What is Sperm?

What is Sperm?

Sperm is the male reproductive cell. Sperm are commonly confused with semen but they are technically different from one another. Semen (also called ejaculate or “cum”) is the name of the entire body of fluid that is expelled from the penis during ejaculation, while sperm is one of the many components of semen. Although sperm may be considered the most “important” ingredient of semen because it is necessary for pregnancy, it makes up less than one percent of the volume of a man’s ejaculate. Sperm is created in the testicles in a process called spermatogenesis, then stored away until the sperm have matured and are ready to leave the body. When a male ejaculates, the mature sperm (combined with the rest of the fluids that make up semen) is expelled out of the urethra, located at the tip of the penis. The fluids in semen contain sugar to fuel the sperm through the vaginal canal and chemicals to activate the sperm to facilitate pregnancy. Not all of the sperm in semen are “activated,” or moving, immediately upon expulsion from the penis because the sperm would lose energy too quickly. To increase the chances of impregnating a female, only small groups of the sperm inside semen are moving at the same time. This process is the reason why a female can become pregnant for up to 5 days after a male has ejaculated inside her vagina.If sperm enters the female reproductive tract via the vagina and successfully fertilizes an egg, pregnancy occurs. If you would like to learn in more detail about the male reproductive system, please click here.

 
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