How Is Sperm Produced?
Sperm are made up of two parts: the head (or germ) and the tail (the blastocyst). The germ contains all the genetic material needed to develop into a baby. The tail contains no DNA or other cells, but is used for nourishment during development.
The head and tail contain different types of cells called gametes. Gametes have one nucleus inside each cell. These nuclei divide constantly until they become tiny spheres known as oocytes.
Oocytes are then fertilized by a man’s partner’s egg. After fertilization, the new human being is born!
In order for a woman to get pregnant, she must ovulate (release an egg) and have unprotected sexual relations with a healthy guy. If her body doesn’t release enough eggs at one time, she won’t get pregnant. If she gets pregnant, her body will produce more eggs than what was released so that she’ll get pregnant again.
The number of eggs a woman releases depends on several factors such as age, weight, health status and many others. A normal fertile period lasts around 28 days. During this time, a woman may not ovulate or release any eggs because of various reasons like illness or pregnancy complications.
Sometimes women don’t ovulate for months even years before they conceive naturally!
But nowadays, women can get pregnant while they are on birth control. If a woman wants to have a baby, she doesn’t need to be worried about birth control because she can just stop taking the pill.
The man’s job is to deposit fresh fertile or non-infected sperms inside the body. Men have 1-2% of sperms in their seminal fluid at a given time. When a man feels sexually aroused, his body starts to prepare for the release of sperms.
To produce more sperms, the male’s testicles (or ‘testes’), located outside of the body, increase their temperature slightly. The scrotum is the skin sack that holds the two testicles. Sperms are made up of long chains and these chains are made up of lots and lots of cells.
To make a long story short, the more cells that are there, the more sperms can be released. When the scrotum senses that it’s time to release sperms, the temperature of the testicles increases slightly and this makes all the sperms start to divide.
However, not all the divisions result in a mature cell. Most of these sperms just die and disappear. Only a few of them manage to go through this process successfully.
As the sperms undergo several divisions, they become tadpoles. By this time they already have a head and a tail (the tail is also known as the ‘flagellum’).
The tadpoles swim up into another organ called the epididymis where they mature further before they are released during sexual activity.
Sources & references used in this article:
Diploid sperm produced by artificially sex‐reversed Clone loaches by H Yoshikawa, K Morishima, S Kusuda… – … Zoology Part A …, 2007 – Wiley Online Library
Snail sperm production characteristics vary with sperm competition risk by A Oppliger, DJ Hosken, G Ribi – Proceedings of the …, 1998 – royalsocietypublishing.org
Sperm size or numbers? Effects of nutritional stress upon eupyrene and apyrene sperm production strategies in the moth Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidea … by MJG Gage, PA Cook – Functional Ecology, 1994 – JSTOR
Transgenic sperm produced by electrotransfection and allogeneic transplantation of chicken fetal spermatogonial stem cells by F Yu, LJ Ding, GB Sun, PX Sun, XH He… – Molecular …, 2010 – Wiley Online Library
Investment in testes and the cost of making long sperm in Drosophila by S Pitnick – The American Naturalist, 1996 – journals.uchicago.edu