The Human Sperm Cell
by: Amy Otis, RN
Sperm Cell or Spermatozoa
The mature sperm
cell (spermatozoa) is 0.05 milliliters long. It consists of a head,
body and tail. The head is covered by the ac cap and contains a
nucleus of dense genetic material from the 23 chromosomes.
It is attached
from the neck to the body containing mitochondria that supply the
energy for the sperm's activity. The tail is made of protein fibers
that contract on alternative sides, giving a characteristic wavelike
movement that drives the sperm through the seminal fluid, which
also supplies additional energy.
Some sperm have
two heads or two tails and if the testes are too warm they may die
or spermatogenesis may not occur.
Sperm swim at
a rate of about 1 to 4 mm (0.12 inches) per minute. Thats
an average, its different for every man. Some sperm cells
are 'better' swimmers than others. Why? They need to wave their
tales more than 1000 times just to swim 1.25 cm or a half an inch.
Why some are better than others is still a mystery to many fertility
are made in the testes where it takes about 72 days for one sperm
to grow. Sperm production requires 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
theyre being stored. If it becomes too cool on the outside,
the scrotum will bring the testicles closer to the body for warmth
as you probably know from jumping into a cold pool of water or ocean.
Thats why the testes hang away from the body -- so sperm can
develop at the temperature they need. (95° - 97° F or 35°
to 36° C)
small amounts of more than thirty elements, including fructose,
ascorbic acid, cholesterol, creatine, citric acid, lactic acid,
nitrogen, vitamin B12, and various salts and enzymes. Lets
go back to the inside of the head of the sperm. All normal cells
have 46 chromosomes but sperm have half that number or, 23. If and
when the sperm joins ups with the females, egg (ovum) which
also has 23 chromosomes, together they add up to 46 chromosomes.
The middle section
controls the sperms activities. The sperm or (spermatozoa -- which
are the little swimming critters) make up only about 5% of what
a man ejaculates each time he ejaculates. This represents about
100 to 400 million of them! Therefore, they are very, very, very
tiny, in fact a single sperm is the smallest cell in the body. The
rest of what a man ejaculates in his ejaculate, which is about a
teaspoonful (5 ml), is made up of water, sugar, protein, vitamin
C, zinc, and prostaglandins.
Semen or seminal
fluid is the mixture of sperm and the secretions of the seminal
vesicles, prostate gland, and the bulbourethral glands. Over the
course of a mans life, hell produce more than 12 trillion
sperm. Theres some sexual health trivia for you.
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