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The human reproductive system is different in males and females. Learn about human reproductive organs.
This lesson includes:
- two animations to help you understand about human reproductive organs
- two practise activities to help reinforce learning
The human reproductive system is different in males and females.
The male reproductive system
The human male reproductive system contains these parts:
- sperm ducts
The two testes (one of them is called a testis) are contained in a bag of skin called the scrotum. The testes have two functions:
- to produce millions of male gametes (sex cells) called sperm
- to make male sex hormones, which affect the way a man's body develops
Sperm duct and glands
The sperm pass through the sperm ducts, and mix with fluids produced by the glands. The fluids provide the sperm cells with nutrients. The mixture of sperm and fluids is called semen.
Penis and urethra
The penis has two functions:
- to pass urine out of the man's body
- to pass semen out of the man's body
The urethra is the tube inside the penis that can carry urine or semen. A ring of muscle makes sure that there is no chance of urine and semen getting mixed up.
The female reproductive system
The human female reproductive system contains these parts:
The two ovaries (one of them is called an ovary) contain hundreds of undeveloped female gametes (sex cells). These are called ova (one of them is called an ovum) or egg cells. Women have these cells in their bodies from birth, whereas men produce new sperm continually.
Each ovary is connected to the uterus by an oviduct. This is sometimes called a Fallopian tube or egg tube. The oviduct is lined with cilia, which are tiny hairs on cells. Every month, an egg develops, becomes mature and is released from an ovary. The cilia waft the egg along inside the oviduct and into the uterus.
Uterus and cervix
The uterus, also called the womb, is a muscular bag with a soft lining. The uterus is where a baby develops until its birth.
The cervix is a ring of muscle at the lower end of the uterus. It keeps the baby in place while the woman is pregnant.
The vagina is a muscular tube that leads from the cervix to the outside of the woman's body. A man's penis goes into the woman's vagina during sexual intercourse.
Try the activities below to test your knowledge.
Reproductive organs quiz
Try this quiz to test how much you know about the human reproductive organs.
There's more to learn
Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.