Here are 10 widely believed sperm facts that are actually false, according to experts from best real money online casino for US players.
- Sperm swim like Olympic athletes
The common tale is that millions — anywhere from 20 to 300 million, to be precise — of heroic sperm swim in competition with each other to be the lucky little swimmer that penetrates the egg.
- Thicker sperm is more fertile sperm
Thicker semen doesn’t necessarily mean thicker sperm. Usually it means there’s a high concentration of sperm or a high number of irregularly shaped sperm. They still need help from the female reproductive system to stay safe.
When sperm enter the vagina, they come into contact with cervical mucus. The cervical mucus does two things: protects and rejects. It protects sperm from the vagina’s acidity as well as rejects sperm whose shape and motility would otherwise keep them from reaching the egg.
- Sperm only live for a short time after release
Not always! Lifespan depends on where sperm land after ejaculation. Sperm that make it into the vagina after ejaculation can live up to five days. This is due to the protective effects of cervical mucus and cervical crypts. But if sperm have a chance to dry out, they basically die. Ejaculated sperm that land on cold, dry objects may die after a few minutes — although very rarely they may last a whole 30 minutes. They may die even faster in a hot bath or a hot tub due to the heat or chemicals in the water.
- Sperm only needs to go straight for the egg
It’s a pretty long journey to the egg. During intercourse, when sperm leave the penis, they don’t head straight to the uterus. In this course, some sperm attach to oviduct epithelial cells in the fallopian tubes or get stored in tiny chambers called crypts until fertilization primetime: ovulation.
- Sperm stay fertile and healthy for a man’s entire life
One of the oldest persisting myths is that while there are a limited number of eggs (which is true), sperm is available in a lifetime supply.
- Briefs are bad for your sperm count
Supposedly, tight undies decrease sperm count, while loose boxers keep everything at just the right temperature for sperm production. But underwear has (almost) no effect on your sperm. A 2016 study found little difference in sperm count based on underwear choice. But a 2018 study made scientific waves when it found that men who wore boxers had 17 percent more sperm than men in briefs.
But the 2018 study authors warned that their results didn’t account for other factors that affect sperm production, such as type of pants or what fabric undies are made of. And get this: The body may compensate for extra testicle heat by releasing a little extra sperm-producing follicle-stimulating hormone. So, boxers are only a little bit more sperm-friendly. Wear what makes you comfortable. Another thing that will make you comfortable is playing games at online pokies for real money.
- Every sperm is healthy and viable
Far from it. Most sperm never make it to the egg for a number of reasons. To be considered fertile, not even 100 percent of sperm need to be moving — as long as 40 percent are motile, you’re fertile! And of that 40 percent, not all make it to the egg.
The shape has a lot of say in success. Having multiple heads, weirdly shaped tails, or missing parts can make sperm simply unfit for the journey through the female reproductive tract. And even healthy sperm don’t always make it through the competition. Sperm can pass right through the oviduct and end up in a woman’s interstitial fluid surrounding the internal organs. That’s right, sperm may literally float around in the body, never to fertilize.
- Pre-cum can’t get you pregnant
False! Mostly. Biologically speaking, pre-cum shouldn’t contain sperm — but sperm left over in the urethra, the tube through which both urine and semen are ejected, can get mixed in. Sure, there aren’t as many as in new semen, but a 2011 studyTrusted Source showed that nearly 37 percent of pre-cum samples collected from the study’s 27 subjects’ contained a significant amount of healthy, motile sperm.
And a 2016 studyTrusted Source of 42 men found that at least 17 percent of pre-cum samples were full of active, mobile sperm. So even if you’re using the pull-out method, there’s a small chance that some sperm can get loose and cause a pregnancy.
- More sperm is better when trying to get pregnant
Quite the opposite. Having a high semen volume, which counts sperm in a single ejaculation, is good but there’s a point where the returns start diminishing. The higher the sperm concentration, the more likely that multiple sperm may fertilize the egg.
Normally, only a single one-celled sperm cell is allowed to fertilize one egg cell, resulting in the development of an embryo. After the first sperm breaks through a layer of proteins around the egg, this layer blocks more sperm from getting through.
But if too many sperm reach the egg, two — or more, in rare cases — sperm can break through this layer and end up fertilizing the egg. This is called polyspermy.