Anatomy of the Reproductive System


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A longitudinal section of the female reproductive and urinary systems. A tube labeled ureter leads to the urinary bladder which leads to the urethra. The urinary bladder sits just internal to the pubic bone. Just above and behind the urinary bladder is the uterus (an oval shaped structure with a thick wall). Above the uterus is a tube labeled fallopian tube which connects to a small oval ovary. The opening in the uterus is the cervix which leads to the vagina. Behhind this is the rectum which leads to the anus. The external flaps of skin are labeled labium minora and majora. A longitudinal section of the male reproductive and urinary system. A tube at the top is labeled ureter which connects to the urinary bladder, which sits just behind the pubic bone. The bladder leads to a long tube labeled urethra which is in the center of the penis. The vas deferens also feeds into the urethra. The testis has a structure on the top called epididymis which becomes the vas deferens. The seminal vesicles connect to the vas deferens just before it goes through the prostate gland (a structure just below the urinary bladder). The vas deferens connects to the urethra after it passes through the prostate gland.  The rectum and anus are behind all of these structures.
The female reproductive system is located in close proximity to the urinary system. In males, the urethra is shared by the reproductive and urinary systems.

Source: OpenStax Microbiology

OpenStax Microbiology

The male reproductive system is located in close proximity to the urinary system, and the urethra is part of both systems. The testes are responsible for the production of sperm. The epididymis is a coiled tube that collects sperm from the testes and passes it on to the vas deferens. The epididymis is also the site of sperm maturation after they leave the testes. The seminal vesicles and prostate are accessory glands that produce fluid that supports sperm. During ejaculation, the vas deferens releases this mixture of fluid and sperm, called semen, into the urethra, which extends to the end of the penis.

The female reproductive system is located near the urinary system. The external genitalia (vulva) in females open to the vagina, a muscular passageway that connects to the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (the organ where a fertilized egg will implant and develop). The cervix is a common site of infection, especially for viruses that may lead to cervical cancer. The uterus leads to the fallopian tubes and eventually to the ovaries. Ovaries are the site of ova (egg) production, as well as the site of estrogen and progesterone production that are involved in maturation and maintenance of reproductive organs, preparation of the uterus for pregnancy, and regulation of the menstrual cycle.


Parker, N., Schneegurt, M., Thi Tu, A.-H., Forster, B. M., & Lister, P. (n.d.). Microbiology. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at: