What You Need To Know About Male Sexual Development
The preparation for spermatogenesis starts in the mother’s womb. In the beginning, both male and female fetuses have similar reproductive structures. But as the fetus continues to develop, the male fetus gets testosterone, which promotes male reproductive system formation. It also causes regression of the apparatus for female reproductive organs.
At the time of puberty, men undergo two types of sexual developments:
Primary Male Sexual Development
This sexual development includes the growth of primary sexual organs, including the growth and descent of the testes and the growth of the penis.
The testes develop inside the pelvis of a male fetus. Around the 7th month of gestation, they descend into the scrotum. Some male children are born with undescended testicles. Typically, these testes should come down by 4 to 6 months of age. However, if they remain undescended after this time, it can impact male fertility and may require treatment.
Secondary Male Sexual Development
The secondary sexual characteristics are those that develop during puberty. These features indicate sexual maturity and include:
- Body hair patterns in males (hair in armpits, chest, pubic, and abdominal area)
- Deepening of voice
- Facial hair growth
- Enlargement of Adam’s apple
- Growth spurts leading to an increase in weight, muscle mass, and height
- Heavier bone structure
- Increased oil secretion, often manifesting as acne.
Underdeveloped secondary development may be the first sign of male infertility, and may indicate a need for male fertility testing.