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Share Millions of sperm for a single baby

Mireia Long

Men produce millions of sperm every day, all prepared for a great race towards fertilization. It may be surprising to think that so many gametes are expended for a single ovule that will receive them, but this huge production is necessary to ensure that at least one of them surpasses the barriers of the dangerous career that awaits them.

More than 200 million sperm are the average in each ejaculation . They will have to survive the acid from the vagina, pass the cervix, deceive the white blood cells that attack any invader of the body, climb the dangerous and narrow path of the fallopian tubes and finally, reach the ovule so that the first can enter the barrier to enter it to be able to create a new being.

Sperm are born in the testes and progress slowly for days through the epididymal ducts and vas deferens.

The sperm are expelled in the seminal fluid. It is a viscous fluid, whitish or slightly yellowish, sometimes lumpy, which occurs mainly in the seminal vesicles (up to 80%) and in the prostate (between 13 and 33%). It contains proteins, fructose, favinas, citric acid and phosphatases.

The average semen volume of an ejaculate is 1.5 to 5 milliliters, with a maximum of 15 milliliters, and it occurs from 12 to 14 years of age throughout life, although its quantity decreases with age.

Under appropriate conditions the sperm survive several days outside the body, they can even be alive after death and live several days inside the tubes after intercourse. They also maintain their fecundating capacity in freezing, which allows them to be preserved for artificial fertilization.

The amount of sperm is a guarantee for successful fertilization, so that taking care of its quality, waning in industrialized countries, is important. A balanced diet, less exposure to chemicals, abstinence from alcohol, drugs and tobacco, the rational use of laptops, good hygiene and clothes that do not over-tighten are basic tips to prevent poor sperm quality.

In Babies and more | Impressive images of fertilization, How to improve the quality of sperm, Some figures on human reproduction

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