How long do spermatozoa live after intercourse in the body and outside it?25.05.2022
The spermatozoon – the male reproductive cell – is the smallest cell in the human body, and it is impossible to underestimate its importance, because if there were no spermatozoa, life would simply stop.
Spermatozoa are produced and mature in the male gonads (they are also testicles, they are also testicles) under the influence of the male sex hormone testosterone. The process of production and maturation of spermatozoa is called spermatogenesis. It begins with puberty (puberty) and continues throughout the life of a man until old age, unless, of course, any pathologies have developed.
Spermatozoa are produced in huge quantities, for example, about 100 million spermatozoa are produced per day in a healthy man. The full cycle of their maturation is 72–74 days, but this process is continuous. A healthy mature male is always ready for fertilization.
How is the sperm
- single set of chromosomes.
Unlike all other cells of the human body, in which 46 chromosomes (carriers of genetic information) are always present, only 23 chromosomes are present in a mature spermatozoon. Such a chromosome set is called haploid (or single). Why is that? Nature disposed wisely: after all, if the sex cells (spermatozoon and egg) had as many chromosomes as all the others, when they merge, the chromosome sets would infinitely double, and so there is a reliable opportunity to maintain the constancy of the genetic composition.
- The ability to constantly move independently.
Not a single cell in the human body can actively move independently. And the sperm can, because in order to perform its only function – to carry out fertilization, it needs to travel about 20-25 cm through the organs of the female reproductive system from the entrance to the vagina to the ampullar part of the fallopian tube, where the egg “lives”.
The sole function of the sperm is to fertilize the egg. The structural features of the spermatozoon are due to the need to perform this particular task. It is arranged as simply as possible, compared with many other cells in the body.
The sperm is made up of:
- a head carrying a single set of chromosomes and a capsule with special enzymes to dissolve the egg shell;
- neck, in which a mechanism is built to generate energy, providing independent active movement
- tail, providing movement due to rotational-translational movements.
The path of the sperm to the egg
In the male genital tract, spermatozoa do not move independently – they are released into the female genital tract due to active muscle contraction. They acquire the ability to move at the moment of contact with the secret of the prostate gland, that is, in the woman’s vagina. Then everything depends on their activity and viability. In the open air, spermatozoa die within half an hour.
- The vagina is acidic. It is detrimental to spermatozoa, so they must leave it very quickly.
Studies have shown that within 2 hours after intercourse, not a single live spermatozoon remains in the vagina.
- Those spermatozoa that managed to quickly leave the vagina and survived penetrate the cervical canal and there they overcome a thick, viscous environment of mucus. Some of the spermatozoa die there, but some reach the uterus.
- The environment in the uterus is favorable. It is there that spermatozoa can remain viable for up to 5, and according to some studies, up to 7 days. From there, they begin their long journey along the fallopian (uterine) to the egg. Pipe length – 12 cm.
That is, it becomes clear that in some cases conception occurs a week after ovulation. Thus, regarding the viability of spermatozoa, the following conclusions can be drawn:
- In the external environment, they die within half an hour.
- In the acidic environment of the vagina, they die within 2 hours, but already within half an hour after getting there they lose the ability to actively move.
- In the uterus, they live and retain the ability to move up to 7 days.
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