Nature is truly fascinating and even in 21st century, we only know a fraction of its many wonders. It continues to amaze us as we take a closer look with the help of advanced scientific equipment. Among the most complex things in nature is the human reproductive process. At the center of it all are the sperms that are created inside a men’s testicles.
Most of us know that a sperm meets the egg to make babies. It makes us wonder how far a sperm has to travel to meet the egg. What is the distance sperm travels? To answer such questions, here are some important things to understand.
Small size – Sperms are quite small with an oval-shaped head-like structure and a long tail. From head to tail, the length is usually around 0.002 inch or approximately 50 micrometers. You will need a microscope to view them.
Stiff competition – Sperms are quite small, but their numbers are pretty huge. A normal ejaculation could contain as many as 200 million sperms. However, only one enters the egg in most cases. Nature has taught us to stay competitive right from the beginning.
What distance sperm travels? – Once ejaculated inside, the sperms have a long journey ahead. They have to travel all the way from the cervix, passing through the womb to reach the fallopian tubes. The distance is usually in the range of 15 cm to 18 cm. This distance may be nothing from human perspective, but it’s quite an uphill task for the sperm. The human equivalent of this distance will be swimming through an Olympic sized swimming pool for 100 times.
The fastest sperms can reach their destination in around 45 minutes. Slow movers can take around 12 hours to reach the egg. Inside the fallopian tube, sperms can survive for up to 7 days. That means a woman can still conceive if they ovulate during this time frame.
How sperms get energy? – Considering their long journey, sperms need to have an energy source. The initial momentum is provided during ejaculation, which can be up to 28 miles per hour. Speed of sperms varies and it can be around 5mm per minute. Once inside, sperms derive energy from sugar fructose contained in the semen. This fructose is produced by the seminal vesicles.
There’s lot more fascinating stuff about sperms. For example, it takes around two months to create a sperm. But men are able to ejaculate every day because sperm making is a continuous process. It never stops, although quality and quantity may decline with age. Another interesting thing is that sperms protect themselves against the body’s immune system by surrounding them with specialized cells. With scientific advancements, more such wonders of sperm world will be revealed to us.