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Cowper`s(Bulbourethral) glands The bulbourethral, or Cowper`s, glands, are two small structures about the size of peas, which are located below the prostate gland. They are composed of many tubes whose linings secrete a fluid that is released in response to sexual stimulation to provide some lubrication to the end of the penis in preparation for sexual intercourse. Most of the lubricating, however, is provided by the female reproductive organs. Ductus Deferens The ductus deferens (also called the vas deferens) is a muscular tube that begins at the lower end of the epididymis and passes upward along the side of the testis to become part of the spermatic cord. It passes through the inguinal canal, enters the abdominal cavity, and courses over the pelvic brim. From there, it extends back into the pelvic cavity, where it ends behind the urinary bladder. Near its termination, it becomes dilated into a portion called the ampulla. Just outside the prostate gland, the tube becomes slender again and unites with the duct of a seminal vesicle. The fusion of these two ducts forms an ejaculatory duct, which passes through the substance of the prostate gland and empties into the urethra through a slit-like opening. Penis The penis is the external sex organ of the male through which both urine and semen pass. It consists of three cylinder-shaped bodies of spongy tissue filled with tiny blood vessels, which run the length of the organ. Two of these bodies lie side by side in the upper portion of the penis. The third is a tube which lies centrally beneath the others and expands at the end to form the tip of the penis, which is called the glans. The penis transfers sperm to the woman`s body during sexual intercourse and is a duct for the disposal of fluid waste. The penis becomes erect during sexual excitement, because extra blood is pumped into spongy tissues, resulting in enlargement and hardening which allows penetration into the female organ. The head of the penis is called the glans and is normally covered with a protective, retractable skin or hood. This skin is often cut off at birth, or circumcised, and it is believed that its removal lessens risk of cancer and bacterial infections. At the center of the penis is a tube which carries urine from the bladder and semen from the prostate gland, called the urethra. During sexual intercourse, reflexes prevent urine from entering this duct and alkaline solutions are produced and secreted to flush out any traces of urine from the urethra before semen is secreted. Prostate Gland The prostate gland is a solid, chestnut-shaped organ surrounding the first part of the urethra (tube which carries the urine and semen) in the male. It produces secretions which form a part of the semen. The prostate gland lies just under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It consists of two main zones: the inner zone, which produces secretions to keep the lining of the male urethra moist, and the outer zone, which produces seminal fluids to facilitate the passage of semen into the female. The urethra is a two-stemmed duct leading from the bladder and from the prostate gland into the penis. The word, aphrodisiac, is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and sexual pleasure. The ancient Greeks thought honey would produce an increase in sexual powers and they believed the same of the hair from a wolf`s tail and ground snake bones. The French used an aphrodisia which they called the love apple actually a tomato. Today, the hope lies in oysters. Sadly, the fallacy that a ground rhinoceros horn will help in this plight has put this animal on the endangered species list. Actually, aphrodisiacs are in the mind and operate only by the power of suggestion if at all. Testicles The scrotum is a sac that hangs under the penis and holds the testes. It is divided internally into two halves by a membrane; each half containing a testis. It has an outer layer of thin, wrinkled skin over a layer of tissue which contains muscle. The testicle lies inside the scrotum and produces as many as 12 trillion sperm in a male`s lifetime, about 400 million of which are ejaculated in one average intercourse. Each sperm takes about seventy-two days to mature and its maturity is overseen by a complex interaction of hormones. The scrotum has a built-in thermostat, which keeps the sperm at the correct temperature. It may be surprising that the testicles should lie in such a vulnerable place, outside the body, but it is too hot inside. The sperm production needs a temperature which is three to five degrees below body temperature. If it becomes too cool on the outside, the scrotum will contract to bring the testes closer the body for warmth.