What is a Sperm?
Curious for sperm facts? Before we dive into the facts Sperm is a male gamete or a male reproductive cell. They are formed during the process called spermatogenesis. They have a limited lifespan and cannot divide.
Sperms are as needed as ova for the process of reproduction. But we don’t know much (or anything) about sperms. So, today we brought you sperm facts so that you can learn something about sperms. Shall we begin?
Sperm Facts 1-5
1. A sperm contains two parts – a head and a tail. The head part contains a nucleus surrounded by acrosome (a thin sac) which contains the enzymes helpful in penetrating the egg or ovum. Vacuoles are also present.
2. The tail is called the flagellum. It is the longest part. The sperm moves pretty much like a wave because of the tail. Tail also helps sperm in penetrating the egg.
3. There is a small connecting piece called the neck. Neck connects both the head and the tail. It has a centriole and a few mitochondria which help in the production of energy for the movement of sperm through cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes.
4. The quality and quantity of sperm are two parameters of semen quality. These two factors are the yardstick for fertility in men.
5. The quantity, quality, size, and the motility of sperm generally decreases with age.
Sperm Facts 6-10
6. Anton van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to observe the sperm in a microscope in 1677. He described sperms as animalcules.
7. Sperm is not just present in the ejaculate or semen. Sperm are also present in pre-cum or pre-ejaculate, the liquid that is released before semen or ejaculate is ejaculated.
8. So, for the people who rely on the pull out method of intercourse, it is not enough if you withdraw in time. The risk of pregnancy looms high even if you or your partner withdraws in time.
9. The life cycle of sperm doesn’t end after the ejaculate. Sperms can live for five days in the female reproductive system after intercourse. Egg or ovum is fragile and can’t live for more than 24 hours.
10. The production of sperms doesn’t happen overnight. It takes sixty four days on an average to produce sperms. The health and production of sperms depend on the lifestyle of men.
Sperm Facts 11-15
11. The sperms are extremely small and tiny. They measure 0.0005 centimeters. They are one of the smallest cells of the body.
You need a 400x magnification microscope to see sperm. On the contrary, egg cells are of the biggest cells of our body and can be seen with our naked eye.
12. They are small but they are numerous. A healthy man’s single ejaculation contains nearly 280 million sperms. Each day 100 million new sperms are produced.
13. Sperm count varies with ethnicity, location, etc. The sperm count is seen decreasing in western countries. According to a study, average sperm count decreased by 59.3% in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and North America.
14. Lifestyle decisions like smoking can reduce sperm count and optimum intake of vitamin D and other vitamins and minerals have proven to increase sperm count. (PS: Don’t overdo it, consume what is needed for your body.)
15. Many people think that sperm and semen are the same. Semen is sperms plus a fluid secreted by male sex organs.
Sperm Facts 16-20
16. It is a known fact that older women’s eggs are more likely to cause genetic mutations in the children (offspring). This holds true even for males. Sperms of older males are more likely to cause genetic mutations.
17. Sperms swim but they are not great at it. Most of the sperms can’t swim at all. According to studies, sperms move passively towards the egg.
18. If a man loses one testicle (sperm production center), he can still be a father. The other testicle grows a little in size and boosts up sperm production.
19. Sperms can live for two to five days in a woman’s body.
20. Sperm has XY chromosome and an egg has XX chromosome. When sperm fuses with an egg, chromosomes exchange some parts of their chromosomes. But that exchanging happens only with X chromosomes of both sperm and egg.
Sperm Facts 21-25
21. This means the Y chromosome is left untouched. So all the traits governed by the Y chromosome will be similar in father and son duo.
22. Testicles are 7 degrees cooler than our body temperature. It is important for the production of healthy sperms.
23. Women love low pitch voice in men and everyone may think that it is evolutionary in nature that men with low pitch voice are more fertile than men with high pitch voice. According to a study, men with high pitched voices have higher sperm concentration than men with low pitched voice.
24. The thicker the semen, more fertile it is because of the high concentration of sperms.
25. Sperm takes around 5 to 68 minutes to reach the fallopian tube where it fuses with egg.