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The Sperm Cell: An Overview

When we are young we tend to believe that baby come from the stork and adults who heard it will be giggling and laughing away. As we grown up, we soon realize that in order to make a baby, a sperm cell from the male and egg from the woman is required in order to conceive a baby.

During sexual intercourse, a man's sperm, which is produced by the testes (testicles), is released into a woman's cervix, which "swims" to the fallopian tube. From the millions of sperm cells, one penetrates the egg in a process called fertilization. From there, a single life begins.

But where does the sperm come from? There are millions of sperm produced by your testes (testicles) everyday. Sperm cells undergo the natural cell division which inevitably leads to its maturation. Half of the sperm carries a Y chromosome (inherited from your dad) and an X chromosome (inherited from your mom).

If a Y-carrying sperm fertilizes the woman's egg, the result is a baby girl. If on the other hand, it's the X-carrying sperm which fertilized the egg, then it's a baby boy. During ejaculation, sperm is pumped into the man's vas deferens where fructose, seminal fluids, and other chemicals are secreted.

Your sperm plus other seminal fluids (semen) hurries past the bladder through the urethra and out of your penis. In order for the sperm to enter the woman's cervix, you need to experience erection, orgasm, and ejaculation. An erection takes place when your penis is stimulated or when you have an erotic thought.

There is a sudden rush of blood to the erectile tissue chambers in the penis. This, in turn, engorges the penis making it hardened, enlarged and elevated. With continued stimulation, orgasm and ejaculation ensues. Orgasm, known as the sexual climax, is a pleasurable emotional or psychological response that accompanies ejaculation.

 There are two stages of orgasm: the first one, called the ejaculatory inevitability, takes place two to four seconds before ejaculation. During these crucial seconds, you may be aware that you are about to "come," and you could not do anything to control it. Your seminal vesicles and your prostrate gland begin to throb.

The second stage of orgasm takes place when you involuntarily ejaculate semen in convulsive surges. On average, one teaspoon (2-15 milliliters) of semen is ejaculated containing of 40 to 150 million sperm! The "first squirt" typically contains the largest amount of sperm. Afterwards, you go through a recovery period where you cannot experience another orgasm. This may last several minutes and sometimes for hours.

The Sperm Cell: Quick Overview

What Is Sperm?

A sperm is a very tiny male sex cell. Under a microscope, sperm look just like tadpoles. A sperm cell is needed to fertilize a woman's egg to make a baby. To put it bluntly, you need a sperm cell and egg cell to make a baby. Each sperm cell consists of three parts: a head, middle piece, and tail.

Head Section

An acrosome at the head tip produces enzymes that help penetrate the female ovu.

Middle Section

The middle piece contains mitochondria, structures that provide energy for the sperm.

Tail Section

Centrioles form the tail, which moves the sperm toward the ovum. Sperm swim about 0.12 inches/3mm per hour. They have to wave their tales more than 1000 times just to swim half an inch 1.25 cm.

How Is Sperm Made?

Sperm production needs a temperature which is three to five degrees below body temperature. The scrotum has a built-in thermostat, which keeps the sperm at the correct temperature while they're being stored. Sperm is made in the testes where it takes about 72 days for one sperm to grow. Over the course of a guy's life, he'll produce more than 12 trillion sperm.

How Many Sperm Are Released at a Time?

Every time a guy ejaculates, he releases between 400 and 500 million sperm. The "first squirt" typically contains the largest amount of sperm. The number of sperm in the scrotum will build up if the sperm isn't released for a long time. Eventually some will break up, others will dribble out and wash away when a guy goes to the bathroom.

Half of the sperm carries a Y chromosome which are inherited from your dad and an X chromosome which are inherited from your mom. If on the other hand, it's the X- chromosome sperm which fertilized the egg, then it's a baby boy. If a Y- chromosome sperm fertilizes the woman's egg, the result is a baby girl.

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