Spermatogenesis

Apr 15, 2012 , Michaela Knollová

spermatogeneze.jpg - kopie - kopie
spermatogeneze.jpg - kopie - kopie
Spermatogenesis is a process during which are sperms formed in a testis with a present support of special cells and in presence of hormone called testosterone. The process of spermatogenesis requires certain temperature conditions, about 32 ° C, in order to function properly. Therefore, the overheating of the testis, for example, by frequent hot baths, can lead to an impairment of spermatogenesis and thus to an infertility.

Spermatogenesis

Spermatogenesis is a complex process in which sperms are formed from germ cells. The germ cells are deposited in the walls of special ducts. We can visualize these ducts as very long coiled tubes which together form the testicle. The spaces between the convoluted ducts  are filled with the other specialized cells which function is to generate testosterone, i.e. the male sex hormone essential   for formation of sperms. There are not only the germ cells from which sperms arise in the walls of these ducts , but there are also supporting cells whose function is to take care of the germ cells and arising sperms. The supporting cells also produce a substance which binds to testosterone itself and therefore it increases its volume in the testicle, i.e. place   where it is most needed. There is up to 200 times more of testosterone than its quantity in blood.

Male reproductive system

The male reproductive system consists of the testes, epididymis and excretory ducts. As it was described in the introduction, sperms are formed in the testes and are stored in the epididymis. If it comes to ejaculation during erection , sperms pass over excretory ducts, i.e.  seminal ducts, to the seminal vesicles and the prostate. The prostate and seminal vesicles produce a fluid which has the basic character. This fluid contains minerals, such as vitamin C and fructose, and all these substances are used for nourishment of sperms and their protection. Afterwards, sperms are excreted through the urethra out of the body.

Course of spermatogenesis

Spermatogenesis begins by the division of germ cells. It is a very long and complex process called meiosis during which is the amount of genetic information in the cell reduced to a half. It is only the half because the child obtains the other half of its genetic information from his mother. The cell has already undergone several cell divisions at this stage, and it is very small compared to the original germ cell. Afterwards, maturation of this cell begins. The size and shape of cell is definitely changed during this process. Moreover, the cell gets smaller and stretches itself, and accordingly its head piece is formed. After that, the cell creates flagellum which enables its movement. New gamete is thus completed and it is called the sperm. The process of spermatogenesis takes about 74 days. Matured sperms are stored in the testis and epididymis. At a time when sperms are stored, they are still only a little flexible. The motility of sperms is an important factor of male fertility. If sperm is not able to reach the egg, it is not able to fertilize it. Motility of sperms gradually increases while are they stored in the epididymis and their movement will be activated when they get to the acid environment in the female genital organs. All these processes can occur only if there is temperature lower than normal temperature of the body, ideally around 32 ° C. That is why the testes are located in the scrotum, the leathery sac below the penis, i.e. outside the body, to avoid unnecessary overheating. It is stated that if the testicles do not descend into the scrotum, or if they are warmed, for example, by daily hot bath, the ability of spermatogenesis, i.e. creation of sperms is reduced.

Impairments of spermatogenesis

Nowadays, the couples who have trouble with are not a an exception. Male infertility may be one of the causes, thus a poorly running or not running spermatogenesis. The causation of infertility can also be a variety of diseases, hormonal disorders, or even too tight or too warm underwear. If you are concerned about your fertility, it is good to see your doctor and have an examination performed, so-called the sperm count. During the sperm count, sperms are collected through masturbation and afterwards is this sample examined under a microscope. The quality, the number, speed and direction of movement and the presence of sperm antibodies are evaluated. Based on the results, the doctor will determine further possibilities. Hormonal treatment is one of the possible methods to treat infertility. Higher doses of hormones which help to increase the level of testosterone and positively induce spermatogenesis are required. However, it is a long treatment and the results can be expected in the next 3-6 months.

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