Scrotum: Anatomy & Function
The scrotal sac is a pouch made up of connective tissue, which contains the testicles. The testes are located at the base of the body (backbone) and produce testosterone and other male hormones.
They also secrete various substances that protect the testes from damage during sexual activity. The scrotum is a protective covering over these organs, designed to prevent injury when erections occur or during ejaculation. The scrotum is divided into two parts: the external part and the internal part.
External Scrotum: The External Scrotum consists of three main regions: the prepuce, the perineum, and the pubic area. These areas contain specialized skin cells called Schwannocytes.
These cells produce special oils that lubricate and protect sensitive tissues such as genitals, urethra, bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes etc., which are covered with hair.
Perineum: The Perineum is the region between the scrotum and groin. It contains glands that secrete mucus, sweat, blood vessels and nerves.
Pubic Area: The Pubic area is a soft tissue structure found just above the genitalia. It includes fat pads, fatty tissue, muscles and nerve endings.
Internal Scrotum: The internal scrotum consists of three layers of skin, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. These layers protect the scrotum from infection and injury.
Testes (Testicles): The paired Testicles are the producer of male reproductive cells. They are oval-shaped organs that consist of muscle tissue and coiled tubes.
The major functions of the testes are to produce sperms and to manufacture male hormones.
Epididymis: The Epididymis is a single, curled up tube. It is coiled inside the scrotum and stores sperms for a short period.
Vas Deferens: The two Vas Deferens are thin tubes. Their primary function is to convey sperms from the epididymis to the urethra.
Seminal Vesicles: The paired Seminal Vesicles are acidic tubes. They secrete an alkaline solution that is needed for the process of ejaculation.
Prostate Gland: The Prostate Gland is a complex male gland found only in men. It surrounds the first portion of the urethra.
Its secretions form part of the fluid content of sperms and it also provides bulk to the seminal fluid.
Bulbourethral Gland: The Bulbourethral Gland is a small gland also known as the Cowper’s Gland. It is located near the base of the man’s penile root.
Its secretions add to the fluid content of sperms and contribute to the seminal fluid.
Semen (Ejaculate): Semen is the term used for the mixture of fluids that spurts out when a man ejaculates. It contains sperms, prostatic fluid, and mucus.
Urethra: The Urethra is a small passage that carries urine from the bladder and flows outside the body during urination. In males, it also carries the ejaculate during an erection and at the time of sexual climax.
Sources & references used in this article:
Sonography of the scrotum by VS Dogra, RH Gottlieb, M Oka, DJ Rubens – Radiology, 2003 – pubs.rsna.org
Imaging of the acute scrotum by P Pavlica, L Barozzi – European radiology, 2001 – Springer
Acute painful scrotum by V Dogra, S Bhatt – Radiologic Clinics, 2004 – radiologic.theclinics.com
The acute scrotum by EJ Kass, B Lundak – Pediatric Clinics of North America, 1997 – Elsevier