🛑Sperm : my mentor and guide🛑
My urology colleagues with special interest in andrology will definitely agree that —- ‘Man is a scrotal mammal with immunologically privileged status of testes’.
A tiny microscopic sperm can teach us how to face the challenges and come out as a winner at the sunny end of the dark tunnel of life. The effort it takes to reach and breach the zona pellucida by swimming across great distances with constantly changing PH, microenvironment and viscosities is a great achievement in itself. All this for continuation of human species.
Sperm has very great indigenous qualities which are to be followed and applied in our day to day life.
🛑1. Patience and harmony with ones surrounding—-
Sperm waits patiently and silently for its turn in cauda epididymis for 2-4 days before it gets a chance to continue its herculean task of fertilizing the ripe ovum. The patience required in observing a pathology slide smeared with seminal fluid for microscopic semen analysis under the pathologist microscope is the same patience we seek in life. To achieve inner peace and success in life we should try to imitate the sperm “be like a sperm”. We should develop the same harmonious relation with our ever-changing cycle of life, which the sperm adapts with respect to its surrounding microenvironment of seminal plasma, cervical mucus and highly acidic vagina [PH—4.2—4.6]. We need to imbibe the fluid mechanics of the male gamete.
❤❤Note — the cauda epididymis is not meant for semen storage in humans as evidenced by its relatively small size and rapid sperm transit through it. Humans don’t store much sperms and have a poor sperm reserve[as evidenced by rapid decline in sperm numbers in successive ejaculates] because of absence of interspecies competition and threat of extinction as compared to other land mammals which have large storage of sperms in their cauda. May be an alien invasion will lead to increase in size of human cauda epididymis…………be prepared folks.
🛑2. No noise please
The sperm is a silent but fast swimmer and it covers the vanguard distance by swimming like a small boat with large and powerful motor with little or no turbulence. It swims forward by creating BENDING WAVES propagating through its tail. Flapping motions although present won’t help the sperm in forward progression.
Point to learn – – – vigorous flapping with lot of noise and turbulence although dramatic may be successful temporarily to draw the attention but does no good other than wasting ones energy and time. The silent and fast swimmers always reach their destination. Got my point?
❤❤Note – although semen is not a Newtonian fluid with steady laminar flow and constant viscosity, the sperms manage to swim without much turbulence because of the amazing viscoelastic property of the seminal fluid. So a hyper viscous semen or seminal hyperviscocity [S.H.V] can lead to decreased sperm motility due to increase in shear stress and increased resistance to flow and motility. S.H.V can be a reason of sub fertile semen sample in up to 30 % cases. S.H.V causes increased sperm coagulation and decreased motility due to SPERM TRAPPING EFFECT, decreased ZINC uptake leading to chromatin damage, increased R.O.S and oxidative stress injury. Infections and inflammations of the male genitals and accessory sex glands is the primary reason for S.H.V.
🛑3. Avoids too much friction and heat
Adequate healthy Viscosity of seminal plasma and cervical mucus is important in maintaining the rapid progressive motility of sperm until it reaches its queen ovum. Oxidative stress, GU infection – inflammation, S.H.V will all hampers the motility by increasing shear stress and resistance to smooth flow.
Similarly too much stress, too much friction and too much negativism will hamper our mobility on the path towards a peaceful life.
❤❤Note – POISE [centimeter – gram – second cgs] is the unit for viscosity measurement.
❤❤increased Temperature [In vivo scrotal and in vitro during storage] has a significant negative effect on sperm viscosity, motility and viability. In vitro sperm sample should be stored at 20 degree c to maintain their motility and vitality before being examined under a slide.
🛑4. Has a Rhythm
Sperms swim by creating rhythmic flaggelar beats and body bending reiterating the importance of rhythm and discipline.
🛑5.Knows How far to go
We all should know how far to go? When to stop? Know our limitations. Sperm is a biologic heat seeking missile.. Fallopian tube pressure gradiants,follicular progesterone, cilia of the female genital tract – vagina, cx,fundus, infundibulum and fallopian cilia, sperm chemo taxis and thermo taxis all guide the sperm towards the ova and tell him how far to go and when to stop. Sperm takes guidance from its friendlies in female genital tract to hit the target.
Similarly we should be responsive to the guidance and positive vibes of the well-wishers who try to guide us as to where to stop and how far to go in this highly materialistic world. We all need a GURUJI……sacred games style.
❤❤Note – intense research is directed now towards the importance of female sexual arousal during sexual intercourse as a necessasity for successful sperm guidance and fertilization after the sperms are lodged in vagina. Arousal leads to positive changes in vaginal PH and viscosity, causes rhythmic contractions of the pelvic floor and female genitals and fallopian tubes. VIP [vasoactive intestinal peptide] secreted during female sexual arousal is being studied again.
🛑6. Goes well prepared
Sperms wait for their chance patiently in the epididymis. They do not just relax here but prepare themselves to be mature enough [maturity] for their ultimate life goal that is fertilization of ova and continuation of human species. In short the sperms grow up and become mature in the epididymis.
So, wait for your chance and go well prepared because it’s a MAN-EAT-MAN WORLD OUT THERE AFTER ALL.
❤❤Note – – the function of epididymis is primarily in sperm maturation rather than storage as was once thought. Maturation increases the fertilization potential of sperms and makes them battle ready.
❤❤Caput sperms are non motile and have poor fertilizing potential as compared to cauda sperms. During their rapid transit through the epididymis the S- RNA payloads on the sperm surface undergo significant remodeling.
❤❤EPIDIDYMOSOMES secreted by the Epididymal epithelium have a role in cell- cell communication and epigenetic inheritance of nongenotypic paternal traits and behavioral phenotypes.
🛑7. Sperms form friends along its path
The walnut shaped sex accessory gland called prostate which gives the seminal fluid its typical milky color, viscous consistency and also provides healthy micronutrients, ZN,Amino acids and enough energy to the sperms for their long distance swim. Prostate also contributes to fibrinolysin which is important for sperm liquefaction after ejaculation. Time to liquefaction more than 2 hours is deemed abnormal.Seminal vesicles contribute fructose. The viscoelastic cervical mucus and the female genital cilia are also very friendly to the sperms.
Sperms make friends and have friends all over their path ..got the point?
❤❤Note – In cases of FRUCTOSE NEGATIVE OBSTRUCTIVE AZOOSPERMIA due to E.D.O[ ejaculatory duct obstruction] the semen analysis is one of low volume, acidic, abnormal viscosity semen due to lack of contribution from SV and prostate.
❤❤Healthy and functional prostate is important in male reproductive physiology.
🛑8. Cannabis is bad for sperms also
The Endocannabinoid system E.C.S RECEPTORS, CB1 and CB2 are found on sperm head and tail and the endocannabinoid Ethanolamine called ANANDAMIDE [AEA] has as a very important role in regulation of H-P-G axis and epigenetic inheritance and phenotypes. Basically the E.C.S maintains the sperm in quiescent stage, inhibits hyper motility and conserves energy before it reaches stage of CAPACITATION in the female reproductive tract. Now, it’s the exogenous cannabinoids or the phyto cannabinoids that screw up things for the sperm. Phyto cannabinoids interfere with the E.C.S regulation of the male reproduction physiology. Marijuana causes decreased sperm count, density, motility and testosterone synthesis. Although marijuana may cause increased short term libido, it eventually causes decreased testosterone synthesis and E.D due to CB1 receptor mediated sinusoidal endothelial damage.
🛑9.Coffee causes hypermotility
Caffeine is a important ingredient of the I.V.F medium used to store sperms. Caffeine is required for in vitro capacitation of sperms to improve chances of in vitro fertilization.
Caffeine cause hyper polarization of sperm plasma membrane and causes intracellular influx of calcium leading to a hyperactively motile sperm.
Coffee is a stimulant. Period.
❤❤Note – capacitation is a unique quality of human semen which differentiates it from other mammalian sperms. In vivo capacitation occurs in female genital tract after ejaculation into vagina. There is intense intracellular calcium influx by activation of CATSPER calcium channel in sperm head, there is tyrosine phosphorylation throughout sperm tail which makes it hyper motile, there is shedding of the fatty cholesterol layer that forms around the sperm membrane during its transit through the epididymis.
There is acrosome reaction at the sperm head that exposes the precious genetic cargo for fertilization and injection into the female gamete.
🛑10. Few good sperms are enough
World is spinning right due to contributions from few good men ( and women of course, I dont want to be sexiest). But when it comes to sperm talk it has to be about men.right?
You only need a few good sperms with reasonable motility— atleast 50 % should be motile with either grade A ( Rapid progression) or grade B ( slow progression) motility pattern on Semen analysis . Also according to KRUGERS STRICT criteria of sperm morphology atleast 14% sperms should have normal morphology. W.H.O is way lineant they put it at 4% sperms should have perfectly normal morphology.
❤❤The one sperm which achieves all the necessary steps of capacitation and reaches on time gets the queen. Yep, IT’S FIRST COME FIRST SERVE.
Now with all said and done …..its not just having few good sperms with reasonable motility and morphology that will do the job for you……its about them being proactive in earning the capacity to fertilise the ovum .
World war II would have been avoided if the few good men in EUROPE had come forward on time and prevented Hitler from ruining the world .
Now, with so much to learn from the friendly sperm what more to say than “BE LIKE THE SPERM”……..
copyright © Dr Amol Mutkekar