Sperm cells are actually compressed “packages” of DNA with a tail, and their purpose is to inseminate an egg to produce pregnancy.
Millions of sperm cells are created in the testicles every day, but it takes them a long time to reach maturation. The process of producing sperm cells in the body is a long process that takes about three months. A combined activity of the hormones FSH and testosterone is required for the sperm cells to mature and be released.
The man begins to produce sperm in early adolescence and continues throughout his life. The sperm count and quality gradually decline, and depend on various health and environmental factors.
Sperm cells need a regulated temperature to survive, so the scrotum keeps the testicles out of the body, and helps regulate their temperature. Once the sperm cells are formed in the testicle they move to the epididymis, which is made up of three parts: the head, the body and the tail. The sperm cells pass the epididymis from the head to the tail and there they are kept. During the this the cells mature and undergo peak changes allowing them to fertilize an egg.
The final maturation of the sperm cell occurs only during ejaculation. The sperm cells that are kept in the epididymis do not have the ability to swim alone, they come out of the tail of the epididymis through a special peristalsis movement (wavy muscle movement) of the sperm tube muscles. Before leaving the body a fluid secreted from the prostate and seminal vesicle connects to the sperm cells. The function of this fluid is to carry the sperm cells outside the male body and into the female body.
It is the semen as we know it.
Each ejaculation contains between 40 and 400 million (!!!) sperm cells, most of which will not pass through the cervical canal due to its increased acidity. The cervix, in effect, filters out “unwanted” sperm. Eventually out of millions of sperm cells only one will meet an egg and fertilize it.
Sperm cells do not survive long after exposure to oxygen, the survival time depends on the environment and the amount of semen. However, in a woman’s body, cells can survive for up to five days.
Factors that can affect the sperm production process:
- Drug or alcohol use
- Overheating of the testicles
- Exposure to industrial chemicals
- heavy metals
- Radiation or X-rays
- Infection of the testicles
- Testicular cancer
- Swelling of the veins that drain blood from the testicle
- Hormonal imbalance
- Physical problems in the sperm ducts
- Chromosomal or genetic problems
- Certain medications
- Surgery of the pelvis, abdomen or reproductive organs