Semen , also known as seminal fluid , is an organic fluid that may contain spermatozoa. It is secreted by the gonads sexual glands and other sexual organs of male or hermaphroditic animals and can fertilize female ova. In humans, seminal fluid contains several components besides spermatozoa: proteolytic and other enzymes as well as fructose are elements of seminal fluid which promote the survival of spermatozoa, and provide a medium through which they can move or "swim". Semen is produced and originates from the seminal vesicle , which is located in the pelvis. The process that results in the discharge of semen is called ejaculation.
Download preview PDF. This further study of Semen functtion, shows that men with poor semen parameters have an increased mortality rate in subsequent Semen functtion and suggests that the fertility assessment Seme be an indicator of overall health. Females may benefit from absorbing seminal fluid. Infection of the male reproductive tract can directly or indirectly cause infertility. There are some substances known that induce sperm aneuploidy functyion can be carcinogenic  and for this reason sperm aneuploidy is associated with both increased risk of cancer and reproductive toxicity. Normally, semen coagulates upon ejaculation and usually liquefies within min.
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Ribosomes Function. Found an Semen functtion The prostate gland is a male reproductive organ whose main function is to funcftion prostate fluid, one of the components of semen. Nucleolus Function. Examples of Analogous Structures. The job of the 'P' is to pass urine out of the man's body and to pass semen into the female organ during mating. Share interesting Hores pussy to engage biology enthusiasts. Functions of Tuncttion. A swollen prostate compresses the urethra and irritates the walls of the bladder, interfering with normal urination. Cytoplasm Facts.
Advances in Assisted Reproductive Technologies pp Cite as.
- The vagina is an organ of the female reproductive tract.
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- The male reproductive system The male reproductive system includes the testes say "test-eez" , prostate glands, sperm ducts, urethra and penis P.
- The prostate gland is a male reproductive organ whose main function is to secrete prostate fluid, one of the components of semen.
The seminal vesicles are a pair of sac-like glands that can be found within the male pelvis. The seminal vesicles are located below the bladder and above the prostate gland. An individual seminal vesicle consists of a single coiled tube off of which several pouches branch.
Part of the seminal vesicles and the vas deferens combine to form the ejaculatory duct , which eventually drains into the prostatic portion of the urethra. During ejaculation, the smooth muscle layer of the seminal vesicles contracts, releasing the seminal vesicle fluid into the ejaculatory duct.
The function of the seminal vesicles is to both produce and store fluid that will eventually become semen. The main components of this fluid are:.
The seminal vesicle, also referred to as the seminal gland, holds the liquid that mixes with sperm to form semen. There are a variety of conditions that can affect the seminal vesicles, although they tend to be rare. A seminal vesicle abscess occurs when bacteria invade the seminal vesicles. This can occur after an infection of the urethra or the prostate gland. Treatment for an infection of the seminal vesicles is a course of antibiotics.
In some cases, a pocket of pus, referred to as an abscess, may occur as a result of infection. In this case, the abscess may need to be drained.
Cysts in the seminal vesicles are often asymptomatic, meaning they present no outward symptoms. They can be present from birth congenital or acquired. Acquired seminal vesicle cysts can arise from things like scarring from infection or a prior prostate surgery. Depending on the size of the cyst, a laparoscopic surgical procedure can be performed to remove it.
The presence of stones in the seminal vesicles is very rare. Reflux of urine back into the ejaculatory duct may also play a role in stone formation. This can be accomplished through an endoscopic or laparoscopic surgical procedure. Cancer that develops in the seminal vesicles is very rare. As of the year , there were only 48 cases confirmed in American or European medical literature.
Many cancers that involve the seminal vesicles occur because of invasion of the seminal vesicles due to another malignant cancer, typically prostate cancer. The closeness of the seminal vesicles with the prostate makes this invasion possible.
Follow the tips below for good seminal vesicle and reproductive health. Be sure to practice safe sex with any new sexual partner. Condoms not only prevent unplanned pregnancies, but they can also prevent sexually transmitted infections.
Infections can lead to inflammation and scarring of the urogenital tract, including the seminal vesicles. Exercise and aim to maintain a healthy weight. A higher body mass index is associated with lower sperm movement and count. Include whole grains and lean meats. Avoid items that are processed or are high in saturated fat or sugar.
Smoking cigarettes can make your sperm less mobile and also lower your sperm count. The seminal vesicles are two small glands that store and produce the majority of the fluid that makes up semen. During ejaculation, the fluid from the seminal vesicles is expelled into the ejaculatory duct where it can then move on to mix with sperm and other reproductive fluids.
Conditions of the seminal vesicles are infrequent and usually quite rare. Learn about different types and treatments of urinary tract infections, the risk factors, and prevention for both men and women. The prostate gland is situated at the origin of the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.
It is approximately the size of a small…. Semen is the fluid containing sperm that is released during…. Urologic diseases are a wide variety of conditions, all related to the processing and carrying of urine out of the body. They can affect people of all…. Collagen is an essential building block for the entire body, from skin to gut, and more. Here's five changes you may see or feel just by taking more…. You can do a lot of prep work to make the perfect sleep environment.
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Cholesterol is a fatty substance that's needed to build cells. Botox is often joked about and criticized as complicit in the perpetuation of damaging, unrealistic beauty standards. But for me, getting Botox is the…. Anatomy and function of seminal vesicles. Seminal vesicle conditions.
Symptoms of a seminal vesicle condition. Tips for healthy seminal vesicles. Semen Analysis and Test Results. Urologic Diseases. Read this next. Prostate Medically reviewed by Healthline's Medical Network. How to Fall Asleep in 10, 60, or Seconds. Do You Live with Anxiety? Here Are 11 Ways to Cope. How Botox Prevents My Pain from Defining Me Botox is often joked about and criticized as complicit in the perpetuation of damaging, unrealistic beauty standards.
Sperm cells look a lot like tadpoles under a microscope. Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration. It is a distensible muscular tube which extends posterosuperiorly from the external vaginal orifice to the cervix. Share interesting photos to engage biology enthusiasts. These in fact, may even contain many useful secretions that are needed in different parts of the body. These are membrane-bound vesicles that are nothing but secreted proteins and are made on ribosomes which are found in the rough endoplasmic reticulum.
Composition of Semen - infoawl.com, Laboratory Continuing Education
Several studies have shown a dramatic reduction of semen quality in many industrialized countries and infertility is becoming a public health top priority, whose incidence is associated to late-onset adult diseases, especially cancer, shorter life expectancy and trans-generational effects. The male reproductive system is particularly sensitive to a broad variety of reproductive and developmental toxicants, including many environmental pollutants and recent studies suggest that human semen is an early and sensitive environmental and health marker.
A set of semen biomarkers is described for reproductive health effects in relation to environmental exposure, where human semen seems to be an early and sensitive source of biomarkers than blood to monitor high environmental pressure on human health.
Environmental health should consider reproductive health and development, from intrauterine life to childhood and puberty: these are both vulnerable targets and high-value protection goals, inasmuch as they represent the future of our societies. Spermatozoa - Facts and Perspectives. Since the early s, in several demographic surveys a steady decline of birth rates in all European countries has been observed [ 1 ].
In particular semen quality was highly decreased in many industrialized countries [ 2 , 3 , 4 ] and in many European, Japanese and American young people poor semen quality was associated with subfertility or even infertility [ 5 , 6 ].
The risk is that semen quality of a significant proportion of young men in developed countries will impair the fecundity potential causing on a short-term basis just a longer waiting time to pregnancy without to considerably family sizes of modern couples [ 7 , 8 ], but on a middle-, long-term basis, strongly contributing along with socio-economic factors to the already observed European decrease in the birth rate.
Exposure to man-made chemicals, in particular in the workplace, is recognized as major risk factors for male infertility in both epidemiological and experimental studies [ 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 ]. In addition, toxicological studies in animal models are reporting DNA damages or epigenetic alterations within the germline: exposure to environmental xenobiotics during the fetal development and in early post-natal life, caused congenital malformations or reproductive tissue alterations or reduced fertility or signs of reproductive syndromes, such as the testicular dysgenesis syndrome, in particular when multiple in utero exposure to chemicals are tested.
Furthermore, gene expression of genes mediating hormone e. A milestone in understanding the pathogenesis of testicular tumor has been the discovery of the fact that its onset in adults results from cancer cells in situ , which are transformed germ cells of the gonocyte type, which have failed to differentiate into spermatogonia during the fetal period [ 17 , 18 ]. Furthermore, different studies have reported that in high environmental pressure areas there is both an increase of infertility, urogenital malformation and chronic disease cancer, diabetes, etc.
These epidemiological data are important to understand the shared biological mechanisms mediated by contaminants. In fact, infertility is becoming a public health top priority because, in addition to psychological distress and high economic costs, there are more and more evidences of diseases associated with poor semen quality [ 33 ] including cross-generational effects [ 34 , 35 ], shorter life expectancy [ 36 ], testicular cancer [ 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 ] and overall other types of cancer [ 42 , 43 ].
From this stage onwards, how much chemical values are measurable in fluids or tissues biomarkers of exposure and to which extent they are associated with a biological effect biomarkers of effect depending on specific, individual response markers of genetic susceptibility, polymorphisms, etc. Furthermore, in order to adopt an effective primary prevention strategy, it will be important to identify not only the source and extent of the exposure but also the tissue or organ most sensitive to such exposure and, simultaneously, the biological tool more sensitive and reliable to predict future alterations and to detect the earliest clinical risk indices.
Dietary and environmental chemicals exposure may influence human endocrine and metabolic homeostasis and, especially, the reproductive system. Among the reproductive system targets, the male reproductive system could be considered a general health check detector since it is particularly and uniquely sensitive to a broad variety of reproductive and developmental toxicants, including many environmental pollutants, throughout the lifespan.
Indeed, spermatogenesis and secretory fluids of the differentiated accessory glands of the male reproductive system are continuously renovated starting from newly differentiating staminal cells, thus making them a feasible target to study both short- and long-term effects of chemical exposure. The male germline accumulates mutations faster than the female one [ 48 , 49 ].
For instance, it is thought that sperm cells are more susceptible than eggs to the effects of oxidative damage [ 50 ] and recent studies have demonstrated the association between semen quality and state of health, correlating the semen quality with either chronic degenerative diseases, comorbidities and even mortality [ 51 , 52 , 53 ]. In this way, the qualitative assessment of human semen might be envisaged as a potential focus for future development of public prevention policies.
With the release of the Silent Spring in [ 55 ] the issues related to chemical pollution have begun to become a topic of political and scientific debate by laying the basis of environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology as we know them. Environmental toxicology concerns the way in which toxic substances reach the organism and affect human health.
At present many chemicals [ 56 ] have been detected in tissues and biological fluids of human body Figures 1 and 2. Persistent organic pollutants POPs are very durable toxic chemicals which include polychlorinated dibenzodioxins polychlorinated dibenzofurans polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs , chlorinated organic pesticides, PAHs, hexachlorobenzene and many other substances that we find in daily life such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers PBDEs , perfluorooctane sulfonate, Perfluorottanoic acid ammonium salt, brominated flame retardants, food additives such as bisphenols and phthalates plasticizers and parabens preservatives , according to recent experimental acquisitions, are known as endocrine disruptors Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.
They are able to interfere with the production, release, transport, metabolism, binding, action or elimination of natural hormones of the body responsible for maintaining the homeostasis and the setting of endocrine reproductive processes [ 57 , 58 , 59 ].
They can also alter the cellular oxido-reductive homeostasis redox status , resulting in a condition known as biochemical oxidative stress [ 60 , 61 , 62 ] a genotoxic action featuring a genetic and epigenetic damage transmissible through the germ line to the offspring transgenerational effect.
These substances, very stable and soluble in fats, are found in semen that has a considerable lipid amount [ 66 , 67 ].
Metals toxicity depends on several factors, including their ability to bonds to reactive groups of enzymes and proteins e.
They may also interfere with the bioaccumulation of essential metals e. Heavy metals accumulation in living organisms, in particular lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, depend upon the exposure to contaminated environment and may trigger acute and chronic degenerative diseases: In particular, genotoxic elements Arsenic, Cadmium and Nickel may damage the DNA structure either directly through the production of oxygen radicals or indirectly via the alteration of enzymes responsible for DNA repair and they may interfere in the activities of regulators of proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation and cell transformation [ 68 , 69 , 70 , 71 ].
The risk assessment of the exposure to metals is achieved through human biomonitoring studies and their quantification in human biological fluids such as blood, serum and urine, being an indispensable tool to evaluate the possible influence of environmental determinants on human health. The level of metals in human fluids reflects the amount entering the body via all exposure routes ingestion, inhalation and dermal absorption.
Moving into the bloodstream, they are compartmentalized in organs or tissues, where they carry out their harmful effects according to the concentration and to their inherent toxicity. Even though several papers have covered the report of qualitative parameters of the seminal fluid with the occupational exposure to metals [ 72 , 73 ], environmental impact studies in urban areas are still unsatisfactory [ 74 ].
An Italian study [ 68 ] has compared, through statistical methods, the sperm counts with the geochemistry distribution of heavy metals in soils of the metropolitan area of Naples, observing a strong correlation in the case of lead, whereas a lesser correlation has been found in the case of mercury and zinc.
In addition, data have been reported regarding the effects of changes in concentration of zinc, magnesium and calcium on semen quality parameters and infertility [ 75 ]. Oxidative stress plays an important role in the etiology of male infertility by impairing negatively the quality and the function of the sperm [ 76 ] although the relationship between the bioaccumulation of environmental pollutants and the alteration of the seminal redox status has not been elucidated yet, and neither the possible mechanism of action.
The imbalance of antioxidant defenses and detoxification processes provides a logical explanation to the onset of diseases caused by oxidative stress in men [ 77 ] and increases the organism susceptibility to pollutants toxicity [ 78 ]. After all, the balance between oxidation and anti-oxidation is critically important in maintaining healthy any biological system.
The fact remains however, that pro-oxidant activity of PM [ 79 ] PAHs [ 60 ] on human health has been demonstrated in clinical data, whereas the harmful effects caused by toxic heavy metals or pesticides organophosphates [ 80 ] have been proved in animal studies.
Reactive oxygen species ROS , at low physiological levels, play an important role in sperm maturation and function [ 81 ]. On the contrary, excessive amounts of ROS produced by leukocytes and immature spermatozoa can damage mature sperm and DNA integrity [ 82 , 83 , 84 ]. The mechanism of DNA damage by ROS is mainly due to the high susceptibility of spermatozoa to ROS for their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, major components of cellular and intracellular membranes Figure 3.
However, the Nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2 -like 2 Nrf2 , plays a key role in the modulation of antioxidant response, which basically modulates both synthesis and the recycling of the main cellular antioxidant, that is the reduced glutathione. The reduced activity of glutathione reductase, has been associated with oxidative stress-related diseases [ 77 ], just like an increased susceptibility to adverse effects induced by pollutants [ 78 ] has also been associated with increased expression of p53 [ 86 ] Figure 4.
The positive and negative effects on spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis of controlled or uncontrolled oxidative stress. Exogenous and endogenous factors inducing oxidative stress: Pathological and physiological roles on sperm function. However, it is known that improper eating habits i. In summary, although supplementation with antioxidants may improve pregnancy and birth rates for infertile couples [ 88 ] the efficacy of dietary supplements in improving the quality of male sperm is still controversial [ 89 ] and the link among bioaccumulation of environmental pollutants, diet and semen quality remains to be demonstrated.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals affect spermatogenesis both through alterations in the hypothalamic—pituitary axis, and direct damage to spermatozoa [ 90 , 91 , 92 ]. It is estimated that the frequency of chromosomal aberrations in the general population is about 0.
In particular, chromosomal aberrations increase with the increasing severity of infertility. Moreover, some genetic polymorphisms involved in the metabolism and detoxification activities as well as in DNA repair capacity influence individual susceptibility to environmental exposure leading to changes in sperm quality [ 60 ].
The main alteration responsible for male infertility is represented by DNA and chromatin alterations, highly sensitive to exogenous contaminants [ 97 ]. In particular, aneuploidy defined as structural and numerical aberrations of chromosomes [ ], is an informative effect biomarker, for male reproductive toxicants and a hallmark of cancer [ , , , ]. There are some substances known that induce sperm aneuploidy and can be carcinogenic [ , ] and for this reason sperm aneuploidy is associated with both increased risk of cancer and reproductive toxicity.
Fortunately, sperm aneuploidy assessment has become very easy and this opens up to a growing use of health risk assessment from chemical hazard [ ] so that, it could be integrated with current aneuploidy and chromosome imbalance assessments in place for somatic cells [ ].
In conclusion, sperm aneuploidy evaluation is informative well beyond the standard sperm parameters number, motility, morphology useful for comprehensive evaluation of carcinogenicity and reproductive toxicity. In fact, the damage to sperm DNA contributes not only to infertility, but also on the frequency of miscarriages and birth defects in the offspring. The data supporting this are primarily derived from animal toxicology studies, which unequivocally demonstrate that the genetic integrity of the male germ line play an important role in determining the normal embryonic development [ ].
The results of studies by toxicologists using several compounds in increasing doses prove adverse effects on the development of the embryo, on animal behavior, postnatal growth, longevity of progeny, as well as increased susceptibility to cancer. These toxicology animal-data support the hypothesis that toxic substances can act on the male germ line by interfering with the development of human pregnancies and the health of the unborn. To support this, there are associations between paternal smoking, oxidative DNA damage of sperm and the incidence of cancer in children.
The origins of sperm DNA damage are not yet clearly defined, but in light of recent discoveries, six main mechanisms are hypothesized: 1 apoptosis during the process of spermatogenesis; 2 breakage of DNA strands created from the sperm chromatin remodeling during the process of spermatogenesis; 3 post-testicular DNA fragmentation induced mainly by oxygen radicals, including nitric oxide and hydroxyl radicals, during the transport of spermatozoa through the seminiferous tubules and epididymis; 4 DNA fragmentation induced by endogenous caspase and endonuclease; 5 DNA damage induced by radiotherapy and chemotherapy; 6 DNA damage induced by environmental toxins [ ].
The damage in testicular sperm DNA is statistically lower than what is found in ejaculated sperm [ ]. Sperm nuclear DNA fragmentation is the last phase of apoptosis, a highly controlled programmed cell death program that plays a key role in different biological processes such as embryonic development and maintenance of homeostasis.
High cell proliferation rate and cell differentiation processes occur during maturation from stem cell to haploid mature sperm. Apoptosis is needed to avoid the excess of cell proliferation and it seems to have a role in germ cells differentiation. This process might also be induced by several environmental stimuli or damages [ ]. In case of DNA damage within the male germ line, the adverse outcome s will depend either from the type of damage or from the genomic region affected or from the timing of the damage itself and, as an overall consequence, from the ability of the embryo repair system to properly counteract any damage earlier than the first mitotic division will occur.
In any case, the embryo could not always effectively repair damages carried on from male germ as it occurs in genetic dominant diseases, such as achondroplasia [ ]. Furthermore, healthy children born with assisted reproduction from DNA-damaged sperm [ ] may possess genetic or epigenetic alterations generating a phenotypic change in the next generation s due to double recessive gene expression or in the birth of a male upon chromosome X mutations.
Finally, it is also possible that DNA-damaged sperm can cause offspring defects not recognized at birth. The recent discovery that DNA damage in sperm of males due to aging is associated with the onset of epilepsy, schizophrenia, autism, and bipolar illness [ , ].
Strikingly, an increased risk of sperm DNA fragmentation was associated to high levels of air pollution, in fact seems that the classical sperm parameters -motility, concentration, morphology- do not change related to high smog levels, while sperm DNA fragmentation appeared to be much more sensible [ 98 ]. In this direction, also in Campania Region Southern Italy , preliminary data of EcoFoodFertility initiative [ 54 ], indicated an increased sperm DNA damage associated to environmental pressure, measured with two techniques.
The results obtained so far support the effectiveness of the considered markers in the quantification of DNA damages as well as the relationship between the extent of the observed sperm DNA damage and the environmental characteristics of the area of residence HIP versus LIP areas.
In recent years, an increasing interest has been directed on other biomarkers of DNA integrity in male germinal cells: telomere. During aging in most adult somatic cells, a progressive telomere shortening occurs and, in turn, telomerase activity decrease or completely disappear. In contrast to such adult somatic cells, germ cells maintain high telomerase activity, long telomeres and high proliferative potential [ , ].
In particular, the sperm telomere length STL seems to be of fundament importance for fertilization and early embryo development [ ]. To date, the relationship between telomere function and aspects of semen quality is an area of great attention.
Indeed, it has been reported that sperm TL is lower in oligozoospermic than in normozoospermic men [ ]. Furthermore, spermatozoa from elderly males have significantly longer telomeres than those from younger males, but the biological implications of this paradoxical effect are unknown [ ]. Additionally, telomere dysfunction is a relevant mechanism driving cancers in humans [ ].
Indeed, critical telomere attrition results in chromosomal aberration which in the absence of normal cellular DNA repair and apoptosis can lead to genetic instability. On the other hand, long telomeres may permit cells to escape growth arrest and increase the chance of acquiring mutations, especially in the presence of an external exposure, i. In fact, longer telomeres have been associated with some types of cancers, especially melanoma and lung cancer [ ]. Recently, a Mendelian randomization study reported that longer telomeres were associated with increased risk of several cancers but reduced risk of some non-neoplastic diseases [ ].
Interestingly, accumulating evidence indicates that leukocyte telomeric DNA may be one important target of environmental [ , , , , , ]. Accordingly, a very recent study has shown a possible association between high environmental pressure in polluted area and the STL [ ]. In particular, a preliminary study was carried out evaluate the influence of environmental exposure to the telomere length TL of leukocytes LTL and of STL. These findings support the view that STL is a more sensible marker than LTL to environmental pollution and it is a further evidence that the genetic structure of spermatozoa is particularly sensitive to environmental insults.
In recent years, interest has grown on new acquisitions that regulate gene expression and epigenetic mechanisms. In fact, if the interaction between genes and environment in determining human phenotypes has been known for many years, the real innovation provided by epigenetic studies concerns specific gene expression changes without any change in their sequence.
Therefore, as genetic variants make the organism vulnerable to certain environmental insults, epigenetic alterations induced by the environment may have the same effect and especially could be transmitted to the offspring.