Male Fertility & Sexual Health Dictionary

Simple, accurate, and easy to understand male fertility & sexual health dictionary. Clarify technical words like teratospermia, varicocele and azoospermia.

Acrosome: Protein “hat” that covers the head of the sperm that allows it to penetrate the egg.

Acrosome reaction : A process where the acrosome “the sperm’s hat” fuses with the egg which allows the sperm to penetrate the egg.

Anabolic steroids‎ : Drugs that mimic testosterone. Commonly used by body builders to gain lean muscle mass.

Androgen: Hormone or drug that controls the development of male characteristics (body hair, increased muscle mass, etc)

Androgen Receptor: A protein that is on the surface of cells in the body that binds to androgen and causes the cell to “turn on male genes.”

Androgen replacement therapy: Hormone treatments often proscribed for hypogonadism or “low T”

Andrology: Medical specialty that deals with men’s mealth, particularly men’s sexual and reproductive health.

Andropause: Male menopause, dropping levels of testosterone that occurs naturally as part of aging process

Androsterone: A weak androgen that has 1/7 the potency of testosterone

Anejaculation: The condition of being unable to ejaculate

Aneuploidy: Abnormal number of chromosomes that causes genetic disorders like Turner’s syndrome and Down’s syndrome

Anorchia: Disorder where a baby is born without testes.

Aposthia: A rare condition where a baby is born without a foreskin

Aromatase: An enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen.

Aspermia: Complete lack of semen (not necessarily sperm cells) that can be caused by retrograde ejaculation or ejaculatory duct obstruction.

Asthenozoospermia : Condition where sperm that has low motility

Azoospermia: Absence of sperm

Balantis: Inflammation of the penis

Balanoposthitis: Inflammation of the foreskin

Bifid penis: A rare congental defect where a baby is born with a double penis

Blood-testis Barrier: A layer of cells that seperates blood from the part of the testis where baby sperm cells develop

Bulbourethral glands: Produces a clear liquid known as pre-ejaculate which lubricates the urethra

Carcinoma of the penis: Penis cancer

Capacitation: Just before fertilizing the egg, the sperm sheds all its food stores and makes a dash for it

Chordee: A condition where the head of the penis curves downward or upward

Circumcision: Surgical removal of the foreskin

Corpus Spongiosum: Erection puts pressure on the urethra, the main channel in the penis. The corpus spongiosum prevents it from pinching, keeping the pipe open for ejaculation.

Couvade syndrome: Also called “sympathetic pregnancy” is a condition where men experience symptoms of pregnancy along side their partner.

Cowper’s Gland: Another name for bulbourethral gland,

Cremaster muscle: The muscle that raises and lowers the testes in response to temperature. Drawing them up when it is cool and letting them hang freely when warm.

Cremasteric reflex: A reflex that causes the cremaster muscle to contract and pull up the testicle when the inner theigh is stroked

Cryopreservation: Freezing cells – such as eggs, sperm or embryos – to use later. Often used for sperm donation and fertility preservation.

Cryptorchidism: Medical term for undecended testicles

Deferentectomy: Commonly known as a vasectomy, is a surgery that cuts the vas deferens preventing sperm from being ejaculated

Dihydrotestosterone: (DHT) A potent form of testosterone.

Diphallia: Rare condition where a baby is born with two penises

Ductus deferens: Another name for the vas deferens

Ectopic testis: A testicle that has not decended properly and ended up in a strange place

Ejaculation : Ejection of semen

Ejaculatory duct: A group of tubes and glands that prepare semen for ejaculation.

Ejaculatory duct obstruction: Blockage of the ejaculatory duct which can cause male infertility, aspermia, azoospermia or very low volumes of semen

Epididymectomy: Surgical removal of the epididymis

Epididymis: A 19 – 22 ft long tightly coiled tube that stores sperm.

Epididymitis: One of common causes of scrotal pain in adult men (besides being kicked in the balls)

Epispadias: A rare malformation of the penis where the hole is on the shaft rather than the tip

Erection: The stiffening of the penis during arousal

Erectile dysfunction: The inability to develop or maintain an erection

Estradiol: A form of estrogen

Follicle-stimulating hormone: (FHS) A hormone that encourages sperm cells to multiply

Foreskin : piece of skin that covers the head of the penis

Frenulum: Tissue that connects the foreskin to the head of the penis that helps the forskin contract

Genitourinary medicine: The branch of medicine that deals with sexually-transmitted diseases

Glans: The head of the penis

Globozoospermia: A condition where the sperm do not develop acrosomes, or protein hats, necessary for penetrating the egg

Gynecomastia: The medical term for man boobs

Hamster zona-free ovum test: A test to see if sperm have the ability to penetrate an egg

Hematocele: A condition when blood collects around the testicle

Hirsuties coronae glandis: Little, naturally occurring, bumps on the ridge around the head of the penis

Human chorionic gonadotropin: A hormone produced by a fertilized egg which is detected by pregnancy tests

Hydrocele: The collection of water around the testicle

Hyperactivation: Super high motility of sperm to help penetrate egg

Hypogonadism: Low T

Hypospadias: A birth defect where the urethra doesn’t open at the tip of the penis but rather on the underside or even at the base.

Hypospermia: Condition where a man has an unusually low amount of semen

Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis: Cooperation between glands in brain and testicles to produce hormones necessary for reproduction

Intracervical insemination: (ICI) The easiest form of artificial insemination where semen is injected at the entrance of the cervix

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) Artificial insemenation where semen is injected directly into the uterus.

In vitro fertilization: (IVF) A high tech method of conceveiving where the woman’s eggs are harvested and mixed with sperm in a dish to produce an embryo which is placed back into the uterus.

Klinefelters syndrome: A genetic disorder where men have an extra X chromosome which can lead to Low T and or reduced fertility.

Leydig Cell: The cells in the testicle responsible for producing testosterone.

Libido: Sex drive or overall desire to have sex.

Lobules of testis: Supporting tissue in the testicle

Luteinizing Hormone: (LH) Hormone that tells the testicle to produce testosterone

Male genital neoplasia: Forms of cancer that attack the male reproductive tract

Male Reproductive Tract : All parts of the male body give him the ability to have children

Microorchidism: A genetic disorder that causes abnormally small testicles

Micropenis: An unusually small penis (less than 3 in) found in approximately 1 out of 200 men.

Monorchism: The condition where a man only has a single testicle which can happen due to birth defect or as a result of cancer or injury

Morphology: The shape and structure of sperm.

Nilutamide: A medication used to treat prostate cancer that blocks testosterone

Nocturnal penile tumescence: The medical term for night wood.

Oligozoospermia: Medical term for low sperm count

Orchitis: Inflammation of the testicle

Orchidometer: A medical instrument used to measure the volume of the testicle

Pampiniform venous plexus: A network of small veins in the scrutum

Paraphimosis: A medical condition where the foreskin gets trapped behind the glans.

Penile agenesis: A birth defect where a baby boy is born without a penis.

Penile fracture: The rupture of supporting tissue in the penis that occurs when too much force is applied to an erect penis.

Penis : Male sexual organ

Per cutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA)

Peyronie’s disease: Chronic inflammation of supportive tissue in the penis that can cause pain, abnormal curvature, erectile dysfunction and reduction in size

Phimosis: A medical condition where the foreskin can’t be fully retracted over glans

Polyorchidism: A rare condition where a man has more than two testicles

Premature ejaculation: A condition where a man ejaculates sooner than he would like to (usually under 2 minutes)

Preputial Mucosa: Inside of the foreskin

Priapism: A painful condition where an erection lasts longer than 4 hours

Prolactin: Versitile hormone that is involved with a number of reproductive activities in both men and women. High levels of prolactin have been linked with low T and erectile dysfunction

Prostate cancer: Cancer that develops in the prostate commonly developing in men over 50

Prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate gland

Prostatomegaly: Medical term for enlarged prostate

Retrograde ejaculation: A condition where semen is ejaculated “backwards.” Instead of exiting out of the penis, it goes into the bladder.

Semen : White liquid ejaculated from man.

Semen Analysis: The clinical test that exams the quality of semen

Semen Quality : The health / fertilty of semen

Seminal vesicles: Secrete the majority of seminal fluid.

Seminiferous Tubules: Small tubes in the testicles responsible for creating sperm

Sertoli Cell: Cells in the testicle that “nurse” young sperm and help them develop

Sertoli cell-only syndrome: A condition that causes a man to be sterile

Smegma: Gunk that collects under the foreskin

Sperm : Cells that fertilize eggs to make babies

Spermatic Cord: A cord that contains nerves, tubes and blood vessels that connects the testicle to the rest of the body.

Sperm granulomas: A lump of sperm that can build up internally in vasectomized men

Sperm motility: The ability of sperm to swim

Spermatocele: A harmless cyst in the testicle that can contain sperm

Spermatocyte : Baby Sperm

Spermatogenesis: The process of creating new sperm

Spermatid : Teenage Sperm

Spermatozoa: Scientific name for sperm

Spermatogonium : Cells that make sperm

Spermatogenesis : Creation of sperm

Spermatotoxins: Chemicals that are toxic to sperm

Testicles: Balls

Testicular atrophy: Medical term for conditions that shink your balls

Testicular cancer: With 7,500 – 8,000 diagnosis a year, testicular cancer most common form of cancer found in men from 20 – 39

Testicular microlithiasis: An unusual condition where tiny bumps (detectable by ultrasound) develop in the testicle.

Testicular torsion: Occurs when the spermatic cord gets twisted and cuts off blood supply to the testicle.

Testicular toxins: Known toxins that affect testicle health and fertility

Testosterone : Hormone responsible for growth of baby sperm and sex characteristics of men such as hairiness and deep voice

Teratozoospermia: Condition where a large portion of sperm have abnormal shape

Thyroid-stimulating hormone: (TSH) Hormone responsible for metabolism

Tumescence: The medical word for getting a hard on.

Tunica Vaginalis: Tissue that surrounds the testicle

Tunica Albuginea: Supportive tissue found in the penis and testicle

Urology: The branch of medicine that focuses on the male reproductive organs and the male and female urinary tracts

Varicocele: The enlargement of veins in and around the testicle which can contribute to sub-fertility in men

Vas Deferens: The main tube that transports sperm from the testicle to the penis in preparation for ejaculation.

Vasectomy: A surgery to sterilize men that usually involves cutting the vas deferens so that sperm is unable to get transported out of the testicle.

Vasectomy reversal : A surgury to rejoin the vas deferens and regain fertility.

Vasoepididymostomy: Vasectomy reversal procedure

Vasovasostomy : Vasectomy reversal procedure

Sara SDx

Sara SDx

Editor of Don't Cook your Balls, Co-Founder of, Health Coach and Men's Health Advocate. Passionate about sperm, men's health and helping people build their families.
Sara SDx

Author: Sara SDx

Editor of Don't Cook your Balls, Co-Founder of, Health Coach and Men's Health Advocate. Passionate about sperm, men's health and helping people build their families.

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