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Scrotum and spermatic cord

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to: 

  1. Describe the structure and neurovascular supply of the scrotum. 
  2. Identify the coverings and contents of the spermatic cord.

Watch video

The scrotum is a cutaneous fibromuscular sac composed of thin, pigmented skin and multiple layers of fascia and smooth muscle. The structures contained in the scrotal sac are the testes, epididymis, and lower parts of the spermatic cord. The function of the scrotum is to facilitate the positioning of the testes external to the pelvis. This is fundamental for maintaining the optimal temperature for spermatogenesis, which is several degrees below normal body temperature.

The testis is suspended in the scrotum by the spermatic cord. The spermatic cord is a collection of vessels, nerves, and ducts surrounded by muscle and fascia, that run to and from the testis. Its component layers arise from the deep inguinal ring and inguinal canal, ultimately exiting at the superficial inguinal ring to terminate in the scrotum, at the posterior aspect of the testis. The fascial coverings of the spermatic cord are derived from the anterior abdominal wall, which is explained as the testes 'dragging' the layers of the abdominal wall during their descent into the scrotum during fetal life. Each testis resides in its own compartment, which are separated by a vertical fibrous scrotal septum.

If you want to learn more about the structure of the scrotum and spermatic cord, check our video below!

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the video about the anatomy of the scrotum and spermatic cord, solidify your knowledge by taking the following quizzes.

To challenge yourself further, customize your own quiz to get a broader collection of questions about the male reproductive organs.

Browse atlas

Review all the structures you learned today in the gallery below!


Key points about the scrotum
Contents Testes, epididymis, lower parts of spermatic cords
Layers Skin, dartos fascia (dartos muscle), external spermatic fascia, cremasteric fascia (cremaster muscle) and internal spermatic fascia
Function Maintains optimal temperature for spermatogenesis
Key points about the spermatic cord
Contents Ductus deferens, artery to ductus deferens, testicular artery, pampiniform plexus of veins (testicular veins), cremasteric artery and vein, genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve, autonomic testicular plexus, and lymphatic vessels
Coverings Internal spermatic fascia, cremasteric fascia (cremaster muscle), external spermatic fascia
Function Contains structures running to and from the testis; suspends the testis in the scrotum

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