Sometimes the things you'd never bring up in polite company are the most interesting. Case in point: semen. It's one of those sex -related subjects that's shrouded in so much mystery, it becomes even more intriguing.
According to one scientist, he got his idea from the Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank that was designed to collect the sperm of Nobel Prize winners in order to fill the world with their genius offspring. Wait — what? It was founded by the multimillionaire optometrist and inventor Robert Graham, an admirer of eugenics who believed the human race was getting progressively dumber and that the only way to stop it was by filling the world with the genetic descendants of Nobel Prize winners.
And that's a surprisingly high percentage considering that you can conceive only around the time of ovulation - a small window of opportunity each month usually about 12 to 24 hours during which the egg is viable, or open for the business of fertilisation. Doesn't sound like much of an opening? Consider, then, that sperm are able to live to fertilise for a lot longer than an egg is willing to hang out, anywhere from three to six days.
In movies and TV shows, a sperm's journey to fertilize an egg is often portrayed as an elaborate race course as it competes with millions of others to move through the hostile environment of a woman's reproductive tract. That's not too far from the truth, and in recent years researchers have turned their attention to how sperm swim in order to better understand why only certain sperm make it to the egg. Now scientists have discovered that sperm slither side to side like snakes, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications. That knowledge could help researchers pick the strongest swimmers to use in fertility treatments for couples having trouble conceiving.
The year-old was diagnosed as having a low sperm count after the couple had fertility checks done at a hospital about four years ago. We are family-oriented and believed we could be good parents," Don, who works in sales, recalls. His year-old wife works in the education sector.
Sperm is the male reproductive cell. In the types of sexual reproduction known as anisogamy and its subtype oogamythere is a marked difference in the size of the gametes with the smaller one being termed the "male" or sperm cell. A uniflagellar sperm cell that is motile is referred to as a spermatozoonwhereas a non-motile sperm cell is referred to as a spermatium.
The process can look like a seamless way to create a family, and for many, it is. As simple a transaction as sperm donation can seem to be, though, some find it to be stressful or isolating—and because assisted reproductive technology is a relatively new, rapidly developing field, the social and emotional challenges that can arise between the participants in a sperm donation are, for many, uncharted. Even decades after these practices have become common and their intricacies should theoretically be common knowledge, many of those who opt for sperm donation are still consistently surprised by all the ways it can shape—in some cases straining and, in others, enhancing—family dynamics.
I was, rather, the product of a completely intentional transaction. My father was an anonymous sperm donor. The revelation hit me deeply. An introverted, introspective teen, I internalized her decision to hide the truth as my own shame — shame I still feel today.
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