What is the Seminal Vesicle? (with pictures)

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Infectons of the seminal vesicles may occur due to infections in the prostate gland.
Infectons of the seminal vesicles may occur due to infections in the prostate gland.

In the male reproductive system, one of the important functions is to produce liquid, called seminal fluid, which accompanies sperm when it travels outside of the body during ejaculation. In many mammal bodies, including those of humans, the majority of this fluid is produced in the seminal vesicle, or more accurately, it is made by the two seminal vesicles. These are glands of a couple inches (approximately five centimeters) in length located behind the bladder. Amount of seminal fluid mammalian species derives from each seminal vesicle with each ejaculation varies, but in humans it runs an average of 60% for both vesicles.

Prostate health may be evaluated via physical examination and ultrasound.
Prostate health may be evaluated via physical examination and ultrasound.

The length of each seminal vesicle is rather deceiving. These glands contain much longer tubules that are compactly folded. The tubules connect to the vas deferens, another tube that receives sperm from other parts of the male reproductive system. The combination of sperm and fluid then become the majority of what is ejaculated, should ejaculation occur.

Some patients suffering from prostate issues may only feel comfortable seeing a male doctor.
Some patients suffering from prostate issues may only feel comfortable seeing a male doctor.

There are several important functions of seminal vesicle fluid, though it is not always necessary for ejaculation or fertility. First, its components blend with seminal fluid produced by the prostate gland, and these two fluids are somewhat opposite on the pH scale. When mixed together, the final result still tends toward higher alkalinity, but provides a closer balance than would be possible if either fluid were present alone.

Regular prostate exams are essential to maintaining good health after reaching the age of 40.
Regular prostate exams are essential to maintaining good health after reaching the age of 40.

Second, seminal vesicle fluid has some important nutrients. One of these is fructose, a sugar, which could provide energy to traveling sperm. Yet it’s been noted that more often than not, early sperm reaching the vagina doesn’t necessarily touch seminal vesicle fluid.

Like many parts of the reproductive system, the function of a seminal vesicle is usually determined by presence of male hormones or steroids such as androgens. Especially at younger ages, before middle age, the higher presence of male hormones increases function of the vesicles. This can correspond to a higher amount of fluid ejaculated. When men age and hormones go into natural decline, ejaculate matter may reduce in volume. Provided ejaculation still occurs and no other problems are present this finding may be insignificant.

There are some health conditions that may affect vesicle function. Infection can occur in one or both glands, and this may require antibiotic treatment or more strident measures. Many times infections of the seminal vesicles occur due to infections in the nearby prostate gland. Rarely, one or both vesicles must be removed due to chronic infections, but this scenario is usually one of last resort.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent InfoBloom contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent InfoBloom contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

JavaGhoul

The seminal vesicle histology appears like a blob fractal, with a large center and an oval-shaped branching out on all sides. These "branches" are important for the secretion of seminal fluid.

arod2b42

Seminal vesicle cysts are quite rare, but this is believed to be due to the fact that men tend to neglect reporting genital issues at an alarming rate. When they occur, they are often associated with ipsilateral renal agenesis. Ipsilateral renal agenesis is unilateral and occurs on the same side of the body as the seminal vesicle cysts. What this means is that a kidney fails to develop on an infant, resulting in a deficiency in amniotic fluid and likely perinatal death. This issue has normally only occurred with children.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Infectons of the seminal vesicles may occur due to infections in the prostate gland.
      Infectons of the seminal vesicles may occur due to infections in the prostate gland.
    • Prostate health may be evaluated via physical examination and ultrasound.
      Prostate health may be evaluated via physical examination and ultrasound.
    • Some patients suffering from prostate issues may only feel comfortable seeing a male doctor.
      Some patients suffering from prostate issues may only feel comfortable seeing a male doctor.
    • Regular prostate exams are essential to maintaining good health after reaching the age of 40.
      Regular prostate exams are essential to maintaining good health after reaching the age of 40.