reproductive systems

Cultural Dictionary

reproductive systems definition


The organs and glands in the body that aid in the production of new individuals (reproduction). (See illustrations below and next page.)

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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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