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Reproductive System (The Amazing Human Body) by Lorrie Klosterman

By Lorrie Klosterman

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The sperm’s long tail is used to propel it toward an egg. 39 RE PRODUCTIVE SYSTE M where they will finish a few more steps in maturation. This process goes on continually, with new batches of cells maturing into sperm every few days. A S PE R M’ S JO U R N E Y Sperm must get outside a man’s body to fertilize an egg. To do so, they travel from the epididymis through the ductus deferentia, into the urethra, and out the penis. The male reproductive system is well designed to get sperm moving along this journey when the man is sexually aroused, or sexually excited.

When this happens, the blastocyst is said to be implanted. That marks the beginning of pregnancy. 43 RE PRODUCTIVE SYSTE M T HE PL ACE N TA A unique living organ called the placenta forms during pregnancy. It connects a developing baby to its mother’s uterus, and shuttles everything the baby needs from its mother’s blood supply into its own. The placenta begins to form just a few days after a blastocyst implants in the uterus. The placenta is made by blastocyst cells and endometrial cells. Over the nine months of pregnancy, the placenta grows into a discshaped organ about the size of an adult’s open hand.

60 Problems with the Repro ductive System through which urine leaves the body. A tumor can block the urethra and make it hard for the man to release urine. However, nearly every man’s prostate grows a bit as he ages, without it being cancer. Doctors check for signs of prostate cancer regularly. They feel where the prostate is, to see if it is especially large or oddly shaped. They also check a sample of blood for a chemical called PSA, or prostatic specific antigen. PSA is a protein made by cancer cells of the prostate.

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