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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » What do you want to know about sperm cells?

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Author Topic: What do you want to know about sperm cells?
Heather
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I'm going to start working on a big -- and hopefully geekily fun -- FAQ for the main site about sperm cells.

I feel like I have a pretty good idea, from the questions we already get, about what people do and don't know, and might want to know, but I figured I'd ask all of you here for any special requests if you've got'em. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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CSandSourpatch
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Here's one I feel kind of ashamed I don't know: how many sperm does it take to get to/fertilize an egg? I mean, I know that it's only the one that ever really gets there, but I seem to recall something about it needing the help of friends (such as it were) to do so.
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Heather
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Oh! We can get you that one with one of the oldest pieces on the site already, no need for waiting: Where DID I Come From? A Refresher Course in Human Reproduction

From that:
quote:
Because the sperm are super-sensitive to the environment outside the testes (or "balls"), only about 50 of sperm in an ejaculation will be able to reach an egg. That is why the body produces so many, because most of them die en route. But while only one sperm actually fertilize the egg (save in a rare type of twin), a couple hundred "helper" sperm play wingman to help that one get in.


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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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CSandSourpatch
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Ah! I managed to miss that the first 10 or so times I read that. [Razz] Thanks!
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That Strange CT child
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Do sperm ever die inside a guy if they are not ejaculated out??

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It is my hope that what i ask here is answered for me and anyone else afraid to ask the same question :)

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Heather
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I would've forgotten about adding that one: thanks for the reminder!

(I can tell you now, if you don't want to wait on that one, btw. Just give a shout, if so. [Smile] )

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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That Strange CT child
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Sure
TELL ME [Big Grin] [Razz]

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It is my hope that what i ask here is answered for me and anyone else afraid to ask the same question :)

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Heather
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Heh.

Long story short: not "died," but absorbed.

Sperm cells are absorbed by the body all the time (even if you do ejaculate often: millions of sperm cells never make it to an ejaculation when there is one), constantly, just like many of the other kinds of cells of the body are. Our bodies are kind of amazing recycling machines in that way.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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That Strange CT child
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What propels the flagellum of a sperm cell?? Can a sperm cell absorb nutrients?? Do sperm cells start out as normal cells before meiosis?? Can sperm be articicially produced?

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It is my hope that what i ask here is answered for me and anyone else afraid to ask the same question :)

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blueberry
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The flagellum is propelled by mitochondria inside the cell, which produce energy. And sperm cells start out as germ cells, which are cells that get separated from all the other cells in your body at the embryo stage, before they develop into spermatogonia (by mitosis) and spermatocytes before starting to go through meiosis. As far as I know, they can't absorb any nutrients after they have matured (and they don't contain that much to begin with, just enough to reach the egg cell), but not 100% sure on this one.

(Sorry, I'm a biology student and this is part of what I have to study for my exam [Big Grin] )

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Heather
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Don't be sorry! We love fellow geeks around here. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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treetops
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This thread is great.
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m_azul
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I've heard they're pretty delicate little cells. Can they live if they are on a females lower abdomen, near mons?

Also, totally off from that past question, how do they preserve sperm cells for inseminations?? I've always wondered that!

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That Strange CT child
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They flash freeze the cells

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It is my hope that what i ask here is answered for me and anyone else afraid to ask the same question :)

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Patricia H
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Yep, using liquid nitrogen. Actually got to prepare a few myself when I worked briefly at a fertility clinic. [Big Grin] Although we don't put raw semen in and dunk it in to be frozen; it's quite a process that involves separating/filtering out dead cells and gunk from the semen to retain only viable sperm cells, and then concocting a kind of anti-freeze to prevent the delicate cells from dying/becoming damaged by the sudden change in temperature. Depending if the sperm is to be used for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilization (IVF) processes, a good lab tech can have it done in anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes, tops.

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Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. - Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

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