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What sex are sperm?

by | Oct 10, 2019 | Articles, Sperm

What sex are sperm?

10th Oct 2019| by Colin Katz
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Do sperm have a specific gender?

Although sperm actually decide what gender the baby will be, by themselves sperm are neither male nor female. However, each of the millions of sperm ejaculated, have either an X or a Y chromosome, and there are about the same number of each. Apparently the Y ones swim a bit faster in the pursuit of the female egg.

The female eggs have only an X chromosome. If the sperm getting there first is an X, the two XX’s will make a girl baby. If a Y chromosome arrives first, the Y and X combination will result in a boy baby.

The miniscule sperm cell that cannot be seen with the naked eye, arrive in extraordinary large numbers in the vagina, and have the power to decide on the gender of each and every baby born.

How long do sperm live?

Inside the vagina, sperm are able to survive for several days, but outside the body they die almost immediately. Surviving for a few days, is of benefit to those who are trying to fall pregnant, when ovulation is late by a couple of days. The sperm might still be alive and well just waiting for the egg if it is a day or two late.

However, if the sperm are dead and gone – the female egg, if not fertilised after 24 hours, will begin to disintegrate, and no longer be viable. This means that if you are trying to conceive, there is just a small window around ovulation to get it right.

A low sperm count

Obviously the more sperm you have and the higher your count, the better your chances will be of fertilising the waiting female egg. Studies have indicated that men who exercise regularly have up to 70% more sperm than guys who sit around watching TV instead of getting out into the fresh air and doing something active.

You can choose any activity you like, even a brisk walk every day or a little gym work will be okay, so long as it is regular exercise and gets you moving.

They are not the same

Semen and sperm are not the same. Semen is the fluid which carries the sperm to the penis for ejaculation. Semen also contains nutrients such as amino acids, protein, glucose, and minerals, all of which protect and nourish the sperm while they are swimming around. If there is no semen, no sperm can be ejaculated.

Most men produce only about a teaspoon of semen at a time, of which approximately 5% is sperm. Semen is mostly made up of water, so it is important to stay hydrated, especially when exercising, to promote the production of semen.

Does semen glow in the dark?

There have long been rumours that semen glows in the dark. It does, but not on its own. Semen like other proteins such as blood, urine or sweat, will glow in the dark under an ultra violet “black light.” For this reason, during world war one, British spies used semen as invisible ink to write messages on paper. Today forensic scientists use different kinds of light to help find biological eviidence, including semen.

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