What‘s the Function of the Scrotum in Reproduction?

The scrotum is part of the male reproductive system and is a thin sac of skin that is located externally. There are two compartments in the scrotum and each one contains one of the testes as well as one of the two epididymides. The testes produce sperm and the epididymides store them. The scrotum is located right in front of a man’s anus and directly behind his penis. This skin of scrotum has more pigment than is found in the surrounding areas and also contains many sweat and sebaceous glands. What is scrotum's role in the reproductive process? What structure makes this function possible?


Function of Scrotum

Inside the scrotum are the testicles (testes) in addition to many blood vessels and nerves. The scrotum is the body’s way of controlling the climate of the testes.

1. Control Temperature to Protect Sperm

Biologists believe that the primary function of the scrotum is to maintain the desired temperature for the sperms. They should consistently be at a temperature that is slightly cooler than the rest of the body. The ideal scrotum temperature in humans is around 35 to 36 degrees Celsius (which is 95 to 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit). When this temperature is compared to the normal body temperature, 37 degrees Celsius (which is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the slight decrease becomes obvious. This temperature is necessary because any higher temperature will cause the sperm count to go down.

The scrotum is able to control the temperature by changing the distance between the testicles and the abdomen. When the room temperature is warm, the scrotum moves the testes farther from the abdomen. This increases the amount of surface area that is exposed and therefore helps any excess heat dissipate faster. When the temperature is cold, the scrotum will move the testicles closer to a person’s abdomen. Movements in either direction are controlled by the relaxation and contraction of the cremaster muscle within the abdomen as well as the dartos fascia within the scrotum.

2. Protect Testes and Guarantee Maturing of Sperm Before Discharge

Another function of scrotum is to help protect the testes. This in turn makes sure that the sperm within will have sufficient time to mature before they are discharged. Some biologists have pointed out that if the testes were found in the abdominal cavity instead of their actual location, they would experience regular changes in terms of pressure within the abdomen. These changes in pressure would be due to the abdominal muscles contracting and relaxing. The problem is that if this were to occur, the testes would empty much faster so the sperm would not have enough time to fully mature.

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