tube that connects a testicle to a vas deferens

The epididymis is the part of the human male reproductive system. It is the tube that holds the testicles in place. It stretches from the back of each testicle to the van deferens.

Adult human testicle with epididymis: A. Head of epididymis, B. Body of epididymis, C. Tail of epididymis, and D. Vas deferens
The right testis, exposed by laying open the tunica vaginalis.
PrecursorWolffian duct
VeinPampiniform plexus
Anatomical terminology

Parts change

The dinges is made up of three parts:

  • The head (Caput)
  • The body (Corpus)
  • The tail (Cauda)

Uses change

Sperm made in the testis go into the head (caput) of the epididymis, go through the body (corpus) and stop at the tail (cauda), where they are stored. When sperm are first made and travel to the head, they are not yet ready to be ejaculated. They cannot swim or fertilize an egg. By the time they reach the tail, the sperm can fertilize an egg. The sperm are transferred to the Seminal visicle through the vas deferens. The sperm can not swim yet, so muscle contractions push the sperm to the seminal vesicle where final development is finished. .[1]

When the sperm are ejaculated, they move through the tail of the epididymis. There are so many sperm that they cannot swim, but use peristalsis from muscles in the vas deferens.

Disease change

An injury or infection of the epididymis causes epididymitis, a painful condition that can take months to heal. Sometimes the testicle has to be removed. There does not seem to be any single cause, or treatment for this condition. Some doctors treat it with antibiotics, some take a "wait and see" attitude. At times just one testicle is affected and at others, both.

Removal change

Sometimes males get their epididymis removed either as a form of birth control or for other reasons (such as for post-vasectomy pain syndrome) in a surgery known as an epididymectomy.[2][3][4]

Pictures change

References change

  1. Jones R (1999). "To store or mature spermatozoa The primary role of the epididymis". Int J Androl. 22 (2): 57–67. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2605.1999.00151.x. PMID 10194636. abstract Archived 2006-02-12 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Malone, Erin; DVM; PhD; Norton, Elaine; PhD, D. V. M.; Dobbs, Erica; DVM; Ezzo, Ashley; DVM. Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes. University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing – via open.lib.umn.edu.
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12469230_Epididymectomy_is_an_effective_treatment_for_scrotal_pain_after_vasectomy
  4. Chen, T. F.; Ball, R. Y. (1991). "Europe PMC". British Journal of Urology. 68 (4): 407–413. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410x.1991.tb15362.x. PMID 1933163.