In the epididymis mature the sperm and are stored until ejaculation. Read more about the epididymis!


The epididymis (Epididymis, Parorchis) belong to the male sex organs and lie on the back surface of the testicle. They are the maturation site for the sperm cells that are formed in the testicles. In addition, the sperm are stored in the epididymis until the next ejaculation. Read all important information about the epididymis: function, anatomy and important diseases!

What are the epididymides?

The epididymis (epididymis, plural: epididymids) are - as well as the testicles - paired, each lying on the back of a testicle and are fused with him. They consist of a broad head (caput) that projects beyond the upper pole of the testicle, a narrower body (corpus) attached to the back surface of the testicles, and a slender tail (cauda) that passes backwards into the vas deferens. The length is five to six centimeters. Together with the testicles, the epididymis are covered by peritoneum.

The immature sperm cells, which are formed in the testes, pass through 12 to 15 tortuous ducts (efferent testicular ducts) in the epididymal head into a strongly serpentine tube, the epididymal duct (ductus epididymidis). It forms the body and tail of the epididymis and goes over at the tail end in the at first still strongly tortuous vas deferens (ductus deferens).

What is the function of the epididymis?

In the epididymis gangrene, the spermatozoa mature to "finished" sperm and are also stored here until they emerge from the urethra together with the seminal vesicle secretion during ejaculation via the vas deferens (ductus deferens). This secretion also ensures that the sperm become mobile - in the acidic environment of the epididymis (pH value of 6.5) they are namely motionless.

Where are the epididymides?

The two epididymides are in the scrotum of the back and the upper pole of the testicles. They are surrounded by a finger-shaped protuberance of the peritoneum, which reverts to a remnant around the testicles and epididymis shortly before birth.

What problems can the epididymis cause?

Epididymitis is mainly associated with inflammation of the prostate or urinary tract. It must be treated, otherwise infertility threatens.

When the inflammation spreads to the spermatic cord, it is called an epididymodeferentitis. In a concomitant testicular and epididymitis, doctors talk in summary of an epididymoorchitis.

About ten percent of all tumors in the testicle area are Tumors of the epididymis. Most of them are benign.

A spermatocele (seminal fracture) is a bulging-elastic cyst on the epididymis or spermatic cord, in which sperm are retained.

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