reproductive systems

The organs and glands in the body that aid in the production of new individuals (reproduction).

In the male, sperm are produced in the testes and conveyed to the female in a fluid called semen, which passes out of the body through the penis. Other parts of the male reproductive system include the prostate gland, the scrotum, and the urethra.

In the female, the eggs, or ova are produced in the ovaries and released during ovulation into the fallopian tubes about halfway through the menstrual cycle. If fertilization occurs, the resulting zygote travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus, where it implants and continues development. If the ovum is not fertilized, it continues its journey toward the uterus, where it degenerates and is released in the menstrual flow through the vagina during menstruation.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.