A long-standing problem in epididymal physiology is the fate of unejaculated spermatozoa in the cauda epididymidis under conditions such as congenital absence of the vas deferens, long-term vasectomy, or castration. There is no convincing evidence for significant absorption of spermatozoa, defective or otherwise, by spermiophagy or dissolution in the epididymis of normal animals. Spermiophagy by epithelial cells or intraluminal macrophages may take place if the duct ruptures and granulomas form e. In one animal model the rabbit , the epididymis is unusually resistant to granuloma formation and has provided unique insights into a phenomenon that is suggested to be present in all species.
Facts about sperm health and lifespan
What Happens to Sperm Once They're Inside a Woman?
Chris - This is a very good question; healthy testes make sperm at the rate of between and sperm cells per second. These collect in a long coil of tubes above and behind each testicle called the epididymis, where they are stored until needed. The testes hang external to the body within the scrotum to achieve an optimal temperature for sperm production. This is because sperm are made most efficiently at a slightly lower temperature than body temperature. In the epididymis the sperm are nourished and make their way to the vas deferens, which is a muscular tube connecting the testis to the urethra up inside the male body. When sperm are ejaculated they are pushed along the vas deferens by rhythmic contractions of the musculature. Once inside the body, secretions from the prostate gland and seminal vesicles are added, producing the semen that is ejaculated from the penis.
What happens to sperm that isn't ejaculated?
Mike Leahy - writing with Hilary McQueen - gets to grips with the numbers behind the man's part of the reproductive system - sperm. Although I'm a biologist, I rarely think much about what the cloudy white stuff contains, but in fact semen is far more complex than my endearing childhood image of mini tadpoles swimming around in thin wallpaper paste. There are many features of human semen that are very familiar to most people, but their importance isn't appreciated.
There are approximately million sperm in each human ejaculation, but only about 2 million sperm make it into the cervix. Out of the approximately 2 million sperm entering the cervix, only about 1 million make it into the uterus. The rest are stopped by gooey mucus, or swim into dead-end channels inside the walls of the cervix.