The male body produces sperm at a rate of 1,500 per second. That’s several million sperm per day, and up to 8-billion sperm during a full sperm production cycle, aka spermatogenesis. The entire sperm regeneration cycle takes around 64-days, and if you’re wondering why the male body thinks it’s practical to produce such a high amount of sperm, it’s because 200-300 million sperm cells are released in a single millimetre of semen.
Fun fact: A single human male produces enough sperm in two weeks to impregnate every fertile woman on the planet!
That’s right, every time you ejaculate, you’re releasing an astonishing number of sperm. There really shouldn’t be any question marks lying over why the male reproductive system maintains a surplus of the little fellas. So, to help clear the air on what’s happening 24/7 below your belt, let’s find out where and how the body produces sperm.
First up, where is sperm produced?
To completely understand how sperm is made, first you need to know a little about male reproductive anatomy. Featuring the testes (testicles), duct system (epididymis and vas deferens), accessory glands (seminal vesicles and prostate gland), and the penis, you can basically think of the male reproductive system as a sperm factory. It’s designed to produce, store and transport sperm from the interior to the exterior of the pelvic cavity. And, at the heart of the entire operation, the production of sperm begins in the testicles.
From this point, how is sperm produced?
Okay, we’ve established the beginning of a sperm cell’s journey commences in the testicles. Within the testicles there is a system of tiny tubes, called seminiferous tubules, that house the germ cells waiting to begin their lives as sperm. Courtesy of male hormones, like testosterone, germ cells divide and change until they take the shape of a tadpole with a head and short tail.
The tails push sperm into the epididymis, the tube behind the testes, where it spends five weeks maturing before continuing its journey through the vas deferens. The sperm will remain in the vas deferens until a man is sexually stimulated, which is when the sperm mixes with a white seminal fluid to form semen. If sexual stimulation goes according to plan, semen containing 500-million sperm cells will be ejaculated through the urethra. Then it’s only a matter of moments before you’re reaching for that handy box of tissues on your bedside. Phew, thank goodness for your past-self doing something useful for your future-self, right?
How long does it take the body to regenerate sperm?
In a process called spermatogenesis, the complete sperm regeneration cycle takes up to 64 days, or two and a half months. This is a constant bodily process that occurs around-the-clock, to prepare enough sperm to travel through the vagina where it’ll reach an unfertilised egg in a woman’s ovaries should conception ever be on the cards.
This blog is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.