Difference Between Male and Female Reproductive System

The main difference between male and female reproductive system is that male reproductive system produces and delivers sperms to the female reproductive system whereas female reproductive system facilitates fertilization and develops the baby. Furthermore, penis, scrotum, seminal vesicles, vas deferens, prostate, and Cowper’s gland are the structures of the male reproductive system while vagina, cervix, uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and mammary gland are the main structures in the female reproductive system.

Male and female reproductive systems are the organ systems responsible for the production of gametes, fertilization, and development of the embryo into a new individual in higher animals.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Male Reproductive System
     – Definition, Structure, Role
2. What is Female Reproductive System
     – Definition, Structure, Role
3. What are the Similarities Between Male and Female Reproductive System
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Male and Female Reproductive System
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Female Reproductive System, Function, Male Reproductive System, Ova, Sperms, Structure

Difference Between Male and Female Reproductive System - Comparison Summary

What is Male Reproductive System

Male reproductive system is the organ system of males that helps in the production of male gametes called sperms. It is composed of a group of organs located outside the body around the pelvic region. Based on the function, the parts of the male reproductive system can be divided into three.  

  1. Sperm production and storage –The production of sperms takes place inside the testes housed inside the scrotum. The production process of sperms is called spermatogenesis. The immature sperms travel through the epididymis for further development and storage.
  2. Production of ejaculatory fluid – The glands that produce ejaculatory fluids are the prostate, seminal vesicles, and vas deferens.
  3. Copulation and deposition of sperms – Penis, urethra, vas deferens and Cowper’s gland are responsible for the copulation and deposition of sperms in the female reproductive system.
    Difference Between Male and Female Reproductive System

    Figure 1: Male Reproductive System

The scrotum is outside the body. The outer layer of the scrotum contains a fat layer that serves as an insulator. The lower temperature outside keeps the sperm healthy. The heat produced by the internal body can damage the sperms.

What is Female Reproductive System

The female reproductive system is the organ system of the females, nurturing the baby. The three main parts of the female reproductive system are;

  1. Vagina – Leads from the vulva to the uterus. The vulva includes the labia, clitoris, and urethra. Bartholin’s glands produce mucus, lubricating the vulva and vagina. The vagina is attached to the uterus through the cervix.
  2. Uterus and ovaries – Ovaries produce ova and release by an ovum to the Fallopian tubes every 28 days. The ovum travels to the uterus through the Fallopian tubes. Fertilization occurs inside the Fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg attaches to the endometrium. The uterus holds the developing fetus.
  3. Mammary glands – produce milk to feed the baby.
    Main Difference - Male and Female Reproductive System

    Figure 2: Female Reproductive System

Similarities Between Male and Female Reproductive System

  • Male and female reproductive systems are responsible for the production of gametes, fertilization, and the development of the embryo into a new individual.
  • Both systems are located around the pelvic region.
  • They produce gametes.
  • Infertility, infections, cancers, autoimmune disorders, and genetic abnormalities are the diseases associated with both types of reproductive systems.

Difference Between Male and Female Reproductive System

Definition

Male reproductive system refers to the collection of male genital organs concerned with reproduction while female reproductive system refers to both internal and external structures of females which enable reproduction.

Designed for

Male reproductive system is designed for the delivery of sperms into the female reproductive system while the female reproductive system is designed for nurturing a baby. This is the main difference between male and female reproductive system.

Location

Most parts of male reproductive system occur outside the body while every part of the female reproductive system occurs inside the body.

Structure

The components of the male reproductive system are the penis, scrotum, seminal vesicles, vas deferens, prostate, and Cowper’s gland while the components of female reproductive system are the vulva, clitoris, perineum, vagina, cervix, uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and mammary gland are the main structures in the female reproductive system.

Gonads

Male gonads are the testes, which are located outside the body while female gonads are the ovaries that are located inside the body.

Urethra

Male urethra conducts both urine and semen while female urethra occurs separately from the vaginal opening.

Hormones

The hormones produced by the male reproductive system are GnRH, LH, FSH, and testosterone while the hormones produced by the female reproductive system are GnRH, LH, FSH, estrogen, and progesterone.

Hormone Production

Males have a continuous production of hormones while females have a cyclic production of hormones, which causes menstruation.

Function

The functions of the male reproductive system are the production of sperms and delivering sperms into the female reproductive system while the function of the female reproductive system is producing ova, receiving sperms, facilitating fertilization, and supporting and nourishing the growing embryo.

Production of Gametes

Male reproductive system continuously produces gametes while the production of gametes stops with menopause in females. Hence, males are fertile throughout their lifetime from puberty. But, females are fertile until menopause.

Number of Gametes

Males produce one billion sperms per month while females produce a single ovum per month.

Conclusion

The main function of the male reproductive system is to produce and deliver sperms into the female reproductive system while the main function of the female reproduction system is to produce ova, receive sperms, facilitate fertilization, and develops the embryo into a new individual. Therefore, the main difference between male and female reproductive system is their main function.

Reference:

1. “Overview of the Reproductive System.” Lumen|Boundless Anatomy and Physiology, Open SUNY Textbooks, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “Male anatomy en” By Male_anatomy.png: alt.sex FAQderivative work: Tsaitgaist (talk) – Male_anatomy.png (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia     
2. “Blausen 0732 PID-Sites” By BruceBlaus – Own work, (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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