Sperm cells are the male gametes, the cell that fuses with another cell during fertilisation. The average man produces more than 1,000 sperm cells every single second and they need around nine to ten weeks for their full development and maturation. In contrast a woman has already got all of her egg cells present at the time of her birth.
Men have certain stem cells, which are capable of cell division and form new sperm cells throughout a man’s life.
The tiny sperm cells are highly specialised to fulfil their function, which is solely to fertilise an egg cell. Each sperm cell has a mobile tail, known as a flagellum, which means that the cell can swim through the uterus. The energy required for its movement is provided by the middle section of the sperm cells, which is equipped with lots of small ‘power stations’ called mitochondria.
All of the genetic information is found in the head of the sperm cell, where it is highly compressed to make sure that the sperm cell is small, light, and fast. Finally at the front of the head of the sperm cell is the acrosome, which contains special substances which can break through the protective covering of an egg cell. This is needed to allow the sperm cell to penetrate the egg cell, in order to fertilise it.