7 Weird & Fascinating Things About The Male Reproductive System You Never Knew
If you're a woman, you might think you know all there is to know about the female reproductive system, but you also might realize that you don't know all that much — beyond the general basics — about the male reproductive system. Sure, you learned the general makeup of the male and female reproductive systems years ago in science or health classes and you feel pretty confident that you know how they work, but there are also some weird and fascinating things about the male reproductive system you never knew, or, at least, that most people probably don't know all that much about.
The human body is an amazing thing, but if there are things about your own body that you're not entirely clear on (and there almost certainly are), you can pretty much bet that there are also things about other bodies that are a little bit of a mystery to you. Some of the weirder facts about the male reproductive system in particular and the human body in general might just be things that you'd never even considered possible or true before. Others really are so fascinating that they serve as a reminder that the human body is even more complex than you might've thought — and that there's so much more you have to learn about it.
1. They Have A Pelvic Floor
Most women are probably well-aware that they have a pelvic floor. Childbirth stretches it out and there are all sorts of exercises that specifically target those muscles. Men have pelvic floors too, however.
"The first thing that comes to mind is how surprised my female patients and friends are when they find out that I treat men," Dr. Rachel Gelman, DPT, PT, the clinic director at Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco and a pelvic floor physical therapist, tells Romper in an email exchange. "They are often shocked when I say 'well, men have pelvic floors too.' The muscles inside the pelvis are pretty much the same for men and women, the only difference being the external genitalia and that men have a prostate instead of a uterus."
2. Sperm Is The Smallest Cell In A Human Body
The male reproductive system is home to the smallest cell in a human body. Live Science reported that sperm cells only measure five micrometers by three micrometers (excluding the "tail"), making them the smallest cells in any human body.
3. Each Penis Started As A Clitoris
Salon reported that Tom Hickman, the author of God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis, wrote that before male babies experience the increase of hormones that allows a penis to develop, the cells start as a clitoris. That might be something you didn't know before.
4. They Can Also Experience Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Just like women can experience pelvic floor dysfunction, which many people associate with postpartum life, so too can men. "[M]en can experience the same symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction as women, including pain with sex (ejaculation, erections, etc), urinary dysfunction, including incontinence, bowel dysfunction and pelvic pain," Gelman says. "Many people think those symptoms are 'women problems,' and they are truly feminist since they can affect both genders."
You may not have heard that men can also deal with pelvic floor dysfunction and the symptoms that can go along with it, but Gelman says that that's probably because men are very embarrassed by these symptoms, so they're not as forthcoming about dealing with them.
5. Some Men Go Through "Male Menopause"
Though "male menopause" and menopause that women experience are different, some men do go through a sort of menopause-like change. While some healthy men produce sperm for basically the entirety of their lives, other men's hormone production might start to slow, as the Cleveland Clinic website noted. This reduction in hormone production can sometimes be related to a certain health condition.
6. Men With High-Pitched Voices Might Have Better-Quality Sperm
You might think that the pitch of a man's voice and the quality of his sperm might not have much to do with each other — or that lower-pitched voices mean better sperm. In the aforementioned article, however, Live Science reported that in 2012, researchers found that men with higher-pitched voices had better-quality sperm.
7. Men Can Actually Break Their Penises
Although some TV shows and movies use a broken penis as a comedic storyline (Schmidt in New Girl, for example), it actually really is possible for a man to break his penis while he has an erection. In the previously-mentioned article, Salon reported that Hickman wrote that the majority of broken penises occur during rough sex and that the only real thing that you can do is use a splint and get lots and lots of rest.
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