As mentioned earlier, a conception can occur only inside a woman's body. Here then is the place where sperm and egg have to meet. Their meeting is usually brought about as a result of coitus. This Latin term (literally, going together) refers to the kind of sexual intercourse in which the penis is inserted into the vagina. Other words for coitus are copulation or genital intercourse. The intimate contact of the male and female sex organs during coitus can give both partners great pleasure. The pleasure mounts as their bodies move
The illustration shows the path of the sperm cells from the testicle through the vas deferens. At the end of this journey they are ready to be released through sexual activity. During coitus, the available sperm cells enter the prostate gland where they become part of the semen which is ejaculated into the vagina close to the cervix.
1. Testicle 2. Vas deferens 3. Seminal vesicle 4. Prostate 5. Urethra 6. Seminal pool 7. Cervix
to increase the mutual stimulation. Eventually, pleasure and excitement reach a climax. This climax, which provides relief and deep satisfaction, is called orgasm, and for the man it means the sudden release of his semen from his sex organs into those of the woman. This semen contains the sperm tells. Obviously, the man's orgasm is very important for human reproduction. Only during orgasm can he experience the muscular contractions inside his sex organs that are needed to discharge the semen. This sudden discharge is called ejaculation. Without ejaculation the sperm cells remain inside the man's body. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. It is not impossible for a man to release some sperm in advance of his orgasm and even if the orgasm should eventually fail to occur. (For details, see "Contraception - Withdrawal.")
A woman can, of course, very well become pregnant without having an orgasm. (For details on male and female orgasm, see "The Male Sexual Response." and "The Female Sexual Response.")
It should also be mentioned that modern medical techniques have made it possible to bring sperm and egg together by artificial insemination, i.e., without coitus. (For details, see "Infertility.")