The man's sperm production
In the woman’s body, all eggs are already found in the ovaries before birth. In men, on the other hand, the formation of sperm does not begin until sexual maturation occurs at puberty; a process that lasts a lifetime in healthy men.
The formation of sperm
Like egg maturation in women, the formation of sperm is controlled by the sex hormones FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). The pituitary gland sends hormone signals for the secretion of the sex hormones FSH, which are responsible for the formation and maturation of the sperm cells, and LH, which produces the sex hormone testosterone, which i.a. controls the development of the secondary genitalia and the sexual drive.
Maturation of sperm cells
During sexual maturation, millions of sperm cells are formed every day in the seminal ducts of the testicles. The sperm cells remain in the testicles for approx. 10 weeks, after which they migrate into the epididymis, where they mature further. In the epididymis, the sperm get their ability to move. After approx. At 12 weeks, the formation of the sperm cells is complete: healthy sperm cells now have a fully developed head, which contains the male reproductive system, a middle part that creates the energy of movement, and a tail that propels the sperm forward and controls it.
During intercourse, the motile sperm cells are pushed out via the vas deferens and urethra by means of muscle contractions during ejaculation. The motile sperm penetrate via the vagina into the cervix and uterus and into the fallopian tubes. If there is a mature egg in the fallopian tube, the sperm cells try to break down the egg’s cell wall and get stuck inside the cell – the egg is fertilized. On their way into the fallopian tube, many sperm succumb, and therefore a single ejaculation contains 200-300 million sperm (2-5 ml). If the quantity of sperm cells is significantly below this average, or if the sperm cells in the ejaculate are not sufficiently mobile, the man’s ability to reproduce can be negatively affected.
Which factors are decisive for sperm quality?
The reasons for non-pregnancy can lie with both the woman and the man. The most frequent reason for male fertility disorders is insufficient production of normally shaped, motile sperm. For a “normal” sperm quality, the following factors apply according to the WHO guidelines:
- The amount of the ejaculate: 1.5 ml or more.
- Total number of sperm cells in the ejaculate: at least 40 million. sperm cells.
- The concentration of sperm cells: at least 20 million. sperm cells/ml.
- Sperm morphology: at least 15% normally shaped.
- Sperm motility: at least 50% with forward motility or 25% with progressive motility within 60 min. after ejaculation.
In our laboratories, we carry out a sperm analysis, where we examine sperm production and sperm quality. Based on the results, we advise you on further diagnostics and treatment methods.