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Difference Between Sperm and Semen

semen_bookSperm vs Semen

Sperm is the motile microscopic male reproductive cell which is transmitted into the female reproductive system through a process of sexual intercourse. These cells are haploid and have a flagellum that helps in movement. During the process of fertilization the nucleus in the sperm cell combines with the nucleus of the larger egg cell thereby forming the fetus that grows into a new organism. On the other hand, semen refers to the seminal fluid that is a whitish and viscous liquid released from the penis. The semen contains the sperm cells and other seminal plasma liquids which ensure viability of the fluid. Every ejaculation contains 2 to 5% volume of semen containing fluids that immerse the sperm cells, sustaining them ensuring motility till fetus formation.

Sperm, the term comes from a root Greek word “sperma” meaning “seed”. On the other hand, the term semen comes from the root Latin word “serere” meaning “to plant”.

The three distinctive structural parts of a sperm cell are,

The head: This contains tightly twisted chromatin fibers and the nucleus that is surrounded by acrosome which contains enzymes for dissemination of the female egg.

The midpiece: This part has a centrally placed core made of filament which is abound by numerous mirtochondria necessary for ATP fabrication for the drive through the female cervix, the uterus and the uterine tubes

The tail: This is also known as the flagellum which performs a lashing movement to propel the spermatocyte ahead.

On the other hand the seminal fluid is white, slightly grey or yellow in color. In case the ejaculated semen contains blood (due to blockage, infection or injury); the color may be a little reddish or pinkish. Once ejaculated the semen may turn a little sticky or jelly like after a span of time. Slowly with time the fluid turns watery. The primary components in semen are sperm cells, amino acids, prostaglandins, enzymes, citric acid, flavins, proteins, Vitamin C, phosphorylcholine, zinc, prostrate specific antigen, acid phosphatase, mucus and sialic acid.

Summary:
1. Sperm is the microscopic male reproductive cell while semen refers to the seminal fluid that contains millions of sperms.
2. Sperm is the genetic bearer and is haploid, while semen has no such characteristic other than nourishing the sperm cells and keeping them motile.
3. Sperm comes from the Greek word “sperma” meaning “seed” while semen comes from the root Latin word “serere” meaning “to plant”.
4. Sperm cells are microscopic and not visible to the normal eye but semen is a viscous liquid easily visible.


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