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Sperm fertilizing eggPretty much everyone who has had sexual education class in grade school can tell you that to make a baby, a sperm cell and egg cell must first come together. During sexual intercourse, a man's sperm is released into a woman's cervix and swims to the fallopian tube. Out of the millions of sperm cells, only one penetrates the egg in a process known as fertilization. At that point, life begins. But what is the sperm's role in this process?

Everyday, there are millions of sperm produced in a man's testes (testicles). Sperm undergo a natural cell division which inevitably leads to their maturation. Half of the sperm carries a Y chromosome (inherited from your father) and the other half contain an X chromosome (inherited from your mother). When a Y-carrying sperm cell fertilizes the woman's egg, a baby girl is the result. If on the other hand, an X-carrying sperm fertilizes the egg, then the result is a baby boy.

During ejaculation, sperm is pumped into the man's vas deferens where fructose, seminal fluids, and other chemicals are secreted. The sperm, combined with these other seminal fluids (semen), moves past the bladder through the urethra and out of the penis.

In order for sperm to enter a woman's cervix, a man must first experience erection, orgasm, and ejaculation. An erection usually occurs when the penis is stimulated either through physical contact or erotic thought. A sudden rush of blood to the erectile tissue chambers in the penis engorges the penis making it hardened, enlarged and elevated. With continued stimulation, orgasm and ejaculation occur.

Orgasm, known as the sexual climax, is a pleasurable emotional or psychological response that accompanies ejaculation. There are two stages of orgasm: the first, known as the ejaculatory inevitability, takes place two to four seconds before actual ejaculation. In this short time, a man is aware that he is about to "come," but there is little that can be done to control it. It is at this point that the seminal vesicles and prostrate gland begin to throb.

The second stage of orgasm takes place when you involuntarily ejaculate semen in convulsive surges. On average, one teaspoon (2-15 milliliters) of semen is ejaculated containing between 40 and 150 million sperm. The first spurt generally contains the largest concentration of sperm.

There is a certain recovery period afterwards when a man cannot experience another orgasm. For some, this period of time may last anywhere from minutes to several hours.

Posted by PRS
Thursday, December 21st, 2006


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