Within the male reproductive system, the epididymis and the vas deferens make up the duct system of the male reproductive organs. These ducts are connected to the testicles. The epididymis is a set of two coiled tubes (one for each testicle) that connects the testicle directly to the vas deferens.
The epididymis has three parts. Near the top of the testicles is the head of the epididymis, which stores newly created sperm until they are ready to undergo maturation. Next is the body, a long, twisted tube where the sperm matures. This maturation takes approximately one week, as sperm travel through the tube. Last is the tail, which connects to the vas deferens. From here, the sperm is transported to the ejaculatory duct and out of the body.
The epididymis is a little known but well-researched part of the male reproductive system. Sperm’s maturation in the epididymis is also a long, complicated process that can be interrupted to render sperm non-functional, and thus create a reversible contraceptive for men.
Researchers at Eppin Pharma are creating a drug to be used as a male contraceptive that impacts a target expressed in the epididymis. Their drug could be used daily, or potentially just before sex to contracept.
Learn more about safe reversible non-hormonal male contraceptive methods here.
Nuts & Bolts: Epididymis
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