Thursday, 2 February 2017

ASK THE DOCTOR - ‘When and How are Sperms Produced?’

I teach biology in school for classes seven and eight. I also teach a chapter on the reproductive system. Students ask a lot of questions about sperms — when and how are sperms produced? Where are they produced? How do they look? How long do they live? etc. Kindly enlighten me on this matter.
- Manisha

Sperms are produced in the ‘seminiferous tubules’ of the testes. Each sperm is made up of an oval head, a middle piece and a tail. An average sperm measures 50 microns ie 0.05 millimetre. The sperm takes about 74 days to be formed in seminiferous tubules. Sperms have a life of about 25 to 40 days. Sperm production starts in boys at around 12 years of age and goes on for the rest of their lives. Normally, at least 20,000 mature sperms are produced every minute. Each millilitre of semen contains around 20 to 120 million sperms. In each ejaculation a normal male releases around 60 to 360 million sperms.

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