Cowper's Gland

Definition - What does Cowper's Gland mean?

Cowper’s gland is a small, pea-sized gland located in a man’s sexual reproductive tract. The Cowper’s gland is responsible for secreting mucus known as “pre-ejaculate.” This mucus neutralizes the acidic residue in the urethra, allowing the sperm to pass through without harm during ejaculation.

Cowper’s gland is also known as the bulbourethral gland.

FertilitySmarts explains Cowper's Gland

A man’s sexual reproductive system is comprised of a series of tubes, glands, and tracts. Within this system, sperm is grown, matured, and transported out during ejaculation. The three primary organs are the penis, the testicles, and the scrotum. They are all located outside of a man’s body. However, internally, a network of tubes connects them.

The epididymis is a long, coiled tube that sits on the back of each testicle. The epididymis is responsible for gathering immature sperm following release from the testes, and growing them into full-developed specimens. The epididymis is also responsible for transporting the sperm to the vas deferens, which occurs during sexual arousal.

The vas deferens is a long, thick tube. At one end it is attached to the epididymis, at the other, the urethra. The vas deferens meets the urethra at the base of the bladder. The urethra is the tube that runs from the bladder and junction with the vas deferens to the tip of the penis. Urine and semen are expelled through the urethra.

Ejaculatory ducts and seminal glands produce and provide semen, the thick, white, tacky fluid that is expelled along with sperm during ejaculation. Prior to ejaculation, arousal spurs the development of pre-ejaculate in the Cowper’s gland. The pre-ejaculate travels through the urethra, and may be noticed leaking from the tip of the penis during arousal. The roll of the pre-ejaculate is to cleanse the track of high acidity traces of urine in preparation for the sperm, as the urine traces would be damaging to the highly fragile sperm.
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