All human beings are blessed with a special gift from our creator, the seed , through which we can reproduce and multiply according to his word.
This seed is a very minute cell that is present in all men and women. We will be looking at the male seed, which is called the sperm.
It is a living cell, that is endued with the capability to recognize and fuse with a female seed, the oocyte or egg. This triggers of the long process of reproduction.
Sperm is the male reproductive cell and is derived from the Greek word sperma (meaning “seed”). … Sperm cells cannot divide and have a limited life span, but after fusion with egg cells during fertilization, a new organism begins developing, starting as zygote.
A sperm cell is the male sex cell. All animals (and many other types of organisms) produce what are called sex cells. Sex cells are the cells, that, when combined, produce a completely new organism. For example, your mother and every other human female carry egg cells (female sex cells) in their ovaries. Your father and every other human male carry sperm cells, or male sex cells, in their testes. When an egg cell and a sperm cell unite, the two combine to form an embryo or an unborn, developing organism. At this point, the embryo is able to develop into a fully formed offspring of its parents. When the cells combine in a chicken, a chick is the result. When the cells combined in your mother’s body, the result is a human being.
Structure of the sperm
A sperm cell consists of three parts, the head , midpiece and the tail. The overall structure of the sperm makes it perfectly designed to carry out its function. The primary function of the sperm is to pass on the necessary biological information required to produce a new organism.
The sperm showing the head , midpiece and tail.
THE HEAD : In humans and most living things, the data that makes an organism what it is contained in a tiny molecule called DNA. DNA is basically a recipe book used to make you, well, you. All of your physical characteristics are determined by the information contained in your DNA. The DNA, or biological information the sperm needs to pass on, is contained in its head. THE TAIL : The tail of the sperm helps give it the momentum it needs to reach the egg cell, so it is able to create the embryo in the first place. So, just how can the male make sure that the information that makes him who he is, gets passed on to his children or offspring? This is done through the sperm.
This is the middle of the sperm cell, and it is the power house of the sperm. It contains the power
needed for the motion and expulsion of the genetic material DNA , contained in the head during the fusion of the sperm with the egg , at fertilization.
Remember, we said that DNA is like a recipe book that contains all of the information that makes an organism who and what it is. Half of the biological information contained in the DNA is packaged in each of the male’s sperm cells.
When the sperm has the usual single flagellum (or “tail”), it is called a spermatozoon and may be described as uniflagellate. The flagellum moves in a whip-like manner, propelling the sperm towards the egg and uniflagellated sperm are also termed motile sperm.
A non-motile sperm that lacks a flagellum is called a spermatium. A sperm may contain an X chromosome and produce female off spring after fertilizing the ovum or it may have a Y chromosome, in which case fertilization will lead to the development of male offspring.
The sperm consists of a head that is about 5 µm by 3 µm in size and a flagellum of around 50 μm in length. There is little cytoplasm in sperm and the “head” is densely packed with DNA. Sperm is released from the male in a fluid called semen. Semen is alkaline and does not allow the sperm to be completely motile until they reach the female reproductive tract or the vagina which is acidic in pH.
Function of the various parts
A sperm cell consist of three parts, the head , midpiece and the tail. The overall structure of the sperm makes it perfectly designed to carry out its function. The tail of the sperm helps give it the momentum it needs to reach the egg cell, so it is able to create the embryo in the first place.
The head contains genetic information and an enzyme to help penetrate the egg cell membrane.
The middle section is packed with mitochondria for energy.
The tail moves the sperm to the egg. Contain haemoglobin to carry oxygen to the cells.
Importance of sperm in reproduction
The purpose of the organs of the male reproductive system is to perform the following functions: To produce, maintain, and transport sperm (the male reproductive cells) and protective fluid (semen) to discharge sperm within the female reproductive tract during sex.
When a man ejaculates, the sperm-carrying semen fires out through the urethra in a seek-and-conquer mission. It may seem that all these millions of sperm are racing each other to the finish, but the sperm have different roles. Some are deemed the leaders of the pack, trying to be the first to cross the line. Others are designed to assist, specifically by blocking other men’s sperm from making it to the finish line. The goal of pregnancy, of course, is for a sperm to find an egg during a precise window of opportunity and fertilize it.
Protect your sperms
A healthy sex life is a very important part of life for most men. Men’s reproductive health is dependent on the health and proper functioning of the external genitals, internal sex organs, sperm, semen, and male sex hormones. Men’s sexual health also includes fertility. You may assume that women are mostly responsible for infertility, but men’s health issues account for half of all infertility cases. Protect your sexual health and fertility by living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding risky behaviors. If you notice pain in your groin area, have problems maintaining or getting an erection, or have problems with ejaculation, you may need to talk to your doctor.
What affects sperm during reproduction
When it comes to conceiving a child, there are lots of things that can go wrong—sperm allergies, poor egg quality, and ineffective sperm. Of the approximately 1 in 10 couples who are infertile, it has been estimated that male factors alone contribute to 30% of these cases.
Though men produce millions of sperm a day (compared to the 300–400 eggs that women release during their lifetime), external factors (like temperature) can affect the health of these little swimmers. And because sperm cells take about 75 days to grow to maturity, harming them can affect your fertility.
Human testes cannot function properly unless they are able to stay cooler than the rest of the body. Thankfully, the male anatomy is designed to create distance between the testes and the core body temperature. If the temperature of the testicles is raised to 98˚, sperm production ceases, when production is interrupted, sperm can be negatively impacted for months.
• Hot tubs
There is a grain of truth in the myth about hot tubs preventing pregnancy. “Wet heat” isn’t good for the testes, and, according to a study published in 2007, even 30 minutes in a Jacuzzi or hot tub can temporarily decrease sperm production, However, the negative effects of wet heat on sperm may be reversible.
A high fever can have the same effect as wet heat on a man’s sperm—with the same lasting effects. And depending on the timing in the sperm production process, sperm concentration can decrease by up to 35% following a fever, according to a 2003 study. A recent virus infection can cause serious harm to the sperm.
Can a laptop computer really affect a man’s ability to reproduce? There is a direct correlation between laptop use and increased scrotum temperature—up to 35˚ in certain positions!
This increase has a well-documented harmful effect on spermatogenesis (the process of male gamete formation), so if you’re trying to conceive, leave the laptop on the desk.
Boxers are better than briefs, if a man’s sperm count is on the low side. But it probably has little effect if the sperm count is normal. However, wearing tight bicycle shorts for an extended period of time is a bad idea as well. The more constricted a man’s pants are, the less hospitable an environment he creates for sperm production.
• Varicose veins
Approximately 15% of men have varicoceles, or enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum, usually in the left testicle. When a man is experiencing a low sperm count, doctors may recommend varicocele repair, a procedure that repairs enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum surgically or via percutaneous embolization, a nonsurgical procedure using a catheter.
Though it’s not clear, a varicocele may interfere with sperm production by interrupting blood flow, overheating the scrotum, or causing blood to back up in the veins supplying the testes. Though there is little proof that fertility improves after varicocele embolization, some doctors believe the surgery may improve semen quality.
• Cell phones
The advice about cell phones in proximity to a man’s reproductive organs varies.
It is recommended patients carry their phones in their briefcases rather than pockets in order to limit radiation exposure.
“Obesity has been associated with increased production of female hormones (estrogen), decreased sperm counts, sexual dysfunction, and infertility,” says Daniel A. Potter, MD, of the Huntington Reproductive Center in California. Compared to normal and overweight men, obese fertile men have reduced testicular function and significantly lower sperm counts, according to a 2009 study by the World Health Organization. Although obesity reduces sperm count, only extreme levels of obesity may negatively influence male reproductive potential.
• A party lifestyle
Tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana can impair sexual function. It is advisable that patients limit or avoid all of these when trying to conceive.
Alcohol abuse negatively affects semen quality and production, while cigarette smoking impairs sperm’s motility, according to a 2010 study.
In addition to slowing sperm down, other studies show that cigarette smoking can damage sperm DNA and increase erectile dysfunction. Marijuana isn’t safe either. Smoking pot has been shown to reduce sperm count, sperm function, and overall male fertility.
Other possible causes
• Blockages. Whether it’s caused by a birth defect, infection, trauma, or vasectomy, a blockage prevents the sperm from entering the semen.
• Genetic disorders. Chromosome abnormalities can cause severely diminished or no sperm production . For example, one form of cystic fibrosis can cause the vas deferens not to form.
• Other detrimental factors. Anti-sperm antibodies, hormonal imbalance, testicular cancer, undescended testicles, and sexual problems can affect sperm.
Foods to increase sperm production
Dark chocolate. A powerful aphrodisiac, dark chocolate contains L-Arginine. …
Oysters. Zinc is an essential mineral that plays an important role in improving testosterone levels as well as sperm production. Eggs. Bananas.Spinach. Asparagus. Garlic. Carrots amongst others.