located in the pelvic region, and are primarily used for the fertilization of a female. The only two external organs are the penis and scrotum. Inside the scrotum are the testes, which produce and store sperm. Also located internally are the seminal vesicles, where the production of semen takes place. The prostate gland produces an additive in semen that helps to neutralize the acidity inside the female vagina, allowing the sperm to live longer. This longer life increases the odds of egg fertilization.

  • Male Reproduction in Pictures – This is a page of links to high quality color pictures of different parts of the male system.
  • Sperm Chart – A very basic chart that follows the sperm from creation to ejaculation.
  • Male Reproductive System – Learn everything you ever wanted to know about microscopic cross sections of different parts of the system.
  • Male Outline – A numbered outline, short but sweet, explaining the male system.
  • Terms and Locations – By clicking the white arrows next to the terms, you will be shown an explanative picture detailing where and how the different parts interact.
  • System and its Structures – On this high quality page, you will find very good information and a lot of pictures and diagrams.
  • Prostate Problems – The prostate is a leading cause of alarm in aging males. Learn more about it here.
  • Male Reproductive Health – Good descriptive article on the importance of maintaining a healthy system.
  • Anatomy of the Male System – Quite a large amount of information, text, pictures and diagrams explaining the system.

Female Reproductive System

As with the male system, the female system also consists of external and internal organs. Females have an extra set of external organs that are outside of the pelvic region. After the birth of the child, the breasts are used to supply food to the baby. Prior to birth, the breasts are not a functioning part of the reproductive system. The vagina is the only other external sexual organ, which leads inward to the uterus by way of the cervix. The uterus is connected to the ovaries by the fallopian tubes, which transport eggs to the uterus for fertilization.

  • Birth Control Pills – Here you can learn more about the history and development of the pill.
  • Other Methods of Birth Control – Pills are not the only way to control pregnancies, as seen here.
  • History of the Female Reproductive System – Throughout history, doctors have been stumped by the female system.
  • System in Pictures – A good links page that takes you to high quality color pictures of the different parts.
  • External and Internal – A good outline and explanation of the female system. (PDF)
  • Aging – Learn more about how aging changes the female system in ways the male system does not.
  • Cross Section – A large cross section picture that shows all aspects of the pelvic reproductive system.
  • Kiveris Vein – Have you ever heard of the Kiveris Vein? It links the breasts to the rest of the female system, and you can learn more about it here.
  • The Brain – The role that gestation plays in the development of the human brain.

Development of the Reproductive System

The reproductive system begins to develop as the baby does while in the womb during the embryonic period (2-8 weeks after conception). While the male and female systems are completely different, there are some similarities. Neither sex has shared organs, but some of the functions are the same. For example, fallopian tubes are responsible for transiting the female egg to the uterus, while the vas deferens transport the male's semen to the urethra where it can be ejaculated.

  • Human Development – An informative chart outlining the stages of embryonic development.
  • Urogenital Development – This page contains an explanation of the entire urogenital system development, from the kidneys to the sexual organs.
  • Sex Begins in the Womb – Greatly detailed handout explaining when fetal sex is determined. (PDF)
  • Sex Determination – More information on chromosomes and the determination of sex.
  • Endocrine Hormones – The endocrine system is a well-known player in the development of the reproductive system.
  • Homology – Awesome information with lots of pictures on the different structures in human reproductive systems and how they are similar.
  • Technical Issues – Information on secondary sexual characteristic development.
  • Embryonic Development – This page, which is in outline form, helps you learn about the six stages of embryonic development and how they relate to the reproductive system.
  • Prenatal Organ Development – This is a high quality color picture showing the development of human sexual organs in fetuses.

Diseases of the Reproductive System

All organs in the human body can be set upon by disease, and the reproductive organs are no different. There are four categories of reproductive diseases in humans. The first is genetic or congenital, which means the condition existed prior to or at the time of birth, meaning inherited from the parents. The second type is various cancers. The third type is infections, mainly sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The final category is functional; meaning something in the system isn't working correctly. Erectile dysfunction and infertility fall into this category, and the causes are varied.

  • Reproductive System Cancer in Women – Good information on the different types of reproductive cancer that affect women. (PDF)
  • Reproductive System Cancer in Men – Information about prostate and other reproductive cancers found in men.
  • Microbial Diseases – Great informational resource about microbial diseases affecting the urinary and reproductive systems, complete with graphic pictures.
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases – Here is an overview on STDs to include prevention information.
  • Congenital Abnormalities – These are problems transmitted by either parent that are genetic in nature.
  • Infertility – Information on the causes and treatment of human infertility.
  • Sexual Dysfunction – That term covers a wide variety of functional problems, from vaginal dryness in women to erectile dysfunction in men. Learn more about the dysfunctions here.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections – STIs are different from STDs, but are transmitted the same way.
  • HIV and AIDS – No information on diseases of the reproductive system would be complete without discussing HIV and AIDS. Learn more about HIV and AIDS here.

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