They might be microscopic but human life wouldn’t exist without them. What is this miracle? Why, of course it’s sperm. It has a one track mind and one purpose. Ejaculated by the male in semen, it’s the little spermy’s job to hunt down that egg and fertilize it. But what should we know about them? Let’s find out. Swim, tiny fishy, swim!
1. They Survive for Longer than You Think
It is a common misconception that sperm has a very short time period in which it can be effective; the truth is that a sperm can survive for a surprisingly long time. It has been proven that sperm can live within your body for up to five days after it is first introduced, and this is something to keep in mind if you are having unprotected sex on days that you do not believe you are at peak fertility.
2. Diet Affects Taste
Yep, this isn’t just a silly story or rumor that pops up every now and then in women’s magazines or Hollywood comedies. A man’s diet can actually alter the taste of his semen. For example, a diet that contains a lot of red meat and garlic will result in rather unpleasant tasting semen, whereas a fruit and vegetable based diet will have much less unpleasant results.
3. Semen & Sperm Are Different Things
The terms may be bandied about in exchange for another, but semen and sperm are actually two different things. Semen is the overall fluid that is ejaculated when a man reaches sexual climax, and sperm are the individual swimmers carried by the semen into the woman’s vagina so that they can begin their race to the egg!
4. People Can Have a Sperm Allergy
A sperm allergy does not manifest itself in the form of hay fever-like symptoms like many other allergies, but it can be just as uncomfortable. Symptoms of sperm allergy will include redness, pain or slight swelling of the vaginal area in the immediate aftermath of a sexual encounter. Fortunately, the problem is entirely treatable by a doctor and the correct medication.
5. Female Sperm Exists
Though sperm comes from a man and seems like a purely masculine thing, the fact is that depending on which chromosome each individual sperm possesses, it can either be male or female. A Y chromosome is male and an X chromosome is female, so depending on which swimmer arrives at its destination first, an XY combination will create a baby boy or an XX combination will make a baby girl.
6. They Are Useless with Directions!
Though it is the one and only job that they have to do, sperm are actually really bad at finding their way to their egg shaped goal. Upon ejaculation, sperm begin to swim, but they do not always swim in the right direction, and this is why the higher a man’s sperm count is, the more likely a couple are to conceive as ratio-wise, there will be more sperm swimming in the right direction!
7. You Can Freeze It for Later in Life
Though it is very delicate, through the process of cryopreservation, a man’s sperm can be saved for use at a later date. This process is wonderful for couples who might be fighting illness, or even for young men who are currently sick but are considering their options to start a family in the future.
8. Semen Turnover is Real
If a man doesn't ejaculate frequently it reduces the amount of healthy sperm that's produced. They stay in the gonads longer and die off in there, and when the gonads aren't emptied, they just hold up the dead sperm and stop the production of new and healthy sperm. Studies show men who ejaculated more than 4 times a month had healthier sperm than those who did not.
9. Technology Affects Sperm
Laptops and cell phones have been shown to have significant affects on the health of sperm. Wi-Fi also can kill sperm through non-thermal related effects. Studies are still being done, but it's said that free radicals are emitted from technology causing immobility, death, and lower integrity of the sperm.
10. Sperm Have Superpowers
Ever wonder how a sperm gets into an egg to fertilize it? Well now you'll know! Because sperm have superpowers (not really, but close) that melt the surface of the egg so they can burrow inside. The sperm fuses with the membranes inside the egg, the tail falls off, and new life is formed--literally!
Amazing little things, aren’t they? All hail to the mighty sperm!