Medical Terminology: Male Reproductive Root Words

By Beverley Henderson, Jennifer Lee Dorsey

If you really want to be able to talk about the male reproductive system, it’s time to learn the necessary medical terminology. To really stretch a metaphor, as the human race needs both male and female reproductive systems in order to survive by creating new life, the medical terms associated with the male reproductive system need both prefixes and suffixes to create new words.

Here is a list of some prefixes and suffixes to know when it comes to male reproductive terminology.

Prefix or Suffix What It Means
-ectomy Surgical removal of
-ism State of
-itis Inflammation
-megaly Enlargement
-orrhea Excessive discharge
-pexy Surgical fixation
-plasty Surgical repair of
Hydro- Water, fluid
Trans- Through, across, beyond

And now for the glue that holds these medical terms together. Take a look at the root words and combining forms that pertain to this system.

Root Word What It Means
Andr/o Male
Balan/o Glans penis
Cry/o Cold
Crypt/o Hidden
Epididym/o Epididymis
Genit/o Genitals, reproductive organs
Gonad/o Gonads
Orch/o, orchi/o, orchid/o Testis, testicle
Phall/o Phallus, penis
Prostat/o Prostate gland
Scrot/o Scrotum
Sperm/o Spermatozoon
Spermat/o Spermatozoa
Test/o, testicul/o Testis, testicle
Urethr/o Urethra
Vas/o Vessel or duct, vas deferens
Vesic/o Bladder
Vesicul/o Seminal vesicles