What is the purpose of the reproductive system?


Quick Answer

Male and female reproductive systems foster egg production and maturation, allowing humans to procreate, according to TeensHealth. Both systems produce gametes, or sex cells; the male gamete is sperm, which fertilizes the female gamete, or ovum. The fertilized ovum becomes a zygote and progresses through several states of physical development while inside a woman's uterus.

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Full Answer

The male reproductive system contains internal and external organs, including the testicles, penis, scrotum, urethra, seminal vesicles and prostate gland. The testicles are located inside the scrotum and produce sperm and testosterone hormones, according to WebMD. Testosterone drives the physical development of the male body during puberty, such as voice changes, enhanced muscle mass and facial hair growth. The epididymis and vas deferens are male ductal organs that carry matured sperm from the testes to the urethra. The prostrate gland releases fluid that mixes with sperm, and when men ejaculate, semen flows through the urethra to the penis and out of the body.

Female reproductive organs are entirely internal and mainly consist of the vagina, ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes, according to TeensHealth. Eggs are nurtured in the ovaries and released into the fallopian tubes during ovulation. Sperm ejaculated into a woman's body may fertilize a matured egg, creating a zygote. The fertilized egg rests in the uterine lining and absorbs nutrients as it grows from an embryo to a human child. When the egg is not fertilized, the body ejects uterine blood and tissue matter during menstruation.

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