Answer the following question.
Which is the function of male accessory glands?
Male accessory glands secrete substances that protect the gametes and facilitate their movement.
1. Seminal vesicles:
These are a pair of small fibromuscular pouches present on the posterior side of the urinary bladder. They secrete a seminal fluid (alkaline) containing citric acid, fructose, fibrinogen and prostaglandins. About 60% of the total volume of semen is made up of seminal fluid.
Fructose provides energy to sperms for swimming, while fibrinogen helps in coagulation of semen after ejaculation for quick propulsion into the vagina. The prostaglandins stimulate reverse peristalsis in the vagina and uterus aiding the faster movement of sperms towards the egg in the female body.
2. Prostate gland:
The prostate gland consists of 20 to 30 lobes and is located under the urinary bladder. It surrounds the urethra. It releases a milky white, alkaline fluid called prostatic fluid into the urethra. Prostatic fluid forms about 30% of the total volume of semen. It contains citric acid, acid phosphatase, and various other enzymes.
The acid phosphatase protects the sperm from the acidic environment of the vagina.
3. Cowper’s glands:
Cowper’s glands are also known as bulbourethral glands. These are pea-sized and lie on either side of membranous urethra. They secrete a viscous, alkaline, mucous like fluid which acts as a lubricant during copulation.
Semen: It is the viscous, alkaline and milky fluid (pH 7.2 to 7.7) ejaculated by the male reproductive system.
Generally, 2.5 to 4.0 ml of semen is given out during a single ejaculation and it contains about 400 million sperms.
Semen contains secretion of the epididymis and the accessory glands for nourishing (fructose), neutralizing acidity (Ca++, bicarbonates), activation for movement (prostaglandins).