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Does the female immune system kill off sperm?

  1. Mar 14, 2010 #1
    After conception, when sperm enters the female, does the female immune system kill off some of the sperm?

    Also, are there like male and female sperm? What is it exactly that determines the sex?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2010 #2
    Kind of, the female vagina is quite a hostile enviromnt to male sperms(due to unfavourable pH). Within this enviroment they can only live for a few hours. However once they move through the cervix and continue their journey they are in more favourable conditions. The sperm can live here depending on a variety of different things for up to 6-7 days. When conception occurs the sperm just sort of sticks around until it all dies off, partially due to the female immune system, yes. (AFAIK) Mostly however just due to the fact that sperm do have a limited lifespan, even given the favourable conditions. The female egg however stop releasing horomones attracting the sperm to it and undergoes many physical/chemical changes which prevent further sperm from penetrating it.

    Sex during conception though(if that's what your question was asking) will cause the sperm to be dead within a few hours. The cervix gets plugged during pregnancy by a 'mucus'. This will prevent anything from entering into the womb meaning the sperm has to stick around in the vagina(which as I said before is a hostile enviroment for sperm).

    If you mean is there a difference between sperm to make a female and male then yes there is 'male sperm' and 'female sperm'. If you mean do females create sperm then the answer is no. Both males and females do create ejaculate but this is not sperm, the ejaculates main purpose is to support and protect the semen during it's voyage and to reduce friction making the sex easier and painfree.

    What determines the sex of a baby is based upon which sex-chromosome is contained within the male gamete that impregnants the egg. It will either be a Y-chromosome(male) or an X-chromosome(female). The eggs contain the other half of information, the female gamete(the egg) will contain a X chromosome.

    So combining the information you will have XY or XX, first one being male second one being female.

    If you have any more questions shoot away.
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